The American Farm Bureau Federation is boasting that Thanksgiving dinner is a bargain this year, because it costs less than it did two years ago and is up only slightly from last year.
(Hang in there, Iâ€™llÂ get to the â€œbutâ€ in a moment).
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people costs $43.47 this year. Thatâ€™s $1.14 less than 2008â€™s cost of $44.61. This yearâ€™s price tag is just 56 cents more than last year, thanks to relatively stable food prices, according to the federation.
â€œAt $4.35 per person, our traditional Thanksgiving feast is still a better deal than most fast-food value meals, plus itâ€™s a wholesome, home cooked meal,â€ said John Anderson, a federation economist said in a statement.
Granted, weâ€™re talking about a turkey dinner with all the trimmings â€” bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, relish tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, beverages with enough for plenty of leftovers. And that beats fast food any day.
But what isnâ€™t mentioned, is that the 2008 prices were the most expensive since the federation began its annual price surveys in 1986.Â And this yearâ€™s cost for turkey dinner is the second highestÂ recorded.
The surveyâ€™s low point came in 1987, when Thanksgiving dinner cost just $24.51. The price has gradually increased over the years.
Hereâ€™s a closer look at 2010 Thanksgiving dinner prices:
– 16-pound turkey costs $17.66, down $1
– Green peas, down 14 cents a pound
– Cubed bread stuffing, down 1 cent for a 14-ounce package
– Milk, up 38 cents per gallon
– Pumpkin pie mix, up 17 cents for a 30-ounce can
– Pie shells, up 12 cents for two
– Whipping cream, up 15 cents per half-pint
– Three pounds of sweet potatoes, up 7 cents
– Relish tray, up 5 cents
– Brown-n-serve rolls, up 4 cents a dozen
Total cost: $43.27, up 56 cents