This is How Much More Thanksgiving Dinner Will Cost This Year Thanks to Inflation

Close up of stuffed roasted turkey during family's dinner at dining table.
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As the price of turkey rises this fall, you might be wondering just how much more your traditional Thanksgiving dinner will cost this year.

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We used the September 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus other sources, to determine how much more you may expect to spend on common Thanksgiving sides — along with that turkey — this year.

Turkey

Let’s start with the main course — the turkey.

According to the Consumer Price Index for September 2022, the price of uncooked poultry, excluding chicken but including turkey, has risen 17% since last year. But a number of factors, including the Avian flu, has created shortages to drive prices higher. News sources say fresh turkey breast meat costs as much as $6.50 per pound this year.

If you’re able to find a frozen whole turkey, instead, you’ll pay $1.46 per pound. Last year, the same bird would set you back just $1.15 per pound. MarthaStewart.com suggests planning on 1.5 pounds per person when you’re planning dinner, so if you have 10 people at your table, you’ll want a 15 to 20-pound turkey.

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Of course, there are ways to find a free turkey for Thanksgiving, so let’s look at the cost of other common sides, beverages and, of course, dessert.

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Potatoes

Mashed, baked or au gratin, potatoes are a staple to most Thanksgiving feasts. Expect to spend 17.5% more this year for them.

Gravy

The turkey and potatoes need gravy, of course. If you’re planning to go for the jarred or canned variety, expect to spend 16.3% more this year. A cheaper alternative, of course, is to make it yourself from pan drippings and flour or cornstarch.

Rolls or Biscuits

Your Thanksgiving spread won’t be complete without fresh-baked rolls or biscuits to scoop up that gravy. But expect to pay 12.9% more in order to say, “pass the bread,” this year.

Butter

You’ll probably want butter for that bread, too — not to mention for the potatoes. The CPI has butter listed at 26.6% more than last year. But you’re better off going for the real thing rather than margarine. Not only is butter the healthier choice in most cases, with less trans fat than margarine, but margarine has increased in price by 44% since September 2021.

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Fresh Vegetables

With an increase of just 9.2%, according to CPI data, fresh seasonal vegetables could be one of the more affordable options for Thanksgiving dinner. You can also support local business owners – and save money – by shopping at local farmstands or co-ops for corn, brussels sprouts, green beans, and squash for your Thanksgiving meal.

Olives, Pickles and Relishes

If you plan to start off your meal with a spread of appetizers, the traditional pickle and olive plate will set you back 17.4% more than last year.

Cheese Platter

A more budget-friendly starter might be a cheese tray, which only costs 13.4% more than last year.  

Frozen Vegetables

You can’t beat the convenience of frozen vegetables, but you can expect to spend 16.6% more this year if you go this route for your Thanksgiving sides.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Whether you’re serving up juice or soda, expect to spend at least 12% more for non-alcoholic beverages. Non-frozen, noncarbonated juices and drinks cost 13% more. You can save a little by stirring up some frozen apple or orange juice, which is only up by 5.8%. Soda pop will set you back an additional 12.4% from last year’s price.

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Alcoholic Beverages

If you’re planning to ask your guests to bring their own adult beverages, you may want to think twice. With just a 2.7% increase in the cost of wine and a 4.5% increase in the cost of beer, you may want to foot the alcohol bill yourself. Ask guests to bring a dessert or a side dish, instead, to help cut costs.

Pies

If you’re planning to finish off your meal with pie, you’ll want to plan ahead to fit a hefty price increase of 20.4% into your budget. Better yet, ask your guests to bring dessert and create a drool-worthy Viennese table that didn’t cost you a dime.  

Roasted Coffee

Family and friends know when the host starts brewing the coffee, it’s time to start wrapping up for the evening. With a 16.7% increase in the price of coffee, you might be tempted to skip this meal-ending signal. But, really, isn’t having the house to yourself after a day of entertaining … priceless?

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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