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A little bit of deflation this Thanksgiving holiday as cost of dinner falls to five year low

A little bit of deflation this Thanksgiving holiday as cost of dinner falls to five year low

The majority of Americans know that despite the Federal Reserve and the government lying to them about how low inflation is in the economy, the reality is that all one has to do is stop by their local grocery store to realize that prices for nearly everything of substance have gone up annually over the past two decades.  And this can also be seen each year during Thanksgiving as the cost of the average dinner has risen as well by nearly 10% per year over the past five years.

But according to Business Insider here in 2017, the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner is actually down a bit from the previous five years, and this is a nice bounty for a nation racked with record high household debt.

Graphic courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation

For the average American family, the price tag of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner will be at its lowest since 2012.

According to¬†a new report¬†from the¬†American Farm Bureau Federation, a table of turkey¬†and all the fixings will cost approximately $49.12 for a group of 10 (including leftovers). That’s around $4 per person.

To get that total, the bureau enlisted 141 volunteer shoppers, who reported prices at grocery stores in 39 states and were asked to look for the best possible prices and not use coupons. The report defines a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as including a 16-pound turkey, a 14-ounce package of bread stuffing, a gallon of milk, a dozen rolls, two nine-inch pie shells, a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, a half-pint of whipping cream, a 3-pound bag of sweet potatoes, a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, a 1-pound bag of green peas, a 1-pound veggie tray, coffee, and various ingredients to prepare the meal (e.g. butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar, and flour).

This year’s estimated¬†Thanksgiving dinner¬†price is a $0.75¬†decrease from 2016. The ABF attributes the declining cost to the falling cost of turkeys, which¬†usually happens every year¬†before Thanksgiving. ‚ÄstBusiness Insider

A great debate takes place occasionally on whether Thanksgiving is a more popular holiday for Americans than Christmas is.  But since Christmas today is measured more as a six week event starting on the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), the fourth Thursday of November easily beats out December 25th when it comes to how many people travel to be with family, as well as how much money is spent on the primary meal.

With so many American families now living paycheck to paycheck, any savings that can be garnered from the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is a benefit, even if it comes out to be less than a $1.  Because more importantly for some who cannot afford to put together a spread during this completely American tradition, lower costs will assuredly aid the multitude of charities that go out of their way to provide a Thanksgiving meal to millions of people each year.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for The Daily Economist,,, and Viral Liberty, and hosts the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.



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