Do You Pay More For Thanksgiving Dinner In Your State?

The AFBF includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk in its survey. The price is down $0.22 from last year.

Anyone who has hosted a holiday dinner knows the entire process can be stressful and expensive.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released it’s 33rd annual price survey for a classic, but simple Thanksgiving dinner. The average cost to feed 10 people is $48.90, down $0.22 from last year.

If that sounds low to you, you’re not alone. Even though the cost of the dinner is up 14% from 10 years ago, many of us in California wouldn’t believe it was possible to purchase a holiday meal for so little.

Your location has a lot to do with the price you pay for daily living, including groceries. Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas and Arkansas also recorded the cost of a traditional American Thanksgiving menu within the specific state. In Wisconsin the menu cost a total of $45.01, Virginia was $52.30, Texas was $48.49 and Arkansas was $52.93. All four of these states have a cost index for food that is lower than the national average, suggesting that states with lower affordability would pay more.

California has some of the highest costs of living in the nation.  In 2018, California was ranked the second most expensive place to live in America by CNBC. According to the third quarter data from the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center, California is ranked 49 out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia in terms of overall affordability.

Despite producing 11.3% of the nation’s food, the cost of food in the Golden State is 16.6% higher than the national average.  

Where you shop can also influence your total at checkout. A Bloomberg Intelligence report showed that German supermarkets, namely Aldi and Lidl, offered the best prices on Thanksgiving staples including turkey, potatoes, corn and green beans. The cost at Aldi came in at just $35.83, compared to $58.94 for the same items at Walmart and $115.85 at Whole Foods.

All this goes to show that there are multiple factors influencing the cost of your Thanksgiving meal. So, while those of us in California should take the AFBF survey results with a grain of salt, there are ways to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!