The Cost of Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner costEvery year, around 45 million Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. With the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and all of the other trimmings traditionally eaten up on Thanksgiving, have you ever wondered what the cost of it all is?


About 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving and the average weight of each turkey is about 16 pounds, which means over 730 million pounds of turkey will be consumed this year.

Natural turkey: $1-$2 per pound
Free-range turkey: $3-$5 per pound
Organic turkey: $3.50-$4.50 per pound
Heritage turkey: $6-$7 per pound

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving dinner staple and there are two kinds that families make: instant mashed potatoes from a box and homemade mashed potatoes.

Instant mashed potatoes: $3 for 26 ounces
Red potatoes: $5 for a 5-pound bag
White potatoes: $2.50 for a 5-pound bag
Yukon gold potatoes: $4 for a 5-pound bag
Sweet potatoes: $5.60 for a 5-pound bag


Like mashed potatoes, stuffing is a staple and can be made from a box or using a homemade recipe that usually includes bread, chicken stock, celery, onion, and mushrooms.

Boxed stuffing: $10 for 48 ounces
Homemade stuffing: $5 for 48 ounces


No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without rolls. You can opt to buy them fresh from the bakery, buy them frozen and bake them, or buy them already made in the package.

Fresh rolls: $7.30 per 12
Frozen rolls: $4.50 per 12
Packaged rolls: $3 per 12

Pumpkin Pie

When people think of Thanksgiving, they think of pumpkin pie, and while many prepare their own using a pie shell and pumpkin pie mix, you can also buy one right from the store or from the frozen section.

Store-bought pie: $4
Bought and prepared pie: $4.30
Frozen pie: $2.50

Cranberry Sauce

What’s turkey without the cranberry sauce? Many prefer jellied cranberry sauce, but you could always use whole berry or opt to make your own.

Jellied cranberry sauce: $1 per 14-ounce can
Whole berry cranberry sauce: $1 per 14-ounce can
Homemade cranberry sauce: $3.20 per 14 ounces


While an entire Thanksgiving dinner may seem costly, there’s good news overall – the average cost actually went down this year, from $49.48 to $49.04.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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