Price of Thanksgiving dinner going up

Posted November 20, 2011

— The cost of Thanksgiving dinner has taken its biggest jump in 20 years, but Triangle shoppers say they're finding ways to get around the price rise and keep the cherished tradition.

A 10-person Thanksgiving dinner will cost $49.20 this year, up 13 percent from 2010, estimates the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The cost breaks down:  Grocery Cart Tracker Thumbnail (w/graph) Grocery Cart Tracker

  • $11.06 for sides, such as stuffing, peas and sweet potatoes
  • $2.30 for 12 dinner rolls
  • $3.10 for drinks
  • $11.17 for the ingredients to make a couple pumpkin pies
  • $21.57 for a 16 pound turkey

Clyde Watson, who was shopping at a Food Lion store in Garner, said he won't let rising prices stop his holiday.

"You know this thing called Thanksgiving is a tradition," Watson said. "It's like gas prices. You need it. You have to go with the flow."  WRAL Smart Shopper 400x300 Coupons, deals, more

"I'm still going to eat and spend time with my family at Thanksgiving, like I always do," shopper Lisa Aaron agreed.

Coupons are a good way to cut your bill for Thanksgiving dinner.

Food Lion manager Rodney Jackson said he and his wife shopped at his store and used coupons to cut their $144 bill. Thanksgiving dinner costs more Thanksgiving dinner costs more

"With coupons, her MVP card, buying our private-brand items, our bill was like $97," Jackson said.

Aaron said her Thanksgiving dinner strategies include asking everyone to bring a dish.

"Everybody just contributes a little bit more, and you keep on going. That's all you can do," she said.

Rising commodity prices and higher demand around the world – particularly for turkeys – are to blame for the higher costs, according to the AFBF.

The prices were reported by 141 volunteer shoppers in 35 states. It was the AFBF's 26th Thanksgiving dinner survey.


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  • barbstillkickin Nov 22, 2011

    Going up up up and we keep going down down down. Wonder if we will ever meet in the middle. No I doubt that because prices never fall and with Obama our money will never grow just keep going down. Now he wants government to decrease salaries for the lower employees but not the politicians or upper management.

  • affirmativediversity Nov 21, 2011

    Well everyone knows this is just an illusion...after all the federal government has told us that their has been zero cost of living increases since Obama took office AND everyone knows the prices of houses has actually gone down...

    I wonder how long it takes to cook a house?

  • mmtlash Nov 21, 2011

    we are heading to C&H cafeteria in Durham on Thanksgiving as we have done for the past few's a great value and there's not all the kitchen cleanup afterwards!

    Still doing the homecooked Christmas though

  • udaycoosay Nov 21, 2011

    Food doesn't count in the calculation of inflation, so ignore any rises in price. Everything is fine.

  • affirmativediversity Nov 21, 2011

    "Price of Thanksgiving dinner going up"

    "Going up"???? How about "HAS WENT UP"...along with the price of bread, milk, meat, vegetables (fresh and frozen), clothing and gas!


    I, and many others, would like to take this opportunity to say WE TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!

  • couponwife Nov 21, 2011

    Harris Teeter ran a promotion for $0.49 a pound a week or two ago (with $40 grocery purchase). I know Food Lion ran a similar deal. In local markets, we found regularly priced whole turkey (frozen) for $0.69 a pound - no promotion or time limit. I suggest shopping around, using coupons and store brands / store savings on items you want for your meal, and planning ahead of time. We went to Harris Teeter on Leesville Road this past Sunday, and people at this point are paying an arm and a leg for Turkeys that are already thawed -- they are over TRIPLE the price of the frozen ones - $42 and up for a thawed Turkey! Plan ahead, you can get a whole Thanksgiving meal together for around $25 to $30, maybe less depending on how much you have to buy pre-made. It can be done, check out smartshopper on here for more tips on couponing!!

  • Screw WrAl Nov 21, 2011

    Wait until gas hits $4.00 next spring. You ain't seen the price of nothin' go up yet.

  • mtadish Nov 21, 2011

    Turkey is $2 a pound in Garner. While the stores may offer discount based on your entire bill, this is basically price gouging.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 21, 2011

    Gas and oil prices, along with some screwed up things the goverment is doing are the main thing keeping America from recovery. If gas was to drop to 2.00 a gallon, you would see extra money being spent, and people traveling again, and in turn the economy picking back up a lot quicker.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 21, 2011

    Wait until some get hit with the Duke power rate increase, again, something else that people got to have, so they can control the prices to an extent. We do have some regulators that has to approve the rate increase, but for some reason, this is not the case with gas. Funny thing is, we're told by the goverment to cut fuel cost, the demand drops and now the gas companies increase the prices to maintain their profit margin. It does not matter how much gas is saves, even if people didn't drive for a week, the price of gas would only go up higher to maintain profit. Less demand for gas now at 3.50 a gallon than when it was 2.50 a gallon.