Thanksgiving 2019 is in the books, the plates have been cleaned up and put into their respective cupboards, to never see the light of day until Thanksgiving 2020. People waddle on home full of Turkey and mashed potatoes. They go to bed early in order to get some shut eye before waking up, to brave the mall, and big box stores in order to take advantage of all the sales that are sure to be occurring at 3am. Surely spending much more then they ever intended to spend on these sales. Thanks in part because that wonderful Thanksgiving dinner that you were sure costed a fortune was actually very reasonable.
According to the 34th annual survey from the American Farm Bureau regarding Thanksgiving dinner prices, in 2019 it costed $48.91 for a 10 person dinner. Which if you can do simple math works out to $4.89 a head. Keep in mind that this includes more than just the Turkey. In fact it includes all the trimmings like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries and a veggie tray, also including desserts like pie and perhaps a cup of coffee. This inevitably leads me to believe that instead of going out to restaurants with our families that we should make Thanksgiving style dinner every week or so. Just think of how much money you could save by doing that? Although, it would require you to actually hang out with your extended family more than most would like to. And this modest price isn’t even that much of a jump from 2018, going up only a singe cent, which is staggering in a world where a the price of a house seems to increase 10% every single year.
What’s even more staggering is that the price, when accounting for inflation, has barely budged since 2001. The inflation adjusted price (accounting for inflation since 1985, the first year of the study), has barely risen, oscillating in the range of $15 and $20 dollars since 2001. In my opinion the reason for this is the advances in food production over time, I really don’t have anything to back this up, but stuffing, apple pie, mashed potatoes are much easier to produce and get to the super market for people to purchase. Also turkeys are not an endangered species and are (at least to my understanding) easily found in the United States, making the prices relatively stable over time.
In conclusion, you can take to heart that your Thanksgiving dinner will be reasonably priced even though pretty much nothing else is. It was very surprising to me that something besides T.V.’s has been keeping up with inflation and in some years actually going down in others, when compared with inflation. This means that the American consumer can still put on a great Thanksgiving celebration on a budget. They can even wake up super early and take part in Black Friday sales that are sure to occur the next morning. Or maybe just sleep in and buy presents for Christmas at a normal hour?