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Thanksgiving Dinner for $5

Oh, the ways you could spend a fiver. A Big Mac. A Footlong Subway sandwich. A grande vanilla soy latte. Or how about a Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk?


The American Farm Bureau Federation released its 27th annual report on the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner. The grand total this year is only $4.95 per person. Families that budget their spend on groceries may not be surprised at this total. For folks who’ve never really thought about how much a typical home-cooked meal costs, this is a brilliant reminder of how far your dollar can get you when you cook at home, instead of eating out.

Other interesting stats from the Farm Bureau’s survey? The total cost of Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 10 averages $49.48, which is a 28 cent increase from last year’s average of $49.20. What drove the increase? Apparently the country’s demand for turkey was greater this year, driving the average price up 6.7%. Otherwise, Americans have seen relatively stable food prices over the year.

The Bureau’s survey is based on 155 volunteer shoppers in 35 states. The shoppers look for the lowest prices, but do not take into account special promotions or deals. This means that shoppers who do take advantage of special promotions should be able to do just as well or better.

John Anderson, the Farm Bureau’s deputy chief economist, says that deals may be available for those who have the patience to wait to purchase their turkey  the best turkey deals often show up just before Thanksgiving.

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