How to save money on a Thanksgiving meal

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:47 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many are considering how to budget for a holiday get-together.

The good news is, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Thanksgiving Survey, the price of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people has decreased by 4.5% compared to last year.

However, Senior Farm Bureau Economist Veronica Nigh said there is some bad news.

“When we compare it to 2019, pre-pandemic, pre-supply chain issues, we’re still up 25% compared to the same meal that year,” Nigh said.

Using the extended shopping list from the Farm Bureau’s survey, K8 News conducted our own test. Our team went to Bill’s Cost Plus in Jonesboro to see how much an average Thanksgiving meal would cost.

After completing our shopping, our total was $89.74, which was $4.99 higher than the Farm Bureau extended shopping list cost.

Although that was our final total, the list did not include staples like flour, sugar, or seasonings.

Nigh learned first-hand those extra costs while making a sweet potato casserole for a potluck.

“The pumpkin pie spice that I put in cost more than the sweet potatoes,” Nigh said. “So, absolutely, if you need to replenish those spices, it can add up.”

Nigh said some ways to cut down on your spending include reaching for the cheapest brand of each item, choosing a turkey or ham that weighs less, and shopping at a variety of stores for the best deals.

“Certainly, some stores offer promotions on different items to get you in the store,” Nigh said. “So, if you’re able to shop for some items in some stores and other items in other stores, it could save you some money.”

According to the survey, while most items decreased in price from last year, the cost of dinner rolls, pumpkin pie mix, and sweet potatoes increased. You can read the full survey here.