The average cost of a Thanksgiving meal
With Black Friday, December gift shopping and winter travel, it's easy to forget about another holiday cost: the price tag on a Thanksgiving dinner.
In 2015, average American families will spend $50.11 for their Thanksgiving spread. That's more than twice as much as they spent in 1987, when a 10-person turkey dinner cost just $24.51, according to data from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The cost breakdown includes average prices for a dozen dishes, from sweet potatoes ($3.57 for three pounds) to green peas ($1.52 for one pound) to stuffing ($2.61 for 14 ounces). And a 16-pound frozen turkey? The bird of the season will run Americans an average of $23.04, up from $21.65 last year.
Of course, most of the upward trend can be explained by inflation. In 2010 dollars, the Turkey Day bill has held remarkably steady, sticking around $45 for much of the last two decades.
And once again, this all assumes you don't pour just a little more freely during the holidays. For the disciplined, cost-conscious family, take these estimates at face value. But as long as we're talking about "average Americans," consider adjusting for real-world conditions. Trust us: You'll be glad you spent the extra $20 as you dive into your third piece of pumpkin pie.