Cost of Thanksgiving dinner rises in Arizona

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Turkeys are a little more expensive this year in Arizona and across the country. (National Turkey Federation)

The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner in Arizona has gone up about 10% since 2019.

That contrasts with a nationwide drop of about 6%, according to American Farm Bureau, which annually tracks the price of food items typically included in a Thanksgiving meal.

In Arizona’s case, the cost of $47.02 to serve dinner to a family gathering of 10 people is a jump of $4.34 in the past year. The national average of $46.90 is a $2 decrease from last year.

“An increase makes us hunt for the item that rose the most from last year, but the average cost for a classic Thanksgiving dinner remains affordable for most Arizona families,” said Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director Julie Murphree, who grew up in Maricopa.

“If we break it down per person at $4.70, we realize how reasonable the 2020 Thanksgiving meal can be for the average family. Considering this outlier year, I’m encouraged that the other meat item, ham, is down and that at least our sweet items are down, like pumpkin pie.”

A 16-pound turkey in Arizona averaged $14.08, or 88 cents per pound. That is up from $11.68. Ham is $2.27 per pound, down from $2.31. Meanwhile, milk is up 5%, stuffing is up 20%, sweet potatoes are down 4%, pumpkin pie filling is down 2% and fresh cranberries are up 11%.

This year’s national average cost was calculated using more than 230 surveys completed with pricing data from all 50 states. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers were encouraged to check prices online using grocery store apps and websites due to the pandemic. They looked for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.