Where is Thanksgiving most expensive? Residents in these US cities expect to pay more


Thanksgiving dinner won't be as pricey as last year, but shoppers across the U.S. can expect to pay a hefty price compared to pre-pandemic years.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost to feed 10 people at Thanksgiving is $61.17, a 4.5% decrease from last year’s record-high average of $64.05. But this year's cost is still 25% higher than in 2019.

Labor and food production costs contribute to the increasing cost of produce this year, and food production costs are estimated to increase by 4.1%.

"While inflation is not as extreme as last year, it is still present and grocery store prices have still been somewhat variable," Bernt Nelson, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, told USA TODAY in an email.

But how does the price tag of a Thanksgiving dinner vary based on location? Let's break it down.

The most and least expensive areas for Thanksgiving dinner

According to MoneyGeek, a personal finance site, the most expensive metropolitan area for a Thanksgiving meal is Seattle, Washington. In the Seattle metro area, a 10-pound fresh turkey, side dishes, and beverages like beer and wine average out to be $176. Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area in Oregon are the second and third most expensive locations in the U.S. for a turkey dinner.

The most affordable spot for a Thanksgiving meal is in the Brownsville-Harlingen and El Paso, Texas areas, where costs fall under $125.

Top 10 most expensive Thanksgiving meals by location

According to average retail grocery price data analyzed by MoneyGeek, Thanksgiving ingredients from these locations are the most expensive:

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (average total meal cost is $175.74)
  • Urban Honolulu, HI (average total meal cost is $160.36)
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (average total meal cost is $159.94)
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY
  • Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  • Boise City, ID
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Top 10 most affordable locations for a Thanksgiving meal

  • Brownsville-Harlingen, TX (average total meal cost $121.61)
  • Springfield, MO (average total meal cost $122.45)
  • El Paso, TX (average total meal cost $122.75)
  • St. Louis MO-IL
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR
  • Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  • Evansville, IN-KY
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Tulsa, OK

Location and the cost of Thanksgiving side dishes

Although turkey prices are decreasing, side dishes are not following similar trends. Thanksgiving side dishes are expected to be 4% more expensive in 2023 compared to last year.

This is particularly true in the Seattle, Washington metro area where, purchasing two store-bought pumpkin pies will cost around $21, according to MoneyGeek. In St. Louis, Missouri, the same two pies cost $9.

How much did Thanksgiving ingredients cost in 2023?

According to the most recent data available, here is how much individual Thanksgiving ingredients cost in 2023.

  • 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6% from 2022)
  • 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8% from 2022)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9% from 2022)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8% from 2022)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1% from 2022)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9% from 2022)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4% from 2022)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7% from 2022)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6% from 2022)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3% from 2022)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3% from 2022)

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