Thanksgiving dinner gobbles up more cash, survey finds

The average Thanksgiving meal for 10 people will cost $49.41 this year, survey says

Expect to pay a bit more for a Thanksgiving meal this year, but a full belly isn’t about to break the bank.

That’s according to an annual survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation, which found that the average feast for 10 people now costs $49.41, a 37-cent rise from 2013.

The higher prices are largely due to more expensive sweet potatoes, dairy products and pumpkin pie mix, the trade group said.

Three pounds of sweet potatoes now cost an average $3.56, 20 cents more than in 2013.

Turkeys, however, became less expensive. The average 16-pound turkey will cost $21.65, 11 cents cheaper than last year.

Lower energy costs have allowed retailers to sell the birds for less and use cheaper turkeys as an incentive to drive customers to stores, said Bob Young, the agriculture group’s chief economist.

Despite the slight overall increase for 2014, the price for a Thanksgiving meal has held steady in recent years — around $49 since 2011.

The trade group defines the typical Thanksgiving meal as including turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. For drinks, there's coffee and milk.

And don’t worry, the farm group says that its estimates allow for plenty of leftovers.

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11:20 a.m.: This post has been updated with detail about turkey prices.

This post was first published at 8:43 a.m.