The price of Thanksgiving: How much does a 2020 Thanksgiving meal cost?

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — This weekend, many shoppers will visit grocery stores looking to fill their carts with Thanksgiving-feast ingredients.

Recently, the American Farm Bureau released its 35th annual survey that lists the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal. WDHN visited a local grocery store to see how accurate that report is.

According to the American Farm Bureau, the average cost of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 in 2020 is just under $46.90. This is a $2.01 decrease from 2019’s average of $48.91.

The Farm Bureau credits that decline to turkeys being listed as “loss leaders,” meaning retailers offer lower prices on popular food items in hopes shoppers will buy other items (like side dish ingredients) too.

“We have a program in the deli where you can buy a turkey and you get a dinner with sides around it,” said Winn Dixie Store Manager Marvin Ligon. “We pre-order those every year and it seems that we have already sold those to every customer before our designated time.”

So far, it would seem like that sale strategy is working. Despite lower sales concerns, Dothan’s northside Winn Dixie location says it has seen a high demand for turkeys and hams.

“We would expect sales on turkeys to decrease, but it didn’t,” Ligon said. “It went the opposite direction.”

Ligon says that’s an important piece of information.

“That told me that customers are still going to have turkeys for dinner, have hams for Thanksgiving,” Ligon explained. “They’re going to gather, they’re going to get with their families and going to cook out at home.”

But what about the price of my own four member family? How much would I have to spend? On my list, a turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffing, pie mix, and a few other staples.

All together: $42.17.

Just five dollars below that average 10-person meal.

For more information about this year’s Thanksgiving meal cost, visit the Farm Bureau’s website.

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