by Anthony Hennen
The cost for Thanksgiving dinner has crept up, as has the gas Pennsylvanians buy to get to their relatives.
“The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird,” the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau said in a price report. “That’s $1.81 per pound, up 21% from last year, due to several factors beyond general inflation.”
The bureau considered the average Thanksgiving feast to be 10 people and will cost $64.05 in the commonwealth, an almost $11 increase from last year’s average of $53.31.
On the bright side, by mid-November, many grocery store chains began discounting frozen turkey prices; the drops were from $1.81 per pound by the end of October to 95 cents by last week. Families who waited to buy a turkey would have a more-affordable Thanksgiving meal.
Inflation has driven up prices, the Farm Bureau noted, as well as supply chain issues and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Farm Bureau’s Thanksgiving meal included turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk. It also estimated costs if ham, russet potatoes, and frozen green beans were included, which would boost costs to $81.30; compared to a year ago, those extras have had an 18% price increase.
Regionally, the South had the most affordable Thanksgiving meal ($58.42) while prices were highest in the West ($71.37).
Gas prices, too, haven’t let up. Pennsylvania’s average gallon of gas costs $4, compared to last year’s average of $3.59 – an 11% increase. However, gas is much cheaper than on the Fourth of July weekend, when prices were just under $4.90.
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Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.