As you loosen your belt this Thanksgiving you might as well reach for your wallet, too — the cost of the traditional holiday meal has increased since last year.
In Virginia, the average cost for a typical Thanksgiving meal for 10 adults comes in at a total of $64.42, according to an informal price survey by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
That comes out to a total of $6.42 per person.
This average represents an increase of $11.94, or 22%, from last year’s average of $52.30.
One of the primary reasons for the price spike was a more comprehensive survey compared to previous years that had focused more on the Richmond area, said Wilmer Stoneman, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation vice president of agriculture, development and innovation.
“The primary reason for our price going up was we did a better job of geographically distributing our survey,” he said.
Volunteer shoppers around the state bought the items without using any promotions or coupons.
From two volunteer shoppers in Danville, the average cost of a Danville Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is $59.87, which translates to $5.99 per person.
According to the survey, a traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, rolls, carrots, green beans, peas, celery, cranberries, milk and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
On average, a 16-pound turkey costs $23.35 in Virginia, which translates to about $1.65 per pound. This comes in significantly higher than last year’s average of $1.29 per pound.
Part of that spike is based on the better geographic coverage of the survey, Stoneman said. The national survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation found turkey prices are at a 10-year low, after dropping 4% from last year to $20.80 for a 16-pound turkey.
Across the state, Williamsburg had the highest average at $90.68, while Hanover County had the lowest at $40.26.
The American Farm Bureau Federation found nationally, the average cost for a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people costs $48.91, just a one-cent increase from last year.
“The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is essentially unchanged from last year, after three years of decline since 2015,” John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a news release.
Ayers reports for the Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 791-7981.