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Report: Thanksgiving dinners a little cheaper for Hoosiers this year

Photo of a Thanksgiving dinner party sitting around the turkey. (Photo by Kirk Mckoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hoosiers can expect to see lower grocery prices when preparing their Thanksgiving meals this year.

A report by the Indiana Farm Bureau released Wednesday shows that grocery shoppers in Indiana will spend around 10% less at the store than around the holiday in 2022.

According to the bureau’s Thanksgiving market basket survey, the average shopper pays around $54.64 on Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people, or roughly $5.46 per person.

This price is based on a full shopping basket including a “16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, a vegetable tray, milk, cranberries, whipped cream, pumpkin pie ingredients, and miscellaneous baking items.”

Of the dinner items mentioned, more than half are less expensive than in 2022, especially the turkey, whipped cream, and cranberries.

The report also says that some items did increase in price, with the largest hike being for pumpkin pie filling and frozen peas.

Todd Davis, chief economist with Indiana Farm Bureau, says part of the decrease is thanks to the lower cost of turkeys. A Thanksgiving turkey is approximately $1.38 per pound, or $22.11 for a 16-pound turkey. That is around a 21% decrease from 2022, the report says.

Davis said, “The Midwest region had the least expensive market basket at an average price of $58.66. Three out of the five top turkey-producing states are located in the Midwest, with Indiana ranking fourth. The concentration of turkey production in this region provides lower processing and marketing costs, which efficiently gets the turkey from the farm to the hands of the consumer.”

The report also says that though Thanksgiving meals are cheaper, Indiana shoppers are paying around 28% more at the grocery store than in 2019.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the food-at-home consumer price index from January through October 2023, a measure of price changes at the grocery store, increased 4.9% year-over-year. For perspective, food-at-home annual costs for 2022 increased 11.4%,” the release says.

Where does Indiana rank in average Thanksgiving meal cost?

Another report by MoneyGeek, a personal finance website, ranked Indiana as the 73rd cheapest state when purchasing Thanksgiving meal items.

MoneyGeek’s study looked at 116 major U.S. cities, and determined which cities had the most and least expensive total cost for the dinner. Their study included refreshments like non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and wine in their estimate, whereas the Indiana Farm Bureau study did not.

Indiana fell right in the middle at 73rd, with an average total cost for a Thanksgiving meal including refreshments around $130.

The study ranked Seattle, Washington, as the most expensive city with a total cost of approximately $176. Seattle was followed by Honolulu, Hawaii, whose estimate was about $160.

The least expensive city for Thanksgiving meals was Brownsville and Harlingen, Texas, which averaged a cost of $121.61.