Thanksgiving cost 2019

I’m just curious how much HO folks spent on Thanksgiving. No judgements here (at least from me, and I hope from other posters). I’m talking “all in” costs for the meal - not travel, not per person, not excluding left overs . . . just all in.

I spent $300 (for what ended up being 9 people)

For me that was all the food (appetizers, meal, desserts), wine, plastic (don’t even ask) plates/silverware, everything. It was more than I normally would spend because I had to buy spices, sugar, flour, plastic service items, foil pans, etc, etc, etc - which I would normally have had on hand at home (or used real dishes and baking pans).

I’m curious because I read all these “the average cost for a thanksgiving meal” and I always think to myself . . . how do they do it for that much. I always make way too much food and have leftovers but I want it that way too. (I also know what I spent this year because I was traveling and had to do all my shopping in 2 trips on one day - local grocery chain and WF).

Anyone else up for sharing?

Average cost for 10 people in 2019 . . . . . just under $50

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At the risk of sounding very first world-ish, feeding 10 people for $50 sounds like an challenge to me. Granted, I’m Italian and moderation in food isn’t really in my vocabulary but STILL. I spent at least $20 on the ingredients for 3 pies. I didn’t supply much this year but wine and pies but spent minimally $60.


$450.00 for 23 people at our place including what we brought with us to five other drop in visits that day. Brunch, dinner, snacks, desserts and fire pit tribute the following morning.

I was pleased. My wife has a freezer full of goodies.


I feel like it is a challenge as well - they must have a list of items that they use for consistency from year to year, but I don’t see how it can be done. Now along with that statement is all the privledge that comes along with being able to afford things (I buy an organic turkey for example), etc. which is why I’m curious about the range spent for Onions.

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Bingo. I was thinking about my pies. I bought organic apples, the fancy butter because that crust is all butter and King’s Arthur Flour. That’s a good point.

Also, if you are gearing up for a big meal that you do year over year (and you are a diligent planner), you can buy the items you use in the weeks leading up and get better prices.


Tough to say, because I have a well-stocked pantry and didn’t have to purchase everything in one go. I also purposely cooked far more food than I needed to for four people knowing that I would want leftovers, but I would guess that I could have fed 10 people (might have had to double up on potatoes and vegetables). Here’s what I remember spending:

$15 for a 10 pound turkey (carcass for stock, parts for dinner)
$25 for two 6 lb ducks (carcasses for stock, parts for dinner)
$2.50 for 5 lbs of potatoes
$5 for 1 lb sausage
$6 for 2 lbs of haricots verts
$5 for 2 bulbs of fennel
$5ish for carrots, celery and onions
$3 for a can of pumpkin
$8 for 4 lbs of apples
$10 for 3 lbs of butter (crusts, stuffing, rolls, potatoes - lot of butter!)
$4 for 5 lbs of flour (made my own stuffing bread, rolls and pie crusts)
$4 for 1 quart of cream
$2 for Cool Whip
$5 for appetizers (nuts and olives)
$25 for two bottles of wine (purposely inexpensive)

Adds up to about $100 before wine, and doesn’t include things I already had on hand, including sugar, salt, yeast, herbs, lemons, vinegar, cooking wine, garnishes and homegrown things (garlic, elderberries, etc.). $50 for 10 people - not the way I cook, and definitely not with wine! I could see it being possible in a lower COLA and if you get the turkey really cheap or free.


Didn’t even add it up! We too are fortunate in that we can pull out all the stops for holidays, so to speak. I do keep a lot of staples on hand, so it could have been worse, cost wise. What with the specialty stuff for the pumpkin martinis, Proseccos and red wines, as well as everything else, I’m sure it was pretty spendy. H did most of the shopping this year, so I don’t even have a ballpark figure. We didn’t drink the Proseccos, nor much more than a bottle and a half of wine. Guess the pumpkin martinis supplied all the potency we needed! Plenty of leftovers for everyone too.


Good question. My aunt who hosts is not exactly savings-conscious.

Re the $5pp, I think there are more people than not who are cost conscious, buy what they’ll need on significant sale in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and use supermarket promotions that provide free or slashed-cost turkeys based on prior spend. So yes, I think it’s not only possible but likely.

Our family makes choices that drive up cost - organic meat, dairy, and some vegetables, specialty butter, fancy apps, etc.

I think the meal was probably $100 not accounting for pantry herbs and spices - 8 adults (combining kids into adult portions). So 12.50pp, but that yielded leftovers worth 2-3 meals pp too - do we count that? Then it goes down to $4 pp.

Another $30 for charcuterie and cheese provided by the host.

Not counting apps and dessert brought by the rest of us, and not counting wine and beer.

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Not talking about thanksgiving, we don’t have this here. Not even special occasions, I can end up easily a meal party for 4 for 160€ For a three or 4-course meal. A few bottles of wines and drinks, instantly add up the bill. When i organised neighbourhood barbecue parties, we had a tighter budget, it was difficult to charge less than 20€ per person for a 8 -10 person meal (not including drinks, but the price for charcoal was included).

I guess food is expensive in France.


I start shopping for Thanksgiving a month ahead, because that’s when things start going on sale. I’ll look for the sales for the items I need that I can buy and keep. Things like the turkey and herbs are purchased a few days before. I have a well stocked pantry and spice cabinets so I don’t normally factor those into my shopping.

I spent about $85 for 10 people, including plenty of leftovers, and I made 9 items. The biggest expense was $27 for a Fresh turkey from Sprouts. I also spent $10 for 4 lbs of butter. We already had wine at home and my parents brought the pie.


The meals people here (HO) are describing are much more elaborate and extensive than the “basic” version the article is describing. It has turkey, stuffing (probably from a mix), potatoes, one (inexpensive) vegetable, cranberries, and a single dessert. It does not have duck, sausage, fennel, appetizers, four pounds of butter, or wine. In short, it’s what my mother would make, not what an HO foodie would cook.


Ooops, I forgot to include the three (or four?) bottles of prosecco we drank with mimosas during the parade and dog show. No wonder two bottles of wine was enough during dinner! :rofl::wine_glass::champagne:

Exactly. That’s why I’m curious what we spend.


At the risk of sounding third world-ish, here is the breakdown of my Thanksgiving dinner for 6 (enough leftovers so we could have fed 10 like the article).

Large turkey breast - $15
Homemade cornbread dressing - $3
Sweet potato’s - $3
Corn casserole - $2
GBC - $5
Rhodes rolls(frozen) - $2
Cranberry sauce(canned) - $1
Pumpkin pie - $3
Tea - $1
I will even throw in a more than generous $10 for staples on hand like celery , onion, butter, 3 eggs and a few tbsp of sugar. Of course we don’t drink wine and forgo flowers and all that. Just your average everyday Thanksgiving dinner year after year. It’s good. So total me out at $45 and I’m not the least bit embarrassed about it.:slightly_smiling_face:


That menu sounds delicious! Can you post that cornbread dressing recipe?

Color me impressed.

Just crumbled cornbread, chopped onion, celery & apple, dried sage(maybe 2 cents worth🙂) 3 beaten eggs and free drippings from turkey. Mix and bake until golden brown. Delicious.


Thank you🙂

I’ve never had this! It sounds awesome. Thanks

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As my post-Thanksgiving dinner was just for myself, I can guesstimate it was about $5.00 for that specific night.

Total cost for all food - $21.00 - give or take. Didn’t include the ingredients already in my pantry (spices, herbs, flour, sugar, salt/pepper, homemade chicken stock). I ended up having 3 “Thanksgiving plates” from this dinner. I probably could have served 4 people for the $21.00. NOTE: Alcohol not included in pricing, because I always have wine in stock. :slight_smile:

I’ve re-purposed the turkey and mashed sweets into a turkey chili that will give me 4 more meals with all of the add-ins to make it chili.

Pricing is all based on what I’m seeing on Hannaford’s website, although I know I purchased some at Market Basket here in Massachusetts.

5.5 lb. turkey breast - $9.54 (oddly, I remember this exactly)
4 Yukon Gold potatoes for mashed taters, butter & sour cream butter - $1.50
1 very large sweet potato, butter, maple syrup, & ground ginger - maybe $1.00
2 very large carrots, vegetable oil, brown sugar, dried lemon peel, ground ginger - $.50
1/2 lb. green beans - $1.00
1/2 package cranberries - $.75
1/2 Navel orange - $.50
6 apples for pie - $3.00
Pillsbury pie crust - $2.99