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Cost of food and gas both down this Thanksgiving compared to 2022


This Thanksgiving will put a little less stress on Missourian's wallets this year with both food and gas prices reported down from 2022.

Food costs

The average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner is still considered high, but the American Farm Bureau reports prices are down slightly from last year.

Courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation

The average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner for ten is $61.17 this year, or about $6.12 per person according to an annual survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation. This is down about 4.5% from 2022. However, the price is still up about 25% from 2021 when the cost was $53.31.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins said farmers are doing their part to make sure prices stay affordable for consumers, but it continues to be a challenging time in agriculture. However, he said he has been amazed with this year's crop yields despite the ongoing drought.

"When you think about it, when you can do a meal for roughly $6.20 a person, you can't even go to a fast food restaurant anymore and feed each of your kids for $6.20 a person," Hawkins said. "So, overall, it speaks to the phenomenal ag and food supply chain that we have in this country."

The Midwest has the most affordable meal, according to the survey, averaging at $58.66 for 10 people, or about $5.87 per person.

"When you think about supply chains and processing, a lot of that is able to happen closer to home, which ultimately helps cut down the costs that you as a consumer pay at the grocery store," Hawkins said.

The survey said the Thanksgiving turkey has decreased in price from last year, helping the overall cost of dinner to fall. It reports an average 16-pound turkey is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% compared to 2022.

Hawkins said this is because of a rebound in the turkey population after an avian flu outbreak in 2022.

"It's a good sign, but we all continue to experience food-flation, particularly in the middle aisles of our grocery stores," Hawkins said.

Most traditional items are lower in price this year compared to last, including whipping cream and cranberries. In a year-over-year comparison, the only staples increasing in price this year are pumpkin pie mix, veggie trays, rolls and sweet potatoes.

Travel costs

When it comes to travel, AAA reports Missouri has the eighth cheapest gas prices in the country at $2.91 per gallon. The national average is $3.30 per gallon.

"If you're going to be traveling out of state for Thanksgiving, depending where you're headed, you may be better off filling up before you leave Missouri to save a few bucks, rather than filling up when you're on the road," said AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria.

He said gas prices in Missouri are down about 30 cents from last month, and 40 cents compared to this time last year.

In Columbia, gas prices are about $2.99 per gallon, and in Jefferson City it is $3.08 per gallon.

Chabarria said the only travel cost to increase from 2022 is airfare. AAA reports a domestic flight costs about $681, which is up 5% from last year.

"The good news is other facets of travel--hotels, rental cars, cruises, even bookings--everything else is down about 12% to 20% from last year," Chabarria said. "But, we know those airfare tickets are up just a bit."

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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