The year 2020 may not have been the best of times for most people unless your last name is Bezos or Musk. Millions lost their jobs, 250,000 people have died amid the pandemic, and the nation is about to receive a collective aneurysm trying to comprehend anything Joe Biden says. But one of the reasons Thanksgiving is the greatest American annual tradition is that you spotlight even the smallest of positives and showcase your gratitude at the dinner table. Unsure what to be grateful for? Consider this: The cost of a Thanksgiving meal is cheaper this year than in 2019. Chew on that!
Gobbling Up the Savings
According to a yearly study from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people fell 4% this year. The 35th annual report examined the shopping list from the organization’s informal survey. That list included turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, and pumpkin pie, whipped cream, coffee, and milk. All quantities were sufficient for ten individuals.
The researchers discovered that the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is still affordable in 2020: $46.90, or less than $5 per person. This is down $2.01 from last year’s average of $48.91, and it represents the lowest reading since 2010.
The Thanksgiving centerpiece – turkey – has an average price-tag of $19.39, which is equal to $1.21 per pound. This is down 7% from a year ago, also the lowest in a decade.
“The average [nominal] cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is the lowest since 2010,” said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton in a statement. “Pricing whole turkeys as ‘loss leaders’ to entice shoppers and move product is a strategy we’re seeing retailers use that’s increasingly common the closer we get to the holiday.”
It should also be noted that the time cost – the measurement in time worked at the average hourly wage for private-sector workers – is only 1.91 hours, down 8.2% from 2.08 hours a year ago. This is the lowest figure since the AFBF report was started in 1986. Put simply, you only need to work less than two hours to afford a delicious, amazing, and filling Thanksgiving turkey dinner with your loved (or hated) ones.
Why the Pluck?
If food inflation is rampant throughout the U.S., then why is a Thanksgiving dinner not more expensive?
For one thing, there is a massive supply of turkeys at the supermarket right now, and since pandemic-induced panic buying did not occur, demand is not strong enough to create a shortage. Another factor is that cost-conscious shoppers are doing more to save on their grocery bills, primarily because they are leaving the stores with less money in their wallets. As a result, consumers are utilizing mobile applications, employing price-matching tactics, and taking advantage of special promotions or couponing. It is worth pointing out, too, that farmers have done a tremendous job embracing the latest technological advancements, a trend that has helped limit price inflation over the years.
As you sit at the dinner table, it might be time to give a special thanks to technology for saving you a couple of bucks for that delightful and festive meal you are imbibing. Now, pass the tiny fried onions.
A Time to be Thankful
Liberty Nation has written regularly in the past few months about the COVID-19 inflation bomb that is set to explode. From fiscal stimulus and relief to money-printing, the cost of living will inevitably – and dramatically – increase. It is not so much for the goods and services that we do not need but rather for the things we must have to survive, whether it is food or shelter. Thankfully, your turkey dinner gave you a reprieve from both the coronavirus-related chaos and anxiety and the higher consumer price index (CPI). So, before you engage in a tax policy dispute with your aunts and uncles or nieces and nephews – or participate in the Feats of Strength, if that is your thing – be thankful as cluck for a moment!
Read more from Andrew Moran.