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Thanksgiving meal cheaper in Louisiana this year, cheaper than national average

Christa (Burns) Porter

Baton Rouge, La.—Inflation may be hitting grocery prices hard, but your dollar goes farther in Louisiana than in the rest of the country when it’s time to celebrate Thanksgiving. You’re also going to pay less for the classic Thanksgiving meal than last year.

According to a statewide sample of prices for the 37th annual American Farm Bureau Federation Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey, Louisiana residents can expect to spend $13.62 less than the national average for a classic Thanksgiving dinner for ten people. That classic dinner consists of 11 main items, including a turkey, veggie tray, pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes, along with the cost for miscellaneous ingredients like eggs, flour and evaporated milk.

The average cost for those items in Louisiana is $50.43, $6.98 less than last year’s state average of $57.41. The national average according to the American Farm Bureau is $64.05, which is $10.74 higher than last year’s national average.

If you expand the meal to include a ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans, the cost in Louisiana increases $13.31 to $63.74. That’s still $17.56 lower than the national average of $81.30.

“Louisiana farmers and ranchers work hard every day of the year to make sure we can enjoy three square meals a day and celebrate the bounty of harvest during Thanksgiving,” said Louisiana Farm Bureau President Jim Harper. “That said, this has been a tough year for agriculture with high fuel and fertilizer prices and weather disasters across the state.”

According to the USDA, the farmer’s share of every dollar spent on food is 16 cents. This year, the farmer’s share of a classic Thanksgiving dinner in Louisiana is only $8.07.

The overall cost for Thanksgiving dinner may be less in Louisiana, but shoppers here can expect to pay 27 cents more than the national average for a gallon of milk and $1.65 more than the national average for cube stuffing. However, Louisiana shoppers pay considerably less than the national average for the turkey and sweet potatoes. The average price in Louisiana for a 16 pound turkey is $9.12 less than the national average and Louisiana shoppers pay $1.33 less for three pounds of sweet potatoes.

“We’re really blessed to pay less for these items here in Louisiana,” said Louisiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Michele Simoneaux. “Thanksgiving may be a holiday, but many of the farmers and ranchers in the state will be working that Thursday. On our farm, we’re in the middle of sugarcane harvest and I know many ranchers who will be tending their herds that morning and night.”

Here is a compiled list of the average price for each survey item from Louisiana.

  • Frozen, Self-Basting Young Tom Turkey: $19.84
  • Cube Stuffing (Herb Seasoned), 14 oz. package: $5.53
  • Enriched Brown & Serve Rolls, 12 oz./12 per package: $2.82
  • Fresh Sweet Potatoes, 3 lbs: $2.63
  • Veggie Tray (carrots and celery) 1 lb: $0.76
  • Whole Milk, 1 gal: $4.11
  • Pumpkin Pie Filling, 30 oz. can: $3.28
  • Fresh Cranberries, 12 oz. package: $1.91
  • Whipping Cream, 1/2 pint carton: $1.79
  • Frozen Green Peas, 16 oz. package: $1.23
  • 9" Frozen Pie Shells, 2 per package: $2.40
  • Miscellaneous ingredients (Eggs, Flour, Evaporated Milk): $4.13
  • Ham, 4 lbs.: $8.43
  • Russet Potatoes, 5 lb. bag: $3.53
  • Frozen Green Beans, 1 lb.: $1.44

Founded in 1921, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing more than 136,000 member families

Fredrick Louis is a native of Monroe, Louisiana and has worked in and around Northeast Louisiana for more than 40 years. He graduated from Wossman High School and then went on to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics. Following that, he attended Grambling State University where he received his M.A.T. He loves the city of Monroe and is always looking for a way to serve in the community. That love for community has led him to a 10-year career in teaching. He has worked in both the Monroe City and Ouachita Parish school systems. He was also a candidate for mayor in 2020 and has used that experience to show his students that you can do anything you want and that the only failure is not trying.