The average Thanksgiving Day dinner this year will cost $US49.04,
44 cents less than it did in 2012.
The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the cost of Thanksgiving around the country every year based on feeding 10 people a meal with a 16-pound turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, carrots, celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee with milk.
But what would the same dinner have cost a century ago?
The Morris County Library in New Jersey researched the advertised prices of common Thanksgiving goods from November 18-22, 1911 in the NJ newspaper, The Daily Record. They discovered the cost of everything from sweet potatoes to plum pudding on the newspaper’s old microfilm, and shared it with Business Insider.
Here’s what a Thanksgiving dinner would have cost in 1911:
Turkey: $US.28/pound ($4.48 for a 16-pounder)
Bread stuffing: $US.05/pound
Sweet potatoes: $US.29/6 quart basket
Rolls (bread): $US.05/pound
Carrots: $US.25/6 quart basket
Pumpkin pie: (milk, eggs, flour, sugar, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon) ~$.84 to make (recipe)
Whipped cream: n/a
Total cost: ~$6.81
Of course, these prices don’t take inflation into account: That measly-seeming $US6.81 suddenly jumps to a staggering $US165.29 when you consider inflation (calculated here for 2012 prices).
It’s mostly due to the sheer size of the turkey, since a 16-pounder in 1911 prices would cost roughly $US110 today (This year, the same-sized turkey would $US21.76, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation).
See the full list of prices from New Jersey in 1911 over at the Morris County Library website, and be thankful that your turkey this year didn’t cost over $US100.
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