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Thanksgiving Costs -where you are, 2012

Just curious about costs for other hounds around the country! How many people are you feeding and what has been your food and drink costs this year? What part of the country?

I am hosting 11 people this year and I have just returned from my "big" shopping day. I still have odds and ends to pick up though...I am not done quite yet.....and I also felt it necessary to restock some basic booze (vodka, gin, etc) "just in case" so that inflates my total by about 150 bucks.

I am asking family members to contribute some extra wine, beer and pop. One daughter is bringing a special yam dish, otherwise, I am providing all the food-the apps, an immense dinner with 2 small turkeys and 4 different desserts, with some specialty items for 2 vegetarians and a gluten free which contributed to the costs.

Also, 4 adult children are staying through the weekend, so I still need to plan a bit more for that.

So far, my tally is right around $500.00 for 11 people in Washington state.

What is yours? If you are not hosting but needing to bring "dessert for 12" or something, I am interested in those costs too.

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  1. I have not done the shop yet, doing that Thursday, but I expect for 10 people It will cost $75 without th turkey, I am catering for a my boss and he already bought the turkey, think it cost $60 but am not sure. I am keeping it cheap as it is for catering and its for people that don't celebrate thanksgiving, and am doing cost effective dishes like braised cabbage, sautéed string beans, a carrot dish and smashed potatoes, plus turkey, stuffing, gravy and apple crisp for dessert. I have not factored in alcohol cost by I am sure by boss will just buy a couple bottles of wine so not too expensive.

    1. $94 for dinner for 5. That included 2 bottles of lower-mid price wine, 14# frozen turkey, 2 different appetizers, six sides, and pecan bars for dessert.

      But there will be leftovers for days, and since I will have guest for days it goes towards it.

      1. Pretty inexpensive.
        Turkey: I don't know exactly yet, but under $10. I am going to pick up a small ( 10 lbs-ish) fresh one on Wednesday, and I have a coupon for $15 off any turkey, so probably free.
        Stuffing: 2 loaves of bread for $5; celery, 99 cents, onions, I don't know...always have on hand, butter, about 75 cents, so, maybe 7 or 8 dollars.
        Gravy: Pretty much free. a few cents worth of flour and some wine.
        Mashed potatoes: Russets were on sale last week for $1.89 for a 5-lb bag
        Sweet potatoes: $2.50
        Cranberry sauce: 2 bags of cranberries for $5, maybe 50 cents worth of sugar, and a little bit of wine...$2.50?
        Broccoli casserole: haven't bought the broccoli yet, will get it fresh on Wednesday, but another 75 cents worth of butter, about $2 worth of cheese, and a sleeve of Ritz crackers, 75 cents?
        Brussels sprouts: $3 per pound, so maybe $5...(also haven't bought them yet)
        Relish tray: Have the only pickles we will eat always on hand, I think they are like $3 per jar, and bought Kalmata olives at the olive bar for $7/pound.
        My mom is bringing banana and cranberry bread.
        I will make pumpkin bread, which probably costs, I don't know, like $3 per loaf to make.
        Apple pie...maybe another $5 or $6?
        Pumpkin pie....maybe $ 4 per pie? (guessing, never costed out all the ingredients,,,usually have most things on hand)
        wine...4 bottles....about $40
        vodka for pre-dinner cocktails...$15
        We are having 5 adults and 3 kids, there will be lots of leftovers....I came up with an estimated total of around $100..Really not bad at all.
        .(.I also forgot to add oysters, they were $11 for a pint, and I will use a couple of dollars worth of bread crumbs, cream and butter to make the scalloped oysters.)

        1. I'm in Massachusetts. Looks like we'll be 5-7, with a couple of little kids. I expect total cost to run around $150.

          Groceries (without turkey) today, including appetizer stuff like cheeses, pita chips olives, nuts, stuff for crudites/dipping plus veggies for cooking (acorn and butternut squash, fresh green beans, carrots, onions etc), plus fixings for lasagna (sausage, ricotta, spinach, noodles, etc), and three bottles of wine (two red, one white, all under $15 a bottle) and sundries (whipping cream, sour cream, coffee, eggs, Advil, etc) totalled $110.
          Add on the turkey and whatever I've forgotten, and I think I'm looking at $150-ish.

          1. We are in the South, this year it's just the 3 of us and while I haven't shopped yet it won't be much. I have a turkey in the freezer that was bought awhile ago and I only need to buy a few things as I have a well stocked pantry. So cranberries, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, shallots, celery, sausage and scallions. Maybe a couple other things, I have everything else.

            1. We will be 5 for dinner this year... suburban NYC
              Turkey (Butterball frozen) was $13.00
              Sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, bread, eggs, pumpkin, condensed milk, orange juice, cranberries: about $30
              Drinks (wine, soda and sparkling cider): about $45
              I also bought a pound of coffee, so that was $10, but it won't all be used at the meal.
              I have a well stocked pantry with flour, butter, spices etc so I didn't need to buy much else for the recipes I'm making. And someone is supposed to being salad and apps, so I think I fared pretty well.

              1. Queens, NY. I just did my shopping for 3 adults and spent about $75 on Thanksgiving related foods. However, the amounts I'm making are probably adequate for 8-10 - I want lots of leftovers. That total doesn't include the price of a turkey, however - I did a big shopping to get to $150 in one trip, which netted me a free 20-lb bird. The cheapest I've seen turkey around me is $1 per pound for Butterballs at Costco, so I figured doing all my shopping at once saved me at least $20, and more if I were to pay the price my local stores are asking for turkey ($2.29/lb for a generic frozen bird!). If I add the cost of the wine and beer we'll probably end up drinking, it will be more like $100.

                1 Reply
                1. re: biondanonima

                  Yes, I actually bought 2 (12 pound) turkeys, then got a free 20+ pound Butterball when I finished my shopping on a punch card. Looks like I will be cooking another sometime in March!

                2. I have 8 coming, 6 adults 2 kids. I'm not quite done w/ shopping and I don't really know the totals since I've been getting deals like a 15lb bag of russet potatoes for $3, and I won't be using all of them for Tgiving. I've been buying for the past few weeks along with my every day shopping too, so hard to separate it out. Highlights though: 14lb Safeway brand turkey for $8. 5lbs of organic jewel yams for 88 cents a lb. Mini-marshmallows 49 cents a bag. 1lb of white button mushrooms for around $3.50.

                  Overall I think I'll have it done for around $100 or less though. My cousin is bringing her cranberry sauce and green beans, and aunt is bringing a chocolate cheesecake, so that helps the costs a little bit.

                  I live in Colorado near Denver, and shop at Sprouts, Safeway, and King Soopers.

                  1. My guess is about $1000 when it's all said and done. That's for 10 adults.

                    I'm in Virginia.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                      I think I'll be about the same with 20 adults (maybe $750) and I'm in Maryland.

                      1. re: Christina D

                        The turkey and the booze are what bring our tab up so high.

                    2. We were in Croatia as we always are for Canadian Thanksgiving. This year we ate at a spectacular restaurant where we spent about $200 CDN. But usually we just cook at our house there. The food is usually grilled squid, langoustines and scallops which is far removed froom traditional Thanksgiving eats! :) We may have some friends over so in that situation the bill would be about $100. Just us? Maybe $30. We have not had a traditional turkey meal (including Christmas) for years. In Canada we celebrate holidays with duck, goose, lamb, porchetta, etc. We are pretty untraditional.

                      Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbours to the South! :)

                      1. I haven’t figured the absolute total cost but this year will be expensive one since lobster is going to be the main dish.

                        There will 48 people total (41 adults, 7 children), helps to have a 5700 sq ft home. Out of those people 4 people will be bringing sides, deserts, and other food items off of the menu. The lobsters (25 of them) I will have are being sent from a friend, who gets them from lobster fisherman, on the east coast and were very reasonable in price, they arrive today via fedex - total cost just for the bugs and shipping is $880.

                        My best guess is that I am in about another $800 for the sides and desserts that I am making and my 4 friends are probably close to at least $500 for what they are bringing.

                        So just for food it would it will be close to $ 2200 and if we round up to $ 2500 I think that will cover it all. So this year is about $ 52 per person. However several years ago I did a vietnamese thanksgiving meal, where I purchased all of the food, and I got away with $ 7 per person so it really depends upon the theme of the year.

                        BTW This is a special year, my oldest son made partner and his wife is expecting, middle son finished his residency, youngest son will be graduating top of his class next spring and moving on to his MBA. So we are celebrating all of these accomplishments.

                        BTW I am in Washington state too, and we never figure booze/wine costs. I have a well stocked wine cellar and sometimes we get a little carried away. Last year we opened six different bottles that were valued well north of $ 1000 a piece. But my philosophy is I would rather die with a empty cellar than a full one.