WI Thanksgiving Meal Cheaper Than U.S. Average

The price of a Thanksgiving meal in Wisconsin is 4.3 percent more this year according to Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s annual Marketbasket survey that rang in at $74.54.

The Marketbasket survey is an informal look at the price of popular food items used to prepare a Thanksgiving meal sufficient to serve 10 people. This survey allows for Wisconsin food prices to be compared with food prices from across the country. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey of the same items showed an 18.3 percent increase over 2021 with prices nationally at $81.30.

“Whether you are in the grocery store or on the farm, inflation is impacting us all,” says WFBF’s Director of Media Relations and Outreach Cassie Sonnentag. “Increased fuel and fertilizer costs are impacting farmers nationwide. At the grocery store we all are seeing a larger number on our receipts. However, the price of a Thanksgiving meal in our state is marginal compared to the national average and that’s something Wisconsinites can be thankful for this holiday.”


Wisconsin’s Thanksgiving Marketbasket survey is an informal, annual review of food price trends in relation to changing farm prices, weather and wholesale and retail food marketing. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members collected price samples of 15 Thanksgiving food items in November.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers were asked to look for the best prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

  Wis. 2021 Wis. 2022 National 2022
Turkey, 16 lbs. 28.48 27.52 28.96
Milk, 1 gallon whole 3.05 3.85 3.84
Cream, half pint 2.04 2.47 2.24
Dinner rolls, 12        2.52 3.02 3.73
Relish tray (1 lb. carrots/celery) 0.78 0.84 0.88
Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.   2.11 2.35 2.57
Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz. 3.74 4.00 4.28
Pie shells (2) 2.58 3.28 3.68
Cube stuffing, 14 oz. 3.14 3.29 3.88
Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs. 2.88 3.06 3.96
Frozen green beans, 1 lb. 1.70 1.80 1.97
Miscellaneous ingredients 3.45 4.13 4.13
Ham, 4 lbs. 10.68 10.56 11.64
Russet potatoes, 5 lbs. 2.62 2.67 3.64
Frozen peas, 16 oz. 1.72 1.70 1.90
TOTAL $71.49 $74.54 $81.30


While national averages for turkey and ham saw significant increases, Wisconsin shoppers have the advantage of regional availability which helped lower the cost of both proteins.

Shoppers looking to reduce their expenditures this Thanksgiving can do so by making locally grown purchases and shopping closer to the holiday.

 “We are fortunate to be regionally close to many Thanksgiving staples, so shoppers are likely to see lower costs on products grown and raised here in Wisconsin,” says Sonnentag. “As we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, we will also likely see lower prices on products due to in-store promotions.”


Despite an increase in price, shoppers can stretch their food dollars to get the most out of the items they are purchasing. Approximately one-third of human food produced in the world is either lost or wasted. Effectively utilizing food items creatively is one way shoppers can get the most out of their Thanksgiving meal this fall.

“Farmers and consumers share the responsibility of using our resources wisely,” said WFBF Director of Sustainability Communications and Partnerships Rachel Gerbitz. “You can reduce food waste at home by sticking to your grocery list, creatively repurposing leftovers or donating unopened, nonperishable food items to your local food pantry.”

Shoppers should also be mindful and understanding of food expiration dates when making purchases this holiday season. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, best-by and sell-by dates are provided by food processors for best quality, but food is often still safe to eat past the printed date.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest farm organization. Made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus, it represents farms of every size, commodity and management style.