The shopping trip—or trips—before Thanksgiving sure can be a doozy. Not only do you have to remember all of the many ingredients, but you have to do the math to ensure that you buy enough for everyone to enjoy their dinners. Because of these factors, it’s easy to lose sight of the cost of your purchases—especially when you’re just trying to make it through all the stress. However, if you examine this breakdown of 2018 Thanksgiving spending, you may be able to curb your costs—or at least dole out some interesting facts in between dinner and dessert.

Typical cost of a Thanksgiving dinner

A dinner out on the town can run you a fair bit of money. Well, so can your 2018 Thanksgiving spending. The typical person estimates that he or she will pay $175.65 for the holiday. This marks a little more than a $10 increase from the prior, meaning that Americans are less likely to scale down this year than to trim their turkey-based budget.

Good news: at least with all those leftovers, you’ll be eating for days, making your meal more cost-effective than you may anticipate.

Cost of travel

On Thanksgiving, you usually have two choices: cooking a delicious meal at home or piling into the car to visit relatives or friends for dinner. If the second option is your choice, it means that you have to add even more money to your budget.

After all, with the prices of gas, car maintenance, and even potentially hotels, you’ll have to shell out more money in order to chow down on mashed potatoes and pie. This year, if you’re making the journey to someone else’s home for a Turkey Day meal, you have the company of 51 million others who are in the same boat—or rather, car, plane, or train.

What about the cost? Typically, Thanksgiving travel ekes out a price of $36.88 per traveler. It may not cost as much as the meal, but that’s still a substantial cost just to make it to the table.


Now that you know all about 2018 Thanksgiving spending, it’s time to get started on Thanksgiving eating. Enjoy your Turkey Day—and all the delicious food that comes with it.

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