To those of you with a heart of gold, you have a simple answer to the title question: priceless. Thanksgiving is that one time of year where all Americans transform a simple Thursday into a food and travel frenzy, celebrating with good cheer and all that. For some, that experience is figuratively priceless, but for the rest of us cynics, it does come with a very real price.
Here's the good news: according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual price survey, the price of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 in 2016 dropped by $0.24 from last year. Woo! The price of an average turkey? About $1.42 per pound. That means, eat to your heart's content.
Well, careful. If you're looking to save some extra money this holiday season, here are some great swaps to keep you out of the red.
1. Avoid foods with price hikes.
The price evaluation saw a few items whose prices were hiked up a little bit, including "brown-and-serve" rolls, pie shells, green peas, fresh cranberries, whipping cream, cubed bread stuffing, and sweet potatoes. Alright, while we know these are Thanksgiving staples, try baking your own rolls and purchasing frozen veggies. Be creative and make something magical. Here's some inspiration.
2. Forget the paper plates.
We know that paper plates and napkins are super convenient, especially for your messy guests. And even though it's much easier to take out a sack of garbage than it is to wash a huge pile of dishes, it will save you some impact on the environment, and it will also cost about 5 cents less. That's a deal!
3. Don't get on the first flight you see.
For those of you that have yet to book your tickets home, that might actually be a good thing. Last-minute booking often gives you opportunities to save big. Here are some great resources on cheap air travel.