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Unbelievable: The Shockingly Low Cost of Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner in 1960

You Won’t Believe How Cheap It Was To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In 1960

Thanksgiving is a holiday that has undergone significant changes over the years. From the dishes we serve to the cost of preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal, there is no denying that times have changed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how affordable it was to cook Thanksgiving dinner in 1960 compared to today’s prices.

Traditional dishes that have evolved

Over time, certain traditional Thanksgiving dishes have become less common. One such dish is ambrosia salad – a delightful combination of fresh fruit, citrus and marshmallows. Red cabbage is another old favorite that was once a popular addition to roasts. And who can forget candied yams? These sweet treats not only complement roasts, but also fill the air with their tantalizing aroma during the baking process.

The Rising Cost of Thanksgiving Dinners

According to Self magazine, the average cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal has increased significantly since the 1960s. In 1960, a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people would cost about $11.65. Fast forward to today, however, and that same meal would set you back an estimated $77.52 – an astounding 565% increase. Even compared to just last year, the cost has increased by 3.5%, with prices reaching $74.92.

The Price Differences in Basic Ingredients

To understand the extent of the price increase, let’s examine the prices of some basic Thanksgiving ingredients. In 1960, a turkey cost just $3.06, but today it’s about $20.80 – a significant jump. Even a simple dish like macaroni and cheese, which used to cost about $2.47, now comes with a price tag of about $15.74. These price differences highlight the financial strain that preparing a traditional Thanksgiving feast can put on families.

Affordable Alternatives and Tips

If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more affordable without compromising on the festivities, there are a few strategies you can employ. One option is to prepare your food at home instead of relying on boxed ingredients, as this can often save you money. In addition, consider buying certain side dishes from the store instead of making everything from scratch. Many grocery stores offer discounts on key Thanksgiving ingredients the week before the holiday, so take advantage of these sales. Also, grocery chain Aldi is known for its efforts to make Thanksgiving more affordable, so consider shopping there for your Thanksgiving needs.

Bottom Line

While the cost of preparing a Thanksgiving meal has increased significantly since 1960, with the price of basic ingredients skyrocketing, there are still ways to make the holiday more affordable. By planning ahead, taking advantage of discounts and making smart choices about homemade versus store-bought items, you can ensure that you have a memorable and delicious Thanksgiving feast without breaking the bank. As Thanksgiving continues to evolve, it’s important to adapt and find creative solutions to enjoy the holiday while managing rising costs.


What was the cost of a Thanksgiving meal in 1960?

In 1960, a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people would cost about $11.65.

How does the cost of a Thanksgiving meal in 1960 compare to today’s prices?

The cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal has increased significantly since 1960. Today, the same meal would cost an estimated $77.52.

What are some of the traditional dishes that were once popular at Thanksgiving?

Ambrosia salad, stuffed with fresh fruit, citrus, and marshmallows, was a popular dish in the past. Red cabbage and candied yams were also often served with roasts.

What did basic Thanksgiving ingredients cost in 1960?

In 1960, a turkey cost $3.06, while macaroni and cheese cost about $2.47.

Any tips for making Thanksgiving more affordable?

Yes, consider making your food at home instead of relying on packaged ingredients, and take advantage of grocery store discounts on key Thanksgiving ingredients. Buying certain sides at the store and shopping at affordable grocery chains like Aldi can also help make the holiday more budget-friendly.

How can I have a memorable Thanksgiving without breaking the bank?

By planning ahead, taking advantage of discounts, and making smart choices between homemade and store-bought items, you can create a delicious and affordable Thanksgiving meal.

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