3 Reasons Your Thanksgiving Turkey Will Cost More This Year

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Inflation has been forcing consumers to spend more on just about everything this year.
  • The cost of turkeys could rise a lot thanks to inflation and supply chain issues, making Thanksgiving a harder holiday to afford this year.

Get ready to pay more for your holiday meal.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that many people look forward to. The food is abundant, the company is fun, and the day off work is always a bonus.

But this year's Thanksgiving may look a lot different for many people. Consumers have been getting battered by inflation all year, and a lot of folks have already had to dip into their savings to cover their rising expenses. As such, many people will no doubt look for ways to trim their Thanksgiving costs.

One thing you shouldn't expect to save money on this year is your turkey. Quite the contrary -- you might end up spending more than usual. Here's why.

1. Inflation

Inflation has driven up the cost of food on a whole. And turkeys are no exception. Plus, any time the demand for a given item rises, its price has a tendency to follow. And since many people will argue that it's not Thanksgiving without the turkey (sorry, vegetarians), we can bet that inflation and demand alone will cause turkey prices to soar.

2. Supply chain shortages

Producers began to cut back on raising turkeys in 2019 after prices plummeted. Then the pandemic hit, and that shut down or roadblocked a host of supply chains, including turkeys. The industry hasn't fully recovered from that, and so this year, Thanksgiving hosts could end up paying more.

3. Bird flu

If you're thinking "What the heck?" right about now, that's understandable. But alas, at a time when it seems like consumers just can't catch a break, we have to throw bird flu into the mix.

A highly contagious bird flu strain has killed at least 3.6% of the nation’s turkeys, or about 7.3 million birds, so far this year, according to the Department of Agriculture and Watt Global Media. And if you're thinking, "Hey, isn't it late in the year for bird flu?" you'd be correct. But unfortunately, the aforementioned strain stuck around over the summer instead of declining due to the heat.

How to save money on your Thanksgiving meal

You may not be able to snag a great deal on a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. But that doesn't mean you can't save in other ways.

For one thing, you can cut back on those heavy side dishes most people don't seem to enjoy. If every year you're left with two heaping trays of green bean casserole no one has touched, take it out of the rotation this November.

At the same time, consider making your meal a potluck gathering where everyone chips in with an appetizer, dessert, or side. Along these lines, don't hesitate to declare your meal a BYOB affair. Not having to buy alcohol could result in a much lower credit card tab in the course of your Thanksgiving spending.

Finally, don't overbuy your bird. The general convention is to have about one pound of turkey per guest. If you're hosting eight people, you don't need to spring for a 20-pound turkey -- unless you're really looking forward to a week of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2025

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow