Gas prices are down, so if you’re driving this year, you’ll be spending a bit less on gas for your vehicle.
What about food? Is the cost of Thanksgiving dinner higher, lower, or about the same this year as last year?
It depends on what you’re having for dinner. Butter and margarine are a lot more expensive now than last year—16% higher, according to CPI data compiled by Vox. Steak and bacon are more expensive, too.
But a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year is less than 1% higher than it was last year. Compared to the cost of Thanksgiving dinner in the past, this year is about average. The lowest cost for Thanksgiving dinner occurred in 1987, about 15% cheaper than it is this time. Expensive years include 2011, 2007, and 1989.
Despite these holiday fluctuations, there’s been a long term decline in food spending over the decades, according to data by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Americans spent a much bigger share of their disposable incomes on food in the 1930s, 19040s, and 1950s than they do now.
Cheaper food doesn’t mean that millions of Americans are not going hungry. Over 49 million people lived in food insecure households in 2013, according to Feeding America. This includes almost 16 million children.
Are you spending less, more, or about the same on Thanksgiving this year, compared to last?
What’s happening in your community to alleviate hunger this season?
Share this with friends!
You can share this with friends by using the blue-“f” Facebook or envelope-shaped email icons and asking friends to read this series with you. You’re also free to print out these columns and use them to spark discussion in your class or small group.