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Average Thanksgiving dinner costs less than $50
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Allison Jackson, assistant manager at Bojangles', brings out a fully cooked fried turkey the restaurant will be selling Thanksgiving in Gainesville, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

America’s average Thanksgiving dinner costs less than $50 in 2017.

Sitting down to turkey and most of the trimmings costs $49.12 this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The biggest piece of that meal is the turkey, which gobbles in at $22.38, or about $1.40 per pound based on the average adult turkey.

“For the second consecutive year, the overall cost of Thanksgiving dinner has declined,” said John Newton, the bureau’s lead market researcher, in an announcement this month. “The cost of the dinner is the lowest since 2013 and second-lowest since 2011.”

The bureau price survey covers the basics: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, butter rolls, cranberries, peas, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk to feed 10 people.

Some of the price decreases are being driven by increased production, as with milk, while other products are seeing lower demand, including turkeys.

Only a handful of the items increased in price this year, including whipped cream, pre-packaged bread stuffing, pumpkin pie mix and cranberries, according to the bureau.

And grocery stores aren’t the only places trying to offer bargain meals. A couple of fast food chicken joints are offering a reasonably priced, fast Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Bojangles’ and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen have both been selling seasoned, deep-fried turkeys leading up to the holiday.

The restaurants both have locations on Jesse Jewell Parkway, and the birds are providing people with limited cash or ability to cook at home a chance to have an at-home turkey dinner.

Bojangles’ sells whole, fried turkeys to be reheated at home for about $40, according to Allison Jackson, assistant manager of the Jesse Jewell location. It also sells sides in $5 picnic and $10 catering sizes. The picnic sides could reasonably feed two to three people, Jackson said, while the catering sides feed could six to eight.

At Popeyes, turkeys were selling for about $36 each, but the birds sold out Wednesday, according to location manager Christy Ramsey. The Jesse Jewell location sold more than 80 turkeys beginning about two weeks ago.