Gobbling up the budget: The high price of Thanksgiving in Nome

The national price of Thanksgiving dinner for ten people this year is expected to cost about $62, or $6.20 per person. That’s according to a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation released earlier this month (Nov 15). 

The findings come from a survey conducted the first week of November (1-6) by “volunteer shoppers” who checked prices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

The survey shopping list included turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberries, veggies, and a pumpkin pie with whipped cream. But in rural Alaska, geographical challenges and transportation costs contribute to a high price tag for the classic Thanksgiving feast.

If you’re shopping for the same items in Nome, be prepared to spend a combined total of over $127 (127.46), or nearly $13 a person. That’s 205% more than the national average. You’ll need to make stops at both city grocery stores Hanson Trading Co. (Safeway), and Alaska Commercial Company.

Turkey prices have dropped nearly 6% (5.6) nationwide since 2022, thanks to a decrease in cases of avian influenza. The average cost of a turkey this year is $27.35 according to the survey. But the most expensive item on the menu is the turkey. In Nome, it’ll cost you more than $20 more for a turkey of the same size. 

The feast is most expensive in the Northeast ($58.66) and West ($63.89), followed by the Midwest ($58.66) and South ($59.10), according to the survey.

Turkey (16 lb)$23.75 (1.71/lb)$47.48 (2.99/lb) (+199% )
Fresh Cranberries (12 oz)$2.10$6.99 (+332% )
Sweet Potatoes (3 lb)$3.97 ($1.32/lb)$12.87 ($4.29/lb) (+334% )
Stuffing Mix (14 oz)$3.77$5.39 (+332% )
Whipping Cream (half pint)$1.73$7.39 (+427% )
Frozen Peas (1 lb)$1.88$4.99 (+265% )
Dinner Rolls (dozen)$3.84$7.99 (+208% )
Can of Pumpkin Pie (30 oz)$4.44$10.69 (+240% )
Gallon of Milk$3.74$7.99 (+213% )
Veggies (1 lb)$0.90$2.69 (+298%)
Frozen Pie Crust (2)$3.50$12.99 (+371% )
Misc. Spices$3.95N/A
Thanksgiving prices in Nome are significantly higher than the national average. Notably, cranberries, sweet potatoes, stuffing mix, whipping cream, and frozen pie crusts are significantly higher than the national average.

(Photo at top: A 16lb. turkey from Alaska Commercial Co. in Nome costs over $47, or $2.99/lb. The average price for a turkey this year is $27.35 according to the study)