The Cost of a Turkey in Every State [Thanksgiving 2023 Study]

FinanceBuzz looked up turkey prices in every state to find out where home cooks can expect to pay the most and least for their Thanksgiving dinner.

A roasted turkey on a wooden tabletop.
Updated July 18, 2024
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Home chefs across America are gearing up for the biggest feast of the year. But between rising consumer debt and the rising costs of goods, Thanksgiving 2023 could look different — and more expensive — for most.

High grocery prices this year are leading some families to make alternate plans for the most essential Thanksgiving menu item: the turkey. FinanceBuzz collected turkey prices from U.S. grocery stores to find the average cost of a Thanksgiving turkey in each state.

In this article

Key findings

  • On average, Americans can expect to pay $35.40 for a 15-pound turkey this year — an average of $2.36 per pound.
  • At more than $50 per bird ($52.85), Hawaii has the highest average turkey prices of all the states. In the contiguous U.S., Minnesota and California tie for the highest average price at $41.85.
  • Louisianans can expect to pay just $27.30 on average for their Thanksgiving turkey, which is the lowest rate in the nation.
  • Overall in 2023, turkey prices are up 3.5% from last year.

How much are Thanksgiving turkeys this year? Average turkey costs by state

States with the most expensive Thanksgiving turkeys

As is the case with many goods, the most expensive average turkey prices in the U.S. were found away from the contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii can expect to pay the highest rate in the country ($52.85) for a 15-pound turkey. That’s nearly 50% more than the national average of $35.40.

Turkeys cost more than $10 less in Alaska ($42.35), but that still makes the bird more expensive than in any of the remaining 48 states. Hawaiians and Alaskans are no strangers to high prices. Alaska and Hawaii consistently rank among the most expensive states to live in due to the high costs of transporting goods to the non-contiguous states.

Most expensive states for a Thanksgiving turkey

State Cost for a 15-pound turkey
Hawaii $52.85
Alaska $42.35
Minnesota $41.85
California $41.85
Rhode Island $39.35
Connecticut $38.85
Georgia $38.85
Kentucky $38.85
South Carolina $38.85
Wisconsin $38.85

On the mainland, Minnesota and California have the most expensive turkey prices on average, as a 15-pound bird costs $41.85 on average in each of those states. America’s smallest state, Rhode Island, rounds out the top five.

States with the most affordable Thanksgiving turkeys

Turkeys are most affordable in Louisiana, where they cost just $27.30 on average. That’s over $8 cheaper than the national average. A number of nearby states have similarly affordable turkeys this year. Oklahoma ($27.85), Kansas ($27.85), Mississippi ($29.25), and Missouri ($29.35) make up the most affordable states.

Least expensive states for a Thanksgiving turkey

State Cost for a 15-pound turkey
Louisiana $27.30
Kansas $27.85
Oklahoma $27.85
Mississippi $29.25
Missouri $29.35
Texas $30.80
North Dakota $30.85
Colorado $31.35
Maine $31.35
Arkansas $31.85
Iowa $31.85
Ohio $31.85

How to save money on Thanksgiving meals

Home-cooked meals are the best part of celebrating Thanksgiving. A good meal doesn’t have to break the bank, though. Here are some tips on how to save money on groceries:

  • Earn credit card rewards at checkout. To get the most out of your shopping trip, use one of the best credit cards for buying groceries to get rewards on your purchases.
  • Use helpful grocery hacks at the store. Groceries are a big expense for families of all sizes. Learning insider tips on how to spend less on groceries can help reduce the overall cost of your essentials.
  • Use travel credit cards when visiting family. The days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are a busy time of year for travel. When you book trips, use one of the best travel credit cards to earn rewards for future holidays.

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To compile the data shown above, FinanceBuzz researchers recorded the price of turkeys in at least three grocery stores in each state. In general, prices were obtained from regional, chain grocery stores with multiple locations in a state (rather than smaller individual companies) or prominent national chains.

With few exceptions, prices were collected for Butterball-brand turkeys weighing between 12-26 lbs. Prices per pound in each grocery store were averaged to find the cost per state and multiplied by 15 pounds to obtain our final rankings.

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Author Details

Josh Koebert

Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.