The Cost of a Turkey in Every State [Thanksgiving 2022 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.
Last updated Nov. 15, 2022 | By Chris Lewis | Edited By Mindy Woodall
A roasted turkey on a wooden tabletop.

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Home chefs across America are gearing up for the biggest feast of the year. But between supply chain issues and the rising costs of goods, Thanksgiving 2022 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 $34.15 for their turkey this year — That’s an average of $2.28 per pound.
  • At more than $50 per bird, Alaska and Hawaii have the highest average turkey prices of all the states. In the contiguous U.S., South Carolina has the highest average price at $38.85.
  • Mississippians can expect to pay just $26.35 on average for their Thanksgiving turkey, which is the lowest rate in the nation.

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

A map of the United States showing the price of a turkey in each state.

States where turkey is the most expensive this year

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 ($50.35) for a 15-pound turkey. That’s 47% more than the national average.

Hawaiians are no strangers to high prices. The Aloha State is consistently ranked as the most expensive state to live in due to the high cost of goods on the islands.

Alaska, the second-most expensive state, is coincidentally the only U.S. state without a native turkey population. Alaskans similarly share high grocery costs, as reflected in their average turkey price this Thanksgiving ($49.85, more than $15 more than the national average).

Most expensive states for a Thanksgiving turkey

State Cost for a 15-pound turkey
Hawaii

$50.35

Alaska

$49.85

South Carolina

$38.85

Idaho

$37.85

Minnesota

$37.85

California

$37.35

Massachusetts

$37.35

New Jersey

$37.35

New York

$37.35

Washington

$37.35

Georgia

$37.35

On the mainland, South Carolina, Idaho, Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, and a trio of northeastern states (New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) round out the top 10 most expensive states for turkey.

These states have prices ranging between $37.35 to $38.85 for a 15-pound bird. Seven of these states also fall on the list of the most expensive states for groceries.

States where turkey is the least expensive

When it comes to affordable turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, Mississippi featured the lowest rates in the nation, with an average cost of $26.35. That’s more than $7 cheaper than the national average.

Other southern states, such as Texas, Florida, and Louisiana, were all among the top 10 least expensive states for a turkey this year.

Least expensive states for a Thanksgiving turkey

State Cost for a 15-pound turkey
Mississippi

$26.35

Texas

$28.30

Utah

$28.30

Iowa

$29.10

Florida

$29.80

Arizona

$29.85

Louisiana

$29.85

Nebraska

$30.85

Oklahoma

$31.20

New Mexico

$31.35

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.

Methodology

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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