Here's how much Thanksgiving meals cost at different grocery stores this year

woman holding bag of groceries
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Since Thanksgiving dinners are going to be much smaller this year due to the pandemic (yes, please stay home), smaller households will be cooking their own Thanksgiving dinners. And that can get pretty darn expensive.


CNBC did a price comparison between Aldi, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market for an average Thanksgiving dinner: One 10-pound turkey, stuffing mix, scratch-made mashed potatoes, frozen corn, cranberry sauce, pre-made crescent rolls, apple pie baked with premade crust, and coffee.

No surprise here, Aldi came in as the cheapest grocery store chain to buy Thanksgiving meals from. The researcher found that the cost of these items came in at $27.81 with a breakdown of $6.95 per person in a four-person household. That’s truly amazing.

Next up, unsurprisingly, was Walmart, where a full spread will cost $32.76, with a the per-person cost of $8.19. Prices at the next stores go up quite a bit, with Trader Joe’s coming in at $55.50 ($13.88 per person), Whole Foods coming in similarly at $57.50 ($14.38 per person), and finally Costco at $79.88 ($19.77 per person).

The Costco price, while much higher, is because you’re spending on much larger quantities of the same food for at least double or triple the meal yield from those ingredients. If you stretch the cost of the meal over 10 people, the meals per person end up being $7.93, not much more than Aldi. There’s a helpful chart at the bottom of the article, so based off your family’s budget this year, you can at least get an idea of how much you should be spending.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.


Not only the least pricey - they (Aldi) are often just better. I shop Publix through Instacart every 6 weeks or so to get things that Aldi just doesn’t carry and inevitably the produce is more expensive and fairly crappy in comparison.

This becomes more and more obvious - and it’s not just my shopper. This is each and every time. For example a head of Boston lettuce from Publix was the size of my fist and the outer leaves were transparent with bruising at $2.19. Boston lettuce from Aldi last week was $2.69, TWICE the size, in a large clear clamshell and hydroponic.

Many people believe they must suck because they’re less expensive. Let them think that.