Inflation will likely be one of the top conversation starters around the Christmas dinner table this year. From housing to auto insurance, Americans have witnessed the cost of virtually everything rise over the past 12 months.

But what about the actual cost of Christmas dinner? Creditnews Research has crunched the numbers for you.

According to Creditnews Research, for an American family of four, Christmas dinner is going to cost $80.58, or 4.8% more, this holiday season compared to last year.

Although the increase isn't as substantial as last year's, it's the cumulative inflation that's going to strain household budgets.

Cumulative inflation represents the decline in purchasing power over a more extended period—not just monthly or annually. Since 2020, consumer prices have soared by 19%. Over the same period, food prices have gone up a staggering 25%.

If you need another conversation starter, just ask the chef how much they paid for the wonderful dinner spread you're about to enjoy

“When it comes to the cost of Christmas dinner, there’s good and bad news. The good news is inflation—specifically, food inflation—is moderating compared to last year. The bad news is that food inflation has compounded since the pandemic and has far outpaced overall inflation. ”—Sam Bourgi, Senior Analyst, Creditnews

Key takeaways

  • For an American family of four, Christmas dinner is going to cost $80.58, or 4.8% more, this holiday season compared to last year.
  • The price of sauces and gravy (7.5%) and frozen turkey (7.2%) jumped the most compared to last year.
  • Meanwhile, pastries, including biscuits and rolls (5.7%), and frozen pies (2.7%) saw more moderate increases.
  • The only category that dropped in price was vegetables, which are 0.7% cheaper this holiday season compared to a year ago. Potatoes saw the biggest year-over-year price decline of 3.3%.
  • While yearly inflation has moderated, the real strain on consumers is cumulative inflation. The price of food is up 24.8% since 2020—much higher than overall inflation (19%).

The cost of 2023 Christmas dinner

The cost of serving Christmas dinner at home has increased this year but by a much smaller rate than last year. According to Creditnews Research, feeding a family of four will cost $80.58 this year, up 4.8% from last year.

This amount includes frozen turkey and all the fixtures—stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, buttermilk biscuits, russet potatoes, a vegetable medley consisting of carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, and a frozen apple pie for dessert.

Our Christmas dinner basket contains two servings of cranberry sauce and turkey gravy just to be sure there’s enough. However, we excluded egg nog because its price was too volatile to benchmark properly.

The prices of sauces and gravy increased the most this year at 7.5%. That’s still a relief compared to 2022 when prices in this category surged by 14.6%.

A 16- to 20-pound frozen turkey saw the second-highest price increase at 7.2%, following a 16.9% increase the year before. The price of biscuits and rolls jumped by 5.7% after increasing by 13.6% in 2022. The frozen pie costs 2.7% more than last year after gaining 18.6% in 2022.

Thankfully, a 5-pound bag of russet potatoes was 3.3% cheaper than last year—but the price drop followed an eye-watering 15.2% gain the previous year. Our vegetable medley was down slightly (-0.7%) compared to last year.

Christmas dinner 2023

Food inflation remains stubborn

While inflation has moderated over the past 12 months, it remains stubbornly high by historical standards. Nowhere is this more apparent than in food inflation.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, overall food prices increased by 0.2% in November and were up 2.9% year-over-year. The annual increase was smaller than the overall consumer price index (CPI), which rose 3.1% year-over-year.

However, the real effect of inflation isn’t just the monthly or yearly increase in prices—inflation has a cumulative effect that has compounded since Covid.

According to Creditnews Research’s analysis, food prices have increased by 24.8% since 2020. By comparison, overall inflation is up 19% over the same period. Meanwhile, the price of other goods increased by 15%, and the cost of other services rose by 18%.

Consumers are finally getting some relief at the grocery aisle, but that came after more than two years of relentless price increases.


The cost of Christmas dinner was calculated based on the following basked of products:

  • Butterball Premium Whole Frozen Turkey (16-20 lbs)
  • Marie Callenders Turkey Stuffing
  • Russet potatoes (5 lbs)
  • Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (two containers of 14 oz. each)
  • Heinz Home-Style Roasted Turkey Gravy Jar (two containers of 18 oz. each)
  • Pillsbury Grands! Buttermilk Biscuits, 20 Count (41.6 oz)
  • Mrs. Smith's Original Flaky Crust Pie Apple (37 oz)
  • Vegetables (cauliflower, parsnips, brussels sprouts, carrots)

Consumer pricing data was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and benchmarked against popular grocery products in Datasembly’s extensive catalog, as well as Kroger’s food catalog. The food quantity was calculated based on a family of four.


  • Legislative Analyst’s Office. The California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor
  • Creditnews analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Creditnews analysis of data from research firm Datasembly