Introduction: Thanksgiving Calculator

Shopping calculator that will present a complete Thanksgiving shopping list, and how much to cook of each menu item, after just entering a few variables.

Step 1: Download Thanksgiving Calculator

Get file, which has been uploaded here.

Step 2: Enter Variables

Enter data into the blue cells, which will ask you for:

  • Number of turkey-eating and/or vegetarian guests
  • Number of turkey-eaters and/or vegetarians having leftovers
  • Average number of times those people want to eat leftovers
  • What kind of pies you want to make, if any

Step 3: Get to Shopping and Cooking

Print out the resulting shopping list and you're ready to go. More details (including recipes, if needed) at The shopping list will give you the ingredients for traditional recipes - not elaborate, but extremely tasty!


canida made it! (author)2008-11-24

This Instructable was featured on NPR's Here & Now on November 24, 2008!

LisaC93 made it! (author)2015-11-18

won't let me input information. What a waste of time!

frollard made it! (author)2010-11-04

Great ible and concept -- I would recommend strongly either showing the formulae, or consider protecting it WITHOUT a password -- that way you can't accidentally change a formula, but if 'we' need to we can.

It could also benefit from making a conversion table of '1 guest = this much turkey

jello666 made it! (author)2010-11-04

i try to use it and it say's it's read only

octopuscabbage made it! (author)2010-11-02

This works in OpenOffice perfectly, just in case anyone was wondering.

CodeKid1001 made it! (author)2010-11-02

So any math whizzes ot there calculate this:
21 kids/teens (1 vegitarian)
6 men
9 women
kids and women eat 1.5-2 servings
men eat 2+ servings
How many pounds of food?
BTW true story

nagarajugajula100 made it! (author)2010-11-02

it is good but required it in the HTML better to write code to it

Allenibew made it! (author)2007-11-22

does the calculator come in any other formats

spacejockeys made it! (author)spacejockeys2007-11-24

I just have this in excel...Access, Excel, and HTML are about as far as my coding skills reach.

spacejockeys made it! (author)2007-01-21

You should also note that how much to buy is a factor of overall weight; e.g., an 8-pound turkey has a much higher bone:meat ratio than does a 16-pound turkey. Here, you see that the 17-pound bird recommendation is based upon 1/2 pound per average serving. Which is PLENTY OF MEAT, especially given the smaller bone:meat ratio! Also, I've noticed that my cookbook recommends a smaller portion size for beef/ham/lamb than it does for turkey. Maybe those meats are more filling given that they are more caloric?

dataphool made it! (author)2007-01-21

18 + 4 meals sounds like an awful lot to get from only 17 pounds but getting some idea how much will be handy for the next meal... traditional meal for Easter at our house is ham but maybe I can make some changes. Thanks

rachel made it! (author)2006-11-21

Yep, that's better than Roast Beef's eggs & milk calculator:

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