Inflation hits Thanksgiving dinner—here’s how much it could cost this year: Wells Fargo

Thanksgiving dinner staples like turkey, cranberries, and potatoes are more expensive than ever, leaving many Americans wondering if eating out is cheaper.

a A new report from Wells Fargo To help Americans understand which option might be right for them and ways to save. Some of the key factors to consider include the size of the party, how important it is to have a turkey on the table, and if you’re open to eating out in general, said Brad Rubin, director of specialty crops at Wells Fargo Food and Agribusiness.

To that younger family [of four] Going out this year, which may be considered a luxury for most people, may actually have a lot of value there. Obviously, if you have a much larger family, economies of scale play a role, which probably makes the meal more economical in that particular case.”

In November 2021, the cost of eating out rose at a slower rate, up 5.79%, than grocery prices, up 9.81%. This year, the total cost of the Thanksgiving basket is 14.9% more than in November 2021, according to data obtained by Wells Fargo from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s compared to the cost of eating out at a type of restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal, up 5.8% in August from November 2021.

Starting with a Thanksgiving ‘star’ – Turkey – customers can expect it to cost 23% more than last year, according to a recent report from US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Per pound, customers can likely expect to spend $1.64 per pound on a whole 8 to 16 pound frozen whole chicken.

Frozen turkeys tend to be less expensive than fresh turkeys. “Buying frozen turkeys now might be a fairly economical option,” says Robin, but if you’re open to the idea, he encourages families to “maybe looking for alternative proteins, if you still want to eat at home.”

Some of the more economical options – chicken and pork. “If you’re looking for protein alternatives, chicken and pork products are definitely going to be a little bit less expensive than some of the other proteins out there,” he emphasized.

The price of chicken is up 17.2% year over year, while the price of pork is up 6.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index for September.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: A shopper walks past turkeys for sale at a grocery store before Thanksgiving holiday on November 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  US consumer prices have risen strongly in the past few months on items such as food, rent, cars and other commodities as inflation has risen to a level not seen in 30 years.  The consumer price index rose 6.2 percent in October compared to a year ago.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: A shopper walks past turkeys for sale at a grocery store before Thanksgiving holiday on November 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. US consumer prices have risen strongly in the past few months on items such as food, rent, cars and other commodities as inflation has risen to a level not seen in 30 years. The consumer price index rose 6.2 percent in October compared to a year ago. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Items that drive the cost of Thanksgiving dinner for Americans in general include eggs (+32.5%), butter (+25.8%), and flour (+17.1%). Fruits and vegetables saw a smaller price jump, up just 7.3%, but consumers can expect higher prices for two items some might call Thanksgiving essentials — cranberries and sweet potatoes.

Robbins says canned or frozen may be the way to go to spend less. “It will always be a cheaper option to buy frozen vegetables or canned products, and therefore, it would be better to go this route as opposed to buying new fresh vegetable products, [with] Fresh cranberries are an example.”

Meanwhile, you may need to substitute traditional mashed potatoes sweet Mashed potato. This year’s regular potato harvest is expected to be smaller than last year, with the report noting that “with higher input costs, lower yields, and production affected, you can bet consumers will start to see an increase in potato prices.”

“It might make sense to incorporate sweet potatoes a little more than other vegetables into this Thanksgiving meal, there’s a surplus yield, stocks are high, so I think people are going to get better deals in supermarkets because of that,” Rubin suggested.

Is this the year for dinner out? Why restaurants may have more value this year

High commodity costs are directly hurting grocery store prices, causing a huge shock to Americans. For this reason, Rubin says, “It probably makes economic sense for that smaller family [of four] Going forward and having the experience of eating out.”

“If you’re a small family…consider a restaurant to skip that setup and cleanup, which can be a bit of a hassle…it will really be seen as a stronger value this year, by the prospect of eating out instead of at home.”

While restaurants have raised their menu prices, they are less affected by the ingredients that make up a small percentage of restaurants. “They have economies of scale, they buy in bulk, they can spread their costs across the labor pool to produce more food at a lower cost.”

Robin expects prices to adjust as consumer confidence increases. “And that’s something we should be grateful for.”

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma Or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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