U.S. inflation hit a 40-year-high in the summer of 2022, and though recent readings suggest that it is starting to cool, the impact of rising costs of goods and service will be detrimental to this year’s Thanksgiving holiday for most American households.
According to the market research firm IRI, the typical Thanksgiving meal will cost nearly 14% more this year than in 2021, as the cost of popular side dishes, baking ingredients, and beverages have risen enough to be noticeable at the grocery store checkout line. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said recently that the average price of the main course at most Thanksgiving feasts – the turkey – will be $1.99 per pound this year, up from $1.15 in 2021 – a 73% increase. (Here’s what Thanksgiving will cost this year, thanks to inflation.)
Surveys find that rising food costs will compel many households to scale back their holiday plans this year, meaning fewer guests and fewer dishes. Some will forgo the holiday altogether while others will skip travel and host or attend “Friendsgiving” parties, where people gather for potluck-style dinner meals in their neighborhoods instead of going home to see family. More guests will also likely be asked to “BYOB.”
Another way this year’s Thanksgiving could be different thanks to inflation is in the matter of leftovers. Typically, Thanksgiving feasts leave behind a few days’ worth of turkey sandwiches, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pies, and other post-holiday treats. But this year, as hosts scale back, there may not be so much left to enjoy through the four-day weekend.
While scaled back Thanksgiving celebrations might not sit well with many, some might be happy to avoid the stress, especially younger adults who generally earn lower incomes and lack experience in orchestrating elaborate day-long festivities. (Here are 20 ways you should get ready for Thanksgiving right now.)
To compile statistics around the likely changes in Thanksgiving dinner this year and provide a few interesting numerical facts about the holiday, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as surveys conducted by Personal Capital and Finance Buzz.
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