With grocery prices up sharply from a year ago, Thanksgiving is hitting households much harder this year.
Prices per pound for Turkey, the holiday’s biggest staple, is up 17% year over year, according to the latest inflation data. Turkey is forecast to be 23% more expensive in the fourth quarter due to both inflation and bird flu, which has reduced supply, according to a separate Wells Fargo report.
Other key ingredients rose even more: Eggs are up 43%, butter is almost 34% higher and flour is up about 25%. Fruit and vegetables had a more moderate increase, but still cost almost 10% more than a year ago.
For the first time, “Americans can actually find value in eating out” for the holiday, said Brad Rubin, sector analyst in Wells Fargo’s food and agriculture industry advisory group and co-author of the Thanksgiving report.
In fact, the cost of eating out rose just 8.6% in the past year, while the cost of eating at home rose 12.4% over the same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“What’s considered a luxury experience is more of a value experience this year,” Rubin said.
Serving turkey on Thanksgiving is ‘non-negotiable’
And yet, despite the sky-high costs, serving turkey on Thanksgiving is “non-negotiable” for most households, a recent report from Morning Consult found.
Nearly nine in 10 hosts, or 87%, said the menu will remain the same, according to Morning Consult. “Thanksgiving’s main course is not the place for compromise,” the report said.
More from Personal finance:
Here is the inflation overview for October 2022
How to save on groceries amid rising food prices
4 of the best ways to pay for Christmas presents
Instead, consumers will find ways to save by buying a frozen turkey earlier in the season, looking for discounts and serving smaller quantities or fewer side dishes, the report found.
Some even said they will cut costs on food throughout the month to afford the essential Thanksgiving ingredients.
A separate survey by wealth management company Personal Capital found that 42% of hosts plan to ask guests to contribute cash to cover costs.