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Prices Cause Americans to Skip Thanksgiving?

From the cost of turkeys to the price of gas to visit family, Thanksgiving is more expensive this year.

By:  |  November 23, 2022  |    791 Words
GettyImages-1352749238 Thanksgiving

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The holiday season is just around the corner, with Americans soon to celebrate by giving thanks and showing gratitude for what they have. But things may be a little different this year as a new survey by financial company Personal Capital found that one-quarter of Americans will skip Thanksgiving this year. Why?

The main reason is inflation – a rise in prices. Due to causes like COVID-19 and the supply chain crisis, as well as fuel shortages, people are finding that their money doesn’t buy as much as it used to. To deal with the problem, some Americans are changing their holiday plans.

Changing Plans for Thanksgiving

GettyImages-1229809111 Thanksgiving

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The survey of 1,000 respondents found that most Americans (68%) still plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Still, they admit they are worried about the growing cost of the holiday. Almost half (45%) said they are feeling financial pain holding Thanksgiving, while 42% plan to ask guests to help pay for the inflated costs of the turkey dinner.

Young Americans are feeling more anxious than older people. About half of Millennials and Generation Zers say the expense of Thanksgiving is making them feel financially stressed.

Study participants revealed that they plan to make some changes this year. Almost nine in ten are cooking fewer dishes, and most will eliminate brussels sprouts, carrots, and squash from the dinner menu. One-third said they would choose pizza over turkey as the main course this Thanksgiving. Others are asking guests to bring something to the table, and nearly all will host only small gatherings.

“As people feel the squeeze of rising prices, many Americans are cutting back their spending, and prioritizing what is most important to them this Thanksgiving,” said financial planner Paul Deer.

This is not the only poll to show Americans are finding ways to save money on Thanksgiving traditions.

A recent Morning Consult report learned that half of dinner hosts say they plan to buy their turkey early. But 77% intend to purchase a turkey on sale, 43% might opt for a smaller bird, and 30% will only buy a part of the turkey.

This report also highlighted the financial pressure younger Americans are facing. “Millennial hosts in particular are feeling the financial pressure of hosting duties,” Morning Consult noted. According to the study, they are more likely than older people to use savings methods this holiday – like serving smaller servings or fewer dishes. They also say they will change their spending habits over the month to save more money for the holiday.

Why is Thanksgiving Expensive in 2022?

The main reason that Thanksgiving is more expensive than usual this year is because the cost of turkey has increased. A lot of this is due to bird flu, which has spread across farms in the US and around the world. While this virus is common in the colder months, farms saw it early this year. This has not only made turkeys more expensive, but smaller than usual.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned that finding 20-pound turkeys at supermarkets might not be easy. “Some of the turkeys that are being raised right now for Thanksgiving may not have the full amount of time to get to 20 pounds,” he said, adding that shoppers might need to get a smaller bird.

Another reason is that turkey feed has risen in price, making it more costly to raise these birds. From transport to feeding animals, farmers are paying more to grow Americans’ food. Turkeys are not the only things getting more expensive. Everything else for a delicious Thanksgiving feast has risen in cost, such as eggs (+32.5%), butter (+25.8%), flour (+17.1%), boneless ham (+13.6%), and white bread (+10.7%).

What About Christmas?

GettyImages-1237401992 Christmas trees

(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Christmas is still more than a month away, but some data suggests the December 25 holiday may cost extra, too.

First, Christmas trees will be much more expensive this year because growers and sellers have higher costs for materials, staff, and shipping. Price inflation will also affect gift-giving this holiday season. As part of Americans’ efforts to save time and money this Christmas, 61% prefer to give cash or gift cards this year. A survey from Deloitte discovered that US families plan to spend $1,455 on holiday purchases, the same amount as last year. But the difference is that shoppers say they will buy fewer presents because their money won’t stretch as far.

Americans may be watching their wallets this holiday season, but luckily there are lots of ways to get into the Thanksgiving or Christmas spirit. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to practice gratitude – and with a bit of thought, it is still possible to have a Merry Christmas!

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