Study Predicts High Prices for Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving sides
Traditional Thanksgiving sides | Image by Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

While the star of Thanksgiving — the turkey — may cost less this year, a new report suggests the prices of your family’s favorite side dishes will probably be higher than usual.

Americans have been feeling the financial pressures of inflation and rising interest rates for quite a while now. Unfortunately, the reprieve expected this holiday season will be slight because the 2.4% decline in the food-at-home inflation rate has not yet trickled down to consumers, according to a report by Wells Fargo on Thanksgiving food costs.

Items typically appearing on Thanksgiving menus that could cost more this year include sweet potatoes, canned green beans, potatoes, and canned pumpkin. The retail prices for these holiday staples have seen year-over-year increases of 4%, 9%, 14%, and 30%, respectively.

However, some strategic moves at the supermarket can help dampen the effects of these high price tags. For instance, opt for fresh cranberries, the retail price of which is down 20%, and make your sauce from scratch instead of going for the canned product, which costs 7% more than last year. In fact, any canned product will likely be priced higher than its fresh counterpart due to higher manufacturing and labor costs.

Consider sticking with the classical main course of turkey to benefit from the 16% drop in retail price compared to 2022. Shy away from the ham, which has hit a record-breaking $4.56 per pound, a 5.2% increase from last year. The price spread between the retailer and the consumer, while higher than average across most products, has been soaring when it comes to ham.

In case you’re curious about beverages, it might pay to sip on a celebratory glass of wine rather than cracking open a beer. Both have seen year-over-year retail price hikes, but wine has only increased by 1.2%, while beer has gone up 5.3%.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, paying close attention to the pricing codes used at wholesale clubs like Costco could also help to cut costs this holiday season. For instance, products priced with “.99” at the end usually indicate that they are at their regular or full price, whereas those with “.97” usually mean a store manager special has been applied.

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