Inflation, supply chain issues expected to make Thanksgiving 2021 more expensive

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 17, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — This year’s Thanksgiving dinner is gearing up to be one of the most expensive in recent years, according to the American Farm Bureau.

The average cost for Thanksgiving dinner was $46.90 in 2020. The cost is expected to increase nearly 5% this year.

“Consumers can expect to pay more, whether you’re having dinner out or you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner at home,” said Nichole Huff, assistant extension professor of family finance and resource management at the University of Kentucky. “This holiday season, don’t be discouraged about prices or shortages. Look for ways to make your celebrations special on a budget. It’s okay to scale back.”

There are several factors impacting the spike in costs.

“We are seeing prices in food increase as much as 10.5%, especially for things like poultry, eggs, and some of those staples for Thanksgiving dinners,” Huff explained.

In addition to inflation, Huff said supply chain issues and disruptions will also influence an increase in prices and the availability of ingredients.

“Stores are just struggling to keep their shelves stocked right now. So you may not find your favorite ingredient when you go shopping for your Thanksgiving Day list,” Huff said.

Huff’s main advice for a budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner: be flexible.

“If you have a special meal and you go to your grocer and can’t get those ingredients, just be flexible. It doesn’t need to spoil your Thanksgiving holiday,” she said.

Huff said if an ingredient is unavailable or too expensive, consumers can look for lower-priced substitutes.

“Seasonal produce can sometimes be cheaper, so make meals off of what is stocked and available in your grocer based on what is being grown this season,” Huff said. “Look at frozen or canned vegetables over fresh vegetables because the cost is sometimes lower.

You should also shop early.

“Don’t wait until the day before Thanksgiving to go into the grocery store, or you will have to plan your meal based on what’s available,” Huff said. “The earlier you can stock up, the better.”