The Van Trump Report

Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge… “Value vs. Tradition”

There are a few family traditions that are so sacrosanct as the Thanksgiving meal around the table with family and friends. However, this year, with the high prices and soaring inflation many traditions are being tested and altered. If you are worried about the cost or thinking about making changes, don’t worry, you are not alone!  

Food analysts say year-over-year cost increases in eggs are up +32.5%, butter is up +25.8%, flour is up +17.1%, and turkey costs are up about double-digits in many places compared to last year’s prices. Cumulative these are some of the biggest contributors to the overall price jump consumers are facing when buying ingredients for the big meal. 

Interestingly, several major restaurant chains have been taking orders for to-go meals and many consumers are finding their prices cheaper than what it would cost to cook at home. A complete boneless roasted turkey breast meal for four to six people (including turkey, appetizer, sides, and pie) from Boston Market starts at $119. Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Family Dinner for four to six people starts at $99. Bob Evan’s Farmhouse Feasts start at $69.99.

Food delivery companies like Home Chef, Martha Stewart’s Marley Spoon, Harry & David, Omaha Steaks, and even Williams Sonoma also have Thanksgiving meals that can be ordered ahead.

Over half of Gen Z and Millenials are feeling the financial stress of putting on a full-scale Thanksgiving meal this year according to several polls.  Other data is revealing that while 87% of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, up from 83% last year, many are trying to make their gatherings a bit smaller, perhaps make fewer dishes, and ask guests to bring something to the table in an effort to help cut costs. More hosts are even willing to ask guests to pitch in money for the meal. Baby Boomers were the least likely to implement any of the cost-saving strategies. I suspect it is more of a pride thing for the Baby Boomers, but with most on fixed incomes, this can be a tough holiday to host on a large scale. 

I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without Michelle, the kids, and others from our family doing their thing in the kitchen, enjoying each other’s company for a few special days as they prepare one of the greatest meals of the year in our house! But with food prices and inflation hitting hard this might be the year for some alternatives. Whether you decide to stick with your regular tradition or gather for a meal at a restaurant, the main purpose of this season remains the same, basking in gratitude, spending quality time with friends and family, and enjoying all of our time together. (Source:,,

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