Is it cheaper to cook or dine out this Thanksgiving?
(KSNF/KODE) — For many families, dining out on Thanksgiving is equivalent to overcooking the turkey or pouring gravy right out of the can. And most eateries don’t serve your aunt’s famous broccoli rice casserole.
But this year, sharing a meal at a restaurant might be the smartest thing to do on Thanksgiving.
A new report published by Wells Fargo suggests your favorite Thanksgiving dishes could cost you about the same at a restaurant, as they would if you made them yourself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from November 2021, the cost of food at your average restaurant increased at a slower rate (5.79%) than from your local grocery store (9.81%).
The narrowing of this gap means some dishes at your favorite restaurant are closer in price to the food you purchase to eat at home.
“That narrowing of the gap means some Thanksgiving dishes at your favorite restaurant are closer in price to your food at home, which could save you time and energy… In other words, you could spend about the same on a dish at a restaurant as you would preparing it at home,” the study says.
For some food staples, the report by Wells Fargo noted a 32.5% change in egg prices, a 25% change for butter. Fruits and vegetables, up 7.3%, have the lowest cost increase in the Thanksgiving basket. Turkey, the star of the Thanksgiving meal is one of the biggest expense items, forecasted to be 23% higher in price than this time last year. One reason for the cost increase of turkey is recent avian flu issues which are affecting the poultry industry.
“Dining out can be costly, but it may be a better value this year than one might expect. Rising commodity costs impact grocery stores more directly than restaurants. The price of a meal at a restaurant includes factors such as overhead and labor, but commodity ingredients are a smaller percentage of a restaurant’s total costs,” states the research study from Wells Fargo.