87% of Americans are still planning to serve them on for their Thanksgiving meal. But if you’re still on the fence about your holiday dinner, consider this - analysts at Wells Fargo say dining out for Thanksgiving may be more cost-effective than cooking at home this year when you consider all the time and money people spend on the huge meal.
How can that be? For one thing, there’s been less of an inflation hit to the cost of dining out than grocery costs. And when it comes to Thanksgiving, analysts say the cost of ingredients for the meal have seen some of the biggest year-over-year increases, including eggs (up 32.5%), butter (up 25.8%) and flour (up 17.1%). Fine dining restaurants surveyed have not for the most part increased their prices as of yet. When you factor in the hourly cost of labor for you and your family to prepare, serve and clean up a dinner for 10 it costs the average homeowner $632 to host. The average bill per person at fine dining establishments is $50 per person. Meaning you would save $132 if you eat out.
Just announced as a take home option. Cracker Barrel says pre-order and pick up their meal on November 21 or 22 before Thanksgiving will receive a bonus gift card – $5 with an order of a Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Family Dinner or $10 with an order of a Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Feast.
But if you’re a traditionalist who likes to cook the Turkey Day feast at home, experts advise not waiting to buy your bird. Those who shop early will find more selection on size and typically score better deals and discounts, too. According to a recent survey from Morning Consult:
- Half of those hosting Thanksgiving bought their turkeys between late October and early November and only 11% plan to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to do so.
- That’s down from the 29% who planned to buy their turkeys a few days before Thanksgiving in 2021.
- To bring down the cost of the meal, more hosts are planning to cut down on the number of side dishes at their holiday meal.
- Since those who hosted Thanksgiving last year estimate they spent 9.6 hours cooking and preparing the feast, maybe dining out is starting to sound like a better option.