Inflation pushes some Americans to skip Thanksgiving dinner this year: survey

Inflation and the current economy have pushed some Americans to skip Thanksgiving dinner in 2022, a recent survey said. (iStock)

High inflation, recession fears and an uncertain economy are reshaping Americans’ Thanksgiving plans this year, a recent survey said.

One in four Americans said they are planning to skip Thanksgiving dinner this year to save money, according to the survey by Personal Capital. And one in five Americans doubt that they will have enough money to cover the costs of Thanksgiving dinner.

The Personal Capital survey also said that only seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving. This is in contrast to 2021, when a survey by data-gathering firm Ipsos said that nine out of 10 Americans planned to do the same.

Of those who intend to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, 33% said they plan to spend less money on the holiday dinner, the survey said.

And as Americans look to stretch their dollars amid high inflation, they may also be dealing with rising debt. Total household debt increased by $351 billion to a total of $16.51 trillion in the third quarter of 2022, according to the Household Debt and Credit report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

If you’re struggling with high-interest debt, you could consider paying it down with a personal loan at a lower interest rate, saving you money on your monthly payment. You can visit Credible to compare different personal loan lenders and rates, without affecting your credit score.

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Thanksgiving dinner to cost more in 2022

Consumers have felt the pressure of inflation for months, and survey data indicates that it may not ease up this holiday season.

On average, a Thanksgiving meal will cost about 13.5% more compared to last year, according to estimates by the research firm IRI. Americans can expect to pay 8.1% more for meat, 18.8% more for sides like potatoes and 5.8% more for beverages including non-alcoholic ones.

The cost of food in general has risen in 2022. The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed the price for food at home increased by 12.4% year-over-year in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Higher prices this holiday season could lead some Americans to take on more credit card debt. Bankcard balances reached a record $866 billion in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest TransUnion Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report (CIIR).

In addition, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates several times this year in order to combat inflation. And it’s expected to keep raising rates into 2023, which could affect interest rates across various financial products including credit cards.

If you’re struggling to pay off credit card debt, you can consolidate it with a personal loan at a lower interest rate, thereby lowering your monthly payments. Visit the Credible marketplace to compare multiple personal loan interest rates and lenders without affecting your credit score.

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How to save on Thanksgiving dinner

With inflation and higher food prices, there are still ways to save on Thanksgiving dinner. For example, you can consider switching to lower-priced brands, and comparing prices while keeping an eye on costs per unit.

According to the Personal Capital survey, 38% of consumers are paying attention to deals and 36% plan to use coupons, while 31% plan to buy in bulk.

Many Americans said they also aim to save by lowering the scope of Thanksgiving dinner.

“Over half of respondents planned to keep gatherings small, make fewer dishes, and ask guests to bring something to the table,” Personal Capital said. “Another 42% were willing to ask guests to pitch in money for the meal.”

If you’re looking to reduce your monthly expenses this holiday season, you could consider using a personal loan to pay off outstanding debt at a lower interest rate. To see if this is the right option for you, you can visit Credible to speak to a personal loan expert and get all your questions answered.

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