Mac & cheese too expensive? Inflation is sending prices on some Thanksgiving favorites skyrocketing

NEW YORK — Mac and cheese may be off the menu this Thanksgiving, especially if you’re shopping on a budget. A new poll examined the impact of inflation on the dishes that traditionally fill America’s Thanksgiving feasts — finding that turkey, mac & cheese, and sweet potato casserole have seen their prices skyrocket the most over the last 20 years.

Overall, the survey, commissioned by CouponFollow, found that the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is now 64 percent higher than it was in 2002. On average, Americans are spending $251 on their Thanksgiving feast this year.

If you’re looking at the cost of the ingredients alone, shoppers have to pay nearly $88 to get everything they need for dinner. This grocery list includes the turkey, mac & cheese, potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, bread, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie.

Just 10 years ago, that shopping list cost the average American less than $69. In 2002, these dishes cost just $53.62.

When it comes to the “main event” of Thanksgiving — the turkey — Americans are now paying $23.60 for the average bird. That’s nearly $10 more than the $14.39 shoppers spent in 2002. Interestingly, a recent survey found that two-thirds of Americans would considering eating cultured meat grown in a lab setting because of the skyrocketing price of meat currently.

Are certain dishes too expensive for Thanksgiving?

While it might be hard to do without a turkey this year, Americans may be looking to cut costs elsewhere. Could the first casualty of the holidays be the mac & cheese?

The survey found that this cheesy side dish has nearly doubled in price, going from $10.89 in 2002 to $17.86 in 2022. With that in mind, another recent poll finds that a staggering 88 percent are cutting at least one dish from their table in order to make ends meet.

Nearly six in 10 (57%) admit their Thanksgiving guest list is much smaller this year and 53 percent are cooking fewer…

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