Eating out or in for Thanksgiving? Here’s what you should expect to pay

Thanksgiving dinner costs
Thanksgiving dinner costs
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 6:12 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - With Inflation at more than 7%, we know Thanksgiving dinner is going to cost people more this year.

So, WSMV 4 wanted to know if it’s now cheaper to dine out on Thanksgiving Day and we crunched the numbers.

The math depends on several factors like the size of the family having a Thanksgiving meal or what your Thanksgiving meal is made up of.

After looking at a few options of how people can get that Thanksgiving meal and for some who plan to cook that meal, they said they’ll be looking for bargains.

“We’ll be cooking,” said Marie Alexander, who was grocery shopping.

“I will be joining family -- about 15 of us,” said Tamiko Wright outside a grocery store.

Those we spoke to said they’ll be “chefing” it up in their own kitchen for Thanksgiving. But with inflation, how much will it cost to do that this year?

WSMV looked around to find what those numbers were.

Eating out in Nashville can cost anywhere from $30 to $65 per adult for a Thanksgiving meal, but the upside to that is it would include several dishes along with the turkey.

When it comes to shopping for the Thanksgiving meal at the grocery store, experts said a whole frozen turkey went from $1.15 per pound last year to about $1.50 and up per pound this year. Experts said turkey is forecast to be 23% higher in the fourth quarter due to inflation and avian flu, which impacted turkey supply.

According to our calculations, a Thanksgiving meal for four people with the basics: we’re talking 16 pound turkey, a little bit of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, mac and cheese, green beans, cranberry sauce and some sort of 10-inch grocery store bought pie comes out to about $60.

“We’re just going to eat what we normally eat and being more conscious of saving and making sure we don’t waste,” said Wright. “We’re going to go for the deals. We’re going to find the stores that have the sales.”

“We’ll have the ham, turkey, all the fixings that go with it. So, it will remain the same this year. I don’t know about next year,” said Alexander.

Grocery stores like Publix and Kroger also offer packaged meals with several options. Those range anywhere from $65 to more than $100.

Some restaurants also have heat and serve meals.

For example, Cracker Barrel has hot and serve meals for four to six people for about $100.

After doing the math, cooking at home or ordering some of the heat and serve meals for your home may come out to be about the same cost.