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NBC Consumer Correspondent Says Americans Should 'Forgo the Turkey' to Reduce Thanksgiving Costs

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

NBC News Consumer Correspondent Vicky Nguyen advised Americans to exclude turkey from their Thanksgiving feasts if they wish to cut down on costs over the holidays.


The cost of turkey, traditionally the most important food on the table at Thanksgiving, increased by more than 20 percent since last November due to inflation and the supply chain crisis. Other foods typically served on Thanksgiving, like sweet potatoes and cranberries, also experienced a rise in costs.

And while Nguyen acknowledged the importance of turkey on Turkey Day, she said opting for alternative food options may be the most fiscally responsible way to celebrate the holiday.

"Perhaps forgo the turkey," Nguyen said Saturday. "Bear with me. I know that is the staple of the Thanksgiving meal. However, some people think turkey is overrated. It tends to be the most expensive thing on the table."

The reporter also asserted that not having a turkey would reduce Thanksgiving costs because fewer people would show up to the meal and thus, the quantity of food purchased could be cut down.

"Maybe you do an Italian feast instead. I will say this — if you tell everyone you're having a Thanksgiving without turkey, some guests may drop off the list, and that's a way to cut costs too," she explained.


Nguyen went on to say that budgeting for Thanksgiving is increasingly important this year because it is "what's going to help you plan your menu, working on that budget."

She also recommended that people utilize coupons to cut costs this holiday season.

"That way, you can compare right then and there who's got the cheapest price on turkey this week," she said before noting that store brands and making a food item from scratch are also ways to cut down on grocery costs.

Nguyen suggested that people do their Thanksgiving shopping earlier this year to ensure they are able to find every ingredient they need for their meals.

"You may want to get out there to the stores," she said. "With all the randomness and unpredictability of the supply chain, I don't want you to go to the store on Tuesday or Wednesday and not find some of your favorites."

This comes amid an inflation increase of 6.2 percent between October 2020 and October 2021, according to the consumer price index.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News last month that this would be "the most expensive Thanksgiving we’ve ever had" because of inflation and supply chain issues.

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