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Locals plan to keep Thanksgiving traditions for dinner despite higher costs

“Yeah, it's hurting the pocket a little bit more than normal. It's the holidays. We're expected to pay a lot anyway, so,” said one shopper.

NEW ORLEANS — There were big crowds grocery shopping on Monday, for turkey and other side dishes for Thanksgiving, as well as filling up cars to go spend time with their family and friends.

But with the rising prices, some families are making changes to their Thanksgiving traditions.

The U.S. government estimates food prices will be up 9.5 percent to 10.5 percent this year. They usually rise only two percent annually.

The New York Farm Bureau says the cost of Thanksgiving dinner jumped 26 percent in 2022, but the Louisiana Farm Bureau says we can expect to spend $13.62 less than the national average for a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people. So we decided to check in with local shoppers.

On Monday the checkout lines at Dorignac's were packed.

“Yes, we're shopping for Thanksgiving. Got to make the cauliflower and the spinach,” said a young mother with her two children.

And shoppers know those generations-old traditions are going to cost more.

“Yeah, it's hurting the pocket a little bit more than normal. It's the holidays. We're expected to pay a lot anyway, so,” she added

When asked if he was going to spend more money this year than past Thanksgivings, one man replied, “Definitely. Almost 30 percent more.”

“I have seen some prices on some things that I thought were pretty high,” said another man.

And those who were "making groceries" as we say, and pumping gas before the holiday, say because of inflation there will be some small changes to past Thanksgivings, like in the case of one mother of five.

“This year instead of hosting Thanksgiving, we are actually going to family's house for Thanksgiving. So, yeah,” When asked if the change was about saving money, she said, “Absolutely.”

Another young woman pumping gas said, “I think I did a cornbread stuffing before, and now I'm just going to do like a sausage and apple one, maybe cut down on that shrimp seafood price.”

But most people say it's important to keep the Thanksgiving traditions intact, and to reconfigure the budget somewhere else, like one shopper who is in charge of purchasing the adult beverages for the family gathering. He had two grocery carts filled with alcohol and when asked if he was going to buy the same amount as always but just spend more he said, “Absolutely.”

Another shopper who bought some turkey said, “Still buying what I want to buy. Yes, yes. We're cutting back and don't drive as much when we don't need to.”

“I'm from a big family so we have to cook big regardless,” added the mother of two.

But that mother of five who won't be able to host the family this year, moved the conversation from the handbag to the heart.

“Everybody is dealing with changes. There's still love and compassion in the city. So, I do feel beyond blessed to live in New Orleans,” she said. 

The Louisiana average price of gas is $3.09 a gallon. That's a penny less than last Thanksgiving, making Louisiana one of the only states to see a decrease from last year.

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