Local shops, restaurants could offer affordable options for Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 11:43 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) - In less than a week, families across the country and here in the Stateline will gather around the table for Thanksgiving dinner that will cost more than it has in years.

According to the American Farm Bureau Association, a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will cost 20% more than last year. Consumer experts say inflation, supply chain issues and labor costs are some of the factors.

“They’re greater than the rate of inflation and other items too food is one of the hardest hits,” says Tammy Batson, a professor in the NIU economics department. “It’s almost a compounding issue from the previous years that you start to see show up.”

Stores like Sullivan’s in Winnebago see an influx of people wanting their turkey dinners prepared. Last year they sold around 40 dinners. That number nears 60 meals this year, which includes some of the fixings also in high demand like green beans and mac and cheese.

“I think people are starting to circulate more. They’re starting to get in with their families more and more are coming back together,” says Assistant Store Manager Kayvette Smith.

It’s not just the thanksgiving side dishes that are taking a hit. According to the American Farm Bureau, the centerpiece of the dinner is also taking a hit. It is almost $29 for a 16 lb turkey. That is up 21% compared to last year.

“We wanted to get ahead of it and look at buying ahead-of-time turkeys that we need for Thanksgiving time.”

Hoffman House owner Michael Prosser says the supper club usually does a buffet and carry-out meals for Thanksgiving but costs force them to do only carry-out orders.

Prosser says turkey costs alone triple in price. This year the restaurant maxes out its pick-up orders: 350 Requests or more than 3000 pounds of turkey.

“This is the first time we opened it as large as I could so we took more time slots with more names which allow us to take more.”

In addition to Sullivan’s and Hoffman House, Embassy Suites in Rockford will have a buffet and Franchesco’s will have dine-in and to-go orders.