Pizza for Thanksgiving: Gen Zers trying to save money are ditching tradition in favor of affordability
- Wells Fargo's report found that the price of groceries has increased at a rate of 9.81%.
- Items like turkey have become more expensive, so Gen Zers are celebrating Thanksgiving differently.
Thanksgiving often means money spent on groceries like a whole turkey, or ingredients for a rich cranberry sauce, but this year, young people are choosing their finances over tradition because of high inflation rates.
A 2022 report by Wells Fargo found that the price of groceries has increased at a rate of 9.81% compared to last November. As a result, fewer people are expected to follow the tradition of cooking a feast and eating at home this year.
Many of those opting out of throwing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner are Gen Zers, not just because groceries are more expensive, but because their finances are taking a further hit due to credit card debt, the loss of jobs, and higher auto loans. Many young people are also battling student debt — the average loan balance for Gen Zers is $20,900, which is 13% higher than millennials.
A survey of 1,000 participants conducted by the financial advisor Personal Capital last month found that 32% of Gen Zers are choosing to adapt their Thanksgiving so they can spend less money. Many said they would have potlucks, serve fewer items, or ask friends and family to pitch in.
The survey also found that many young people are forgoing the tradition of centering their meal around turkey, opting for a cheaper option instead: pizza. The Wells Fargo report found that the cost of turkey is 23% higher this year compared to last November, so young people are prioritizing affordability over the way they celebrated in previous years.
Wells Fargo Chief Agricultural Economist, Michael Swanson, told Bloomberg that this is a great year for people to skip the cooking and hosting, since the bank's survey showed that the rate of dining out increased more slowly, at 5.79%.
"For anyone who wants to pamper themselves and forgo the hassle of cooking and cleaning up at home, this could be the year to book your favorite restaurant," he said.
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