A New Report Shows Sweet Potatoes Are A Smart Buy This Thanksgiving

With Halloween over, many American families have turned their sights on plans for Thanksgiving, though with food inflation still rampant around the country — and around the world — many people may have to adjust their holiday dinner budgets. Wells Fargo suggests this might be the year small families consider breaking tradition and going out to eat for Thanksgiving. As they explain, the cost of eating food out has increased less than the cost of food at the grocery store, going up by about 5.79% compared to grocery store prices, which have increased 9.81% since last year.

For those who have qualms about making businesses open on Thanksgiving though, or bigger families whose restaurant tabs might not result in much savings, be prepared to pay more than you are used to, and consider potential substitutions that could make the holiday season easier on your wallet. Eating Well suggests steps like making a simpler, homemade dessert instead of store-bought pies, or skipping the expensive wine and cocktails. Another substitution that might come as a surprise is with a popular side: potatoes. 

As reported by Tasting Table, the cost of potatoes has jumped significantly since February 2019, going from around $0.75 per pound to near $0.90 per pound this summer. If you're planning on making a huge pot of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, that money could add up and you might want to consider using a cheaper spud this year, potentially sweet potatoes.

Substituting sweet potatoes

So why might you want to try swapping out your white potatoes for sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving? The price, for one. As Wells Fargo explains, harvests could impact the price of potatoes in the coming weeks and months. The northwestern states, where white potatoes are primarily grown — like Idaho and Washington — were first impacted by a cold spring then extreme heat, which delayed then stunted some of the potato crop. While RFD TV, a rural-focused news station, reports that potato quality has not been impacted by the inclement weather, the yield is reportedly down which could continue to drive up prices. 

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have not suffered the same inflation, reports Wells Fargo. The states responsible for U.S. sweet potato crops, including North Carolina and other portions of the southeast, have had good growing seasons and the crop has not been impacted by the war in Ukraine. This has allowed the price to remain "relatively flat," according to IndexBox.

Additionally, VegNews notes that sweet potatoes are more nutritionally beneficial than white potatoes, especially if you don't coat them in sugar and marshmallows. Instead, consider trying these recipes for spicy sweet potato soup or honey roasted sweet potatoes for a tasty, and cheaper Thanksgiving side dish.