Here’s NPR’s plan to help you save on a meal

There is an annoying guest at Thanksgiving dinner this year: inflation. The turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce — everything has gotten a lot more expensive. The Farm Bureau puts the total cost of the traditional ingredients at more than $80, an increase of about 40% over 2020.

But inflation doesn’t have to win Thanksgiving. Some of NPR’s most intrepid business reporters set out on a mission to prove it, by taking on classic Thanksgiving dishes and finding substitutions that cost what those dishes cost in 2020.

Welcome to Substitutionsgiving.

Dish #1: Dinner Rolls and Butter

Maansi Srivastava / NPR

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NPR

Homemade bread and rolls are paired with baby food, a cheaper alternative to butter.

Almost all of the ingredients for rolls are more expensive than last year. Eggs are up 43%, flour is up 25% and butter is up almost 27%.

NPR correspondent and avid baker Alina Selyukh’s solution: Take out as many ingredients as possible. Use only flour, water and yeast.

Finding a butter substitute turned out to be the biggest challenge. Margarine prices are up more than 40%. Jelly, jam, and peanut butter prices have all skyrocketed. So Alina went on a hunt in her grocery store and found…baby food.

Baby food prices have risen a lot more slowly than butter or margarine.

Would have paid: $4.80

Actually paid: $2.92

Total savings:…

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