One year ago, President Joe Biden crowed at how the cost of a Fourth of July cookout plunged under his watch.
The White House tweeted that the average price of a holiday feast dropped by 16 whole cents.
This year, his social media team has been noticeably silent about the cost of that cookout… because it’ll take a lot more than last year’s leftover 16 cents to keep up with the skyrocketing price of that meal.
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The American Farm Bureau Federation said the price of a typical Independence Day BBQ has jumped by about $10, to $69.68 to prepare a meal for 10 people in your backyard, at the beach, or wherever else you might do your celebrating.
That’s a total increase of 17 percent over last year for common cookout foods.
The bureau says don’t blame your local farmer – they’re barely getting by themselves in today’s sputtering economy.
“Despite higher food prices, the supply chain disruptions and inflation have made farm supplies more expensive; like consumers, farmers are price-takers not price-makers,” AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan said in a news release. “Bottom line, in many cases the higher prices farmers are being paid aren’t covering the increase in their farm expenses. The cost of fuel is up and fertilizer prices have tripled.”
A Wells Fargo analysis was slightly more optimistic, saying the cost of food for a July 4th celebration has climbed by 11 percent over the past year.
“Fourth of July celebrants will be able to keep an eye on the fireworks and minimize the pain of food inflation by planning early this year – but it will require a little creativity with menu planning and an eye for deals given food prices are up across the board,” the company said in its analysis.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are up by 12 percent, part of a surge in food prices overall and in particular meat… while the buns are up 10 percent, which the company says is due in part to the war in Ukraine, which has destabilized the market for grains.
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And if you like it spicy, your cookout will be even costlier: the price of chicken wings has jumped by 38 percent.
Buffalo drumsticks may not have the same ring, but they may be the next-best option as they’re up by “only” 12 percent, while chicken breasts have risen by 24 percent.
Just about the only relative bargain in the meats aisle is pork, which Wells Fargo says is up by just 3.1 percent.
Even the cost of keeping hydrated is rising: Soda prices are up 13 percent… energy drinks by 3 percent… and bottled water by 9 percent.
And naturally, a little something for the adults will cost a lot more. Normal beer is up by 25 percent in 2022 (fancy beers, already costly, haven’t budged in price), while wine is up nearly 6 percent.
The cost of the cookout is only part of the expense.
For many Americans, the holiday is an extended weekend – and that means a chance to travel, whether it’s a day trip to have that cookout on a beach and see some fireworks, or an overnighter to visit friends and family.
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And that’s become a lot more expensive, too.
Over the past year, the cost of an airline ticket has gone skyward by 25 percent. On the ground, the price of gas has shot up by 60 percent over the past year, now hovering at around $5 a gallon on average. That puts the cost of a highway drive at about $15 an hour for the typical U.S. car.
Plus tolls, of course.
Depending on where you are, however, those might be rising, too.