Memorial Day Cookouts Cost 10% More This Year Than Last Year

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

High inflation hits everyone. Everyone buys groceries. There is no avoiding the price increases happening as trips to the grocery store strain family budgets.

The reason President Biden's happy talk about the economy falls on deaf ears with voters is because no one feels it. The rate of inflation is slowly falling after Biden's economic policies and extravagant federal spending led to a historically high rate of 9.1% inflation. Inflation may be easing up but prices remain high. 


About 60% of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck. Food purchases are a basic necessity that adds to that stress. 

While inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022, it remains well above the Federal Reserve's 2% goal. On top of that, inflation is up a stunning 19.4% when compared to January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began.

High inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. Grocery prices are up more than 21% from the start of 2021, while shelter costs are up 18.37%, according to FOX Business calculations. Energy prices, meanwhile, are up 38.4.%.

The hardest hit are low-income Americans. They spend more on necessities and have less flexibility to save money. If their wages are going right back out the door to keep their families fed, there is nothing left at the end of the month to save for an emergency or toward their future. 

Typical American households need $227 more each month, as of March, to purchase the same goods and services they needed one year ago. That is due to Bidenflation. Americans are paying about $784 more each month compared to two years ago. That number is $1,000 more compared to three years ago. 


So, where are the increases that will affect Memorial Day cookouts? Prepare to pay about $30 for a typical cookout. In 2023, that number was $27. That reflects a 10% spike compared to 2023 prices. Price increases affect purchases across the board. Beef, beer, and condiments play a main role in higher prices this year. If you want a little bit of relief at check-out, go with hot dogs instead of hamburgers or steaks. 

The cost of steaks jumped 0.3% in April and is up 6.5% compared to the same time last year. Ground beef prices also rose 0.3% in April and are 6% more expensive than a year ago.

Beer prices, meanwhile, surged 0.7% in April and are up 3% from a year ago. Only hot dog prices inched lower in April, falling by 1.1%. However, they remain 7.1% more expensive than last year. 

Americans can also expect to pay more for any condiments they use during their barbecue, with prices rising 1.5% in April from the previous month. Condiments cost 3.6% more than they did just one year ago.

More than half of Americans plan to have a cookout this year. 

The price of carbonated drinks jumped 1.2% last month. Soda prices are up about 4.1% from the same time last year. I do not drink carbonated beverages often but my recent check on the price of my preferred choice, Diet Coke, was an eye-opener. It's ridiculous. 


Standard condiments like ketchup, mustard, and relish are up. Ketchup is up 2%, mustard is up 3%, and relish is way up. Due to a pickle shortage caused by extreme weather in Mexico, relish is up a crazy 49%. Sorry, hot dog fans.

Are pork chops on the menu? Pork is up 1.2% while pork chops cost 1.7% more. Whole chickens are up 3%. 

Side dishes are more expensive, too. Canned fruits and veggies are up 3.5%. Juice is up a shocking 29.2%. 

Extreme weather and some supply chain problems contribute to higher prices. There is no getting around the Biden administration's mishandling of the economy, though, which has played a strong role in the pain Americans feel at the grocery store. 

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David Strom 10:00 AM | June 21, 2024