Inflation will make your Memorial Day BBQ more costly

Published 11:22 am Saturday, May 28, 2022

The upcoming Memorial Day BBQ will be a lot harder on consumer wallets this year. Barbecue staples like hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and beer are just a few items that are being affected by price inflation.

You’ll likely be spending a lot more for this year’s Memorial Day barbecue. Fan favorites like hot dogs, potato chips, and beer are just some of the items that have jumped in price as a result of inflation.

The nation’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2022 has risen by 8.3% compared to April 2021, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the cost of food rising 9.4% and the at-home food category rising 10.8%.

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For Mississippi, the food index in April 2022 increased by 9.3% compared April 2021, reflecting increases in the food at home (10.5%) and food away from home (7.5%) indexes.

Firing up the grill is likely to hit consumers’ wallets the hardest. The prices of bacon jumped 17.70%, the most year over year; followed by chicken legs (bone-in), up 16.40%; ground beef, up 16.40%; uncooked beef steaks, up 11.80%; and hot dogs (all meat or all beef), up 6.20%. Hot dogs experienced the largest change in price dollar-wise. In 2021, a pound of hot dogs in April cost $3.81; today it comes in at $5.22.

Within Mississippi, the price index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs has gone up by 14.1% in comparison to last April. The index for alcoholic beverages has only increased by 2.6% compared to last year.

The only foods to cost slightly less or the same: strawberries, wine and tomatoes.

And unless you’re planning to stay at home, you’ll be paying more at the pump to get to those parties. The cost of gas used to fuel barbecues, boats and cars is up a whopping 43.6% compared to a year ago. The average gas price in the U.S. on Thursday was $4.60 per gallon, according to AAA figures.

The average price in Mississippi clocks in below the national average at $4.16. Lafayette County’s average currently sits below the national average as well at $4.22.

Jerry Dalton, director of commodities at ArrowStream, expects a lot folks will be “more conservative in spending on grilling activity and be more local.” High prices — especially gasoline — will likely mean “more family grilling and less automobile travel.”

Consumers are anticipating taking a hit this holiday, according to a report from Numerator, which asked 1,200 people between April 28 and May 2 about their Memorial Day plans. Of those celebrating, 84% are expecting inflation to impact their Memorial Day shopping, with one in five expecting it to be significant. And while a third expect to keep their holiday spending below $50, over one in five expect to spend more than $100.

If you haven’t stocked up for your party yet, you might want to hit the stores soon. According to the survey, 68% of those celebrating have already done their shopping.