Wednesday 22 May 2024

Memorial Day Plans Will Cost Americans More This Year

 Memorial Day celebrations and travel will cost Americans more this year thanks to inflation, according to the latest price data.

Inflation has been spiking since the spring of 2021, when pandemic restrictions began to ease. Although it has slowed since then — April’s 3.4% annual inflation rate is down from April 2022’s eye-popping 8.3% rate — it remains well above the usual 2% average.

This has hiked prices for basic necessities like groceries and gas, putting pressure on families to make ends meet and driving up the cost of the traditional summer cookout.

Groceries for the average cookout will cost Americans about 10% more than they did for Memorial Day last year, according to data from Datasembly, which tracks grocery prices.

Overall, a small list of cookout ingredients that cost $27.39 last year costs $30.18 this year.

Some items are driving up the price more than others, such as the nearly 50% price spike for a favorite condiment — relish. Relish that was $3.14 last year is $4.67 this year, more than a 48% increase.


Burgers are a dollar more, $8.07 compared to $7.04 last year. That’s an increase of 14.6%.

Hamburger buns jumped 2¢ to $3.06. Hotdog buns jumped 3¢ to $3.09.

Another favorite condiment, ketchup, jumped 10¢ to $5.53, and mustard jumped 8¢ to $2.61.

This basic list of ingredients does not even take into account other purchases that could be necessary, such as paper plates, cups, and plasticware.

If a family wants to spend slightly more and grill steaks, they’ll be looking at a 7% price jump for steaks compared to last year, according to the federal government’s consumer price index.

If they want to enjoy a few cold ones, they’ll find that beer is 10% more expensive than last year.

Meanwhile, travel and entertainment has gotten more expensive as well.

Sports tickets are 15% more expensive than last year, according to the federal consumer price index.

Gasoline, car expenses, and plane travel are all up as well.

Car insurance and car repairs are both more than 10% more expensive than last year, the consumer price index shows.

Compared to three years ago, plane tickets cost 24% more, and gas costs 28% more on average.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration on Tuesday claimed to be lowering prices at the pump ahead of summer travel by releasing one million barrels of gas from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve. Americans use about 8.94 million barrels of gasoline a day.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is laser focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families, especially as drivers hit the road for summer driving season,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

“By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most,” Granholm said.

Inflation at the top of many Americans minds as the election cycle heats up — about 41% say inflation is the biggest financial issue facing their families, according to a Gallup poll conducted last month. Back in 2020, only 3% said so.

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