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Despite high inflation, grilling out this year might be cheaper than a year ago as several July Fourth staples have fallen in price.
After reaching a record high in 2022, the cost for this year's Fourth of July cookout will be slightly cheaper, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The group reported that this year's expected grocery bill for Independence Day staples is 3% lower than a year ago. The report looks at the cost of hosting a cookout for 10 people.
The list includes hamburger buns, cheese, ground beef, cookies, ice cream, strawberries, chips, chicken breast, pork chops, pork and beans, lemonade and potato salad. All told, the cookout would be expected to cost someone $67.73. Although cheaper than last year, the cost of this hypothetical cookout would still be 14% higher than in 2021.
The slight drop was attributed to items like chicken breasts, lemonade and cookies being cheaper this year.
Ground beef is a bit more expensive this year as drought conditions have reduced the number of available cattle, the AFBF reports.
The Farm Bureau uses volunteer shoppers in 240 different stores in the U.S.
Although Fourth of July staples have gone down, overall food costs are still up over last year. The consumer price index reports a 5.8% increase in food at the grocery store in the last year.
"The slight downward direction in the cost of a cookout doesn't counter the dramatic increases we've seen over the past few years. Families are still feeling the pinch of high inflation along with other factors keeping prices high," said AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan. "Don’t assume farmers come out as winners from higher prices at the grocery store either. They’re price takers, not price makers, whose share of the retail food dollar is just 14%."
The AFBF breaks down the cost for each Fourth of July staple:
- 2 pounds of ground beef, $11.54 (+4%)
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts, $8.14 (-9%)
- 3 pounds of pork chops, $14.37 (-6%)
- 1 pound of cheese, $3.53 (no change)
- 1 package of hamburger buns, $2.26 (+17%)
- 2 ½ pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.44 (+5%)
- 32 ounces of pork and beans, $2.44 (-3%)
- 16-ounce bag of potato chips, $4.53 (-4%)
- 13-ounce package of chocolate chip cookies, $3.90 (-10%)
- ½ gallon of ice cream, $5.29 (+3%)
- 2 pints of strawberries, $4.56 (+3%)
- 2 ½ quarts of lemonade, $3.73 (-16%)
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