Your Memorial Day BBQ is going to cost you a lot more this year

Sticker shock is everywhere, from burgers to buns, from ketchup to mustard. The good news is that there is some price reduction in stores now.

In the four weeks to May 15, the price per package of ground beef rose 14.7% from a year earlier, according to market research firm IRI, which tracks total retail sales. of the United States at multiple outlets in US supermarkets, big box retailers, convenience stores and other locations.

The price of frozen meat packages, excluding poultry, jumped 15.7% while the price of frozen sausages jumped 24.4%. Hot dogs have become 14.5% more expensive. Packaged hamburger and hot dog buns cost 11.2% more. Ketchup soared 15.8%, mustard 10.4% and soft drink prices rose 13.9%.

Prices for fresh lettuce increased by 13.8% and fresh tomatoes became 4.8% more expensive.

Still, the increase shouldn’t be too shocking, as grocery store prices have risen this year.

Food prices were 9.4% higher in April 2022 than in April 2021, the largest annual increase in 41 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said earlier in May. According to the BLS report, grocery prices jumped 10.8% on the year, without accounting for seasonal fluctuations.

A variety of factors have recently triggered the rise in food prices, ranging from bad weather, which reduced crop yields, to the Russian invasion, which pushed up the prices of wheat and other commodities.

Even people visiting friends and family to mark the holidays will pay more than last year as the average gasoline price per gallon hits an all-time high of $4.60. The price of gas has jumped 30% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. The price of $4.60 a gallon is about 50% higher than last Memorial Day weekend.

On the bright side: Those who haven’t done their Memorial Day shopping yet can expect a discount from late April and early May prices.

In the days leading up to the holidays, retailers will likely offer deals on classic barbecue dishes, like hot dogs and buns, said Jonna Parker, director of IRI Fresh.

They’re “really going to want to drive that foot traffic,” she explained. “And so they might take a margin hit or even a loss on one of the key Memorial Day pieces in order to try and get some other pieces in the [shopping] basket.”

But don’t get too excited. Even with these reductions, prices are likely to be higher than last year.

“I think we’re still going to see a year-over-year increase,” Parker said. “I guess it will still be 5-10% higher than Memorial Day last year.”

Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of small grocery store chain Stew Leonard’s, has this advice for shoppers looking to cut their grocery bills: “Buy the specials.” He also said shoppers should consider purchasing private label products.

Leonard noted that suppliers charged more as their costs rose, and that his stores had passed on about half of those increases to customers.

“It’s tough out there. It’s a tough environment. I feel that for our customers,” he said, adding that Stew Leonard’s was “trying to provide the best value possible for the Memorial. Day”.

Or, you can just opt ​​for a roast chicken for $4.99.

— CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report.


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