Sticker shock is everywhere, from burgers to buns, and from ketchup to mustard. The good news is there some Reduce prices in stores now.
In the four weeks to May 15, the price of a package of ground beef rose 14.7% from a year earlier, according to market research firm IRI, which tracked total US multi-outlet retail sales at US supermarkets, major retailers, convenience stores and other sites.
Package prices for frozen meat, excluding poultry, increased by 15.7%, and prices for frozen sausage jumped by 24.4%. Hot dog prices rose 14.5%. Prices of packaged hamburger buns and hot dogs increased 11.2%. Ketchup prices increased 15.8%, mustard increased 10.4%, and soft drink prices increased 13.9%.
Fresh lettuce prices rose by 13.8%, and fresh tomatoes were up 4.8%.
Food prices were 9.4% higher in April 2022 than they were in April 2021, the largest annual increase in 41 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said earlier in May. Grocery prices have jumped 10.8% for the year, unadjusted for seasonal fluctuations, according to a BLS report.
Even people visiting friends and family to celebrate the holiday will pay more than last year, when the average price of gas per gallon was $4.60, an all-time high. The price of gas has risen by 30% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. $4.60 a gallon is about 50% higher than last Memorial Day weekend.
One silver lining: Those who haven’t done their Memorial Day shopping can expect a discount compared to prices in late April and early May.
In the days leading up to the holidays, retailers are more likely to offer deals on classic barbecue foods, such as sausage and cake, said Jonna Parker, director of IRI Fresh.
“They really want to lead the foot traffic,” she explained. “So they might take a margin hit or even lose a major Memorial Day item to try to get other items in the [shopping] Basket.”
But don’t get too excited. Even with these discounts, prices are likely to be higher than last year.
“I think we’re still seeing an increase year over year,” Parker said. “I suspect it will still be 5-10% higher than Memorial Day last year.”
Stew Leonard Jr. presents. , president and CEO of small grocery chain Stew Leonard’s, has this advice for shoppers looking to keep their purchase bills low: “Shop for specials.” He also said that shoppers should consider purchasing brand-name products from the store.
Leonard noted that suppliers were charging more as their costs went up, and that his stores passed about half of those increases to customers.
“It’s tough out there. It’s a tough environment. I feel it for our customers,” he said, adding that Stew Leonard “is trying to provide the best value possible for Memorial Day.”
-— CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report.