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Memorial Day holiday costs jump from last year

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Whether you’re family is planning a road trip over the Memorial Day weekend or a backyard barbecue, you’ll encounter higher costs for almost everything you do.

Kathy Ramey noticed that when she stocked up for the weekend at a local grocery store.

“I spent over 200,” she said.

Ramey said she traditionally spends around $140 on a weekly grocery run.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the overall price of food is up almost 11% this year compared to 2021. Here’s a list of price increases for several items:

  • Meat, fish and poultry 14%
  • Fruits and vegetables 7.8%
  • Ground beef 16.4%
  • Steak 11.8%
  • Hotdogs 6.2%
  • Alcohol 3.9%

Those hitting the road will encounter record-high gas prices. But that hasn’t seemed to dampen a pent-up urge to travel, according to AAA’s Nick Chabarria.

“Despite some of the higher travel costs for gas prices, hotel and airfare, AAA is still forecasting we’re going to see more holiday travelers this year than last, about a 10 percent increase or so,” he said.

According to AAA, the average statewide price for regular unleaded gas in Missouri is $4.17. That’s $2.72 more than Memorial Day of 2021.

The statewide average for regular unleaded gas in Illinois is $4.96, a $3.26 increase from last year.

On Friday, new numbers showed inflation has slowed but it’s still near a 40-year high. Chuck Gascon is a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis.

“What we really want to see is those prices, the growth of those prices, slow down and that’s ultimately what we’re looking for in the economy. And right now, prices are rising A lot faster than we would like them to,” he said.

Gascon said that consumer spending has slowed, in part because most people have spent all of the stimulus money they received from the government during the pandemic. He said that might discourage retailers from passing along their higher costs to consumers. In fact, Gascon said, consumers might see discounts for items like furniture and appliances as stores look to reduce their inventories.