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July 4 celebrations coming with hefty price tag amid inflation

This Independence Day will be about 17% pricier than previous years, as fireworks and food costs have skyrocketed.

NORTH DRUID HILLS, Ga. — Celebrating this Fourth of July will be more expensive than in previous years.

On average, this Independence Day will be about 17% pricier than previous years.

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Marketing professor for Emory University's Goizueta Business School, Douglas Bowman, says there are several factors tied into this, including supply issues.

"Think of the logistics costs, gasoline to get products from manufacturers to other manufacturers, from growers to stores, if it's food products, and then just the general cost of doing business has created these inflationary pressures," he explained.

Data shows common Fourth of July goods are up this year:

  • Chicken - up 27.9% to an average of $8.62/pound
  • Ground Beef - up 36% to an average of $9.58/pound
  • Hot Dogs - up 37.4% to an average of $5.22/pound
  • Hamburger Buns - up 55.4% to an average of $2.58
  • Ice Cream - up 14.1% to an average of $5.35/half gallon

So what are some things people can do to save?

"With economic downturns, one of the things you want to start watching is the gap between national brands and private labels. Usually, that gap starts to increase a bit during recessionary times as there's less discounting by the national brands," Bowman said.

Bowman said to look for the store brand, exclusive to a retailer. He said quality is just as good for less money.

"The national brands you're then paying for a lot of the infrastructure around branding and advertising that you're not necessarily getting, that's not an investment that the private labels are making," he said.

Also, visit multiple stores. He said while we’re in inflationary times, you may get more bang for your buck at hard discounters like Aldi or Lidl.

"In COVID times we were trying to consolidate our shopping to one store, so we're minimizing our exposure. Now, there's an opportunity to go back to pre-COVID times where you can visit multiple stores, like an Aldi or like a Lidl. They don't have the selection, but you're certainly going to really like their prices," he added.

Other suggestions include going in with a budget and a list of specifically what you want. Also, if possible, buy in bulk.

Firework costs, another Fourth of July staple, have also exploded.

According to the National Pyrotechnics Organization, supply costs are up 20% and shipping costs are $30,000 higher per shipping container this year.

Fireworks vendor Lameka Watley has a shop outside of the Kroger at the Toco Hills Town Center.

"At some of our locations our shelves are pretty much empty already," she said. "Stuff is starting to fly off the shelf and I think by the Fourth of July, we're going to be pretty much empty here."

The rise in supply costs has caused some retailers to raise costs by 35% or more for 2022.

"In the last five years there has been a jump like 20% that I have seen before I even started doing this," Watley added. "A lot of people are kind of surprised – like, 'Oh my god they have went up,' but people are buying regardless. Some people are like 'we don’t care we want fireworks.'” 

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Experts said prices are likely to continue to go up until the end of the year.

But, to end on a good note, the cost of strawberries and chocolate chip cookies have gone down compared to last summer.

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