Cookout costs on the rise

For those not participating in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, a summer picnic usually comes with a price tag.

According to an American Farm Bureau Federation survey, that price tag for a party of 10 is $57.20.

The meat of that grocery tab is the beef for those burgers, pork on those spare ribs and hot dogs. According to the survey, those items add up to more than a third of the cost of the entire grocery basket.

  • 1lb of hot dogs: $2.29
  • 4lbs of spare ribs: $12.29
  • 2lbs of hamburger meat: $7.86

Beef prices have been trending upwards because of last summer's drought conditions in the Midwest. The smallest U.S. cattle herds in decades have tightened supply while demand has increased both here at home and abroad.

Other items on the grocery list included cheese slices for those burgers, baked beans, watermelon, ketchup and mustard. The whole July 4 meal averaged just under $6 per person.

Overall food prices are slightly higher than this time last year.

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