Your Fourth of July barbeque could cost a lot more money this year

Fourth of July cookout costs hit highest level on record, survey shows

Planning to have a barbecue on the Fourth of July this year? Prepare to shell out more money than in years past. 

A new analysis published by the American Farm Bureau (AFB) found that a typical Independence Day cookout with all the fixings this year will cost about $71.22 for a group of 10 people, up 5% from last year and a 30% spike when compared to 2019. It marks the most expensive level on record, and is the first time ever that prices have topped more than $7 per person.

Driving the increase are a number of barbecue staples, including ground beef, pork chops, hamburger buns, cheese slices, strawberries, potato chips, ice cream and lemonade.


"Your grocery bill may be a shock, but it is in line with the inflation that has roiled the economy – including the farm economy – over the last several years," the report said.

A family hosts a barbecue in the backyard of their home.

A family hosts a barbecue in the backyard of their home. (iStock / iStock)

Meat is the most expensive line item for a barbecue. This year, 2 pounds of ground beef will cost an average of $12.77, up more than $1, or 11%, from one year ago. The increase in beef prices is likely because cattle inventory in the U.S. is the smallest that it has been in 73 years, and beef in cold storage is setting record lows for recent years. 

Pork chop prices have also ticked higher, climbing about 8% nationally to an average of $15.49. 

However, Americans can expect to pay less for chicken than they did one year ago. The average cost of 2 pounds of chicken breast is about $7.83, a 4% drop from 2023 and down more than 13% from the record-high in 2022. More poultry farmers implemented biosecurity measures to stop the spread of the avian flu and to help their flocks recover. Farmers have also increased hatching and bird weights to offset losses and "keep prices affordable," the AFB said. 


However, inflation has hit many other items that you can expect to find at a cookout. 

The cost of homemade lemonade – made using 1 pound of sugar and 1.5 pounds of lemons – is about $4.19 total, a 12% jump from last year. 

Pork and beans, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and strawberries are also more expensive than they were last year, although they are not at record highs.

A grocery store customer in Washington, DC

A shopper scans coupons in a grocery store in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 23, 2024.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The increases in the cost of our cookout items reflect a number of broader economic factors," the report said. "General inflation has been highly disruptive to the whole economy, leaving behind many whose incomes haven’t kept pace."

While inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022, it remains well above the Federal Reserve's 2% goal. On top of that, inflation is up a stunning 19.4% when compared to January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began.


High inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. Grocery prices are up more than 21% from the start of 2021, while shelter costs are up 18.37%, according to FOX Business calculations. Energy prices, meanwhile, are up 38.4.%.

Price hikes are particularly devastating for lower-income Americans because they tend to spend more of their already-stretched paycheck on necessities and have less flexibility to save money.