Posted BY: Karen Townsend

Remember last year when the White House proudly told us that we would be saving a whopping 16 cents on our July 4th cook-outs? The narrative at the time was that, hot dog! the Biden economic plan was working! The White House posted a corny tweet with the news. Good times, good times.

Even back then the rising price of gas countered any alleged good news in the economy.

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That was long before Putin’s invasion into Ukraine. This year I don’t think even the most arrogant members of Team Biden will try to convince us how great things are as shoppers buy groceries for July 4th celebrations this year. This year the total cost of a regular cook-out is up by 17%. Thanks, Joe! The same group that broke down costs last year did it again for this year. Blame soaring inflation and supply chain snags. Just don’t blame American farmers.

A new American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) survey found the average cost of a cookout is up 17 percent from 2021. Americans will pay about $69.68 for a cookout for 10 people, an increase of about $10 from the year prior.

Prices of ground beef, chicken breasts, pork chops, pork and beans, lemonade and other products have seen significant increases.

Economists from the AFBF attributed food and supply price hikes to ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Despite higher food prices, the supply chain disruptions and inflation have made farm supplies more expensive; like consumers, farmers are price-takers not price-makers,” American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Roger Cryan said in a statement.

“Bottom line, in many cases the higher prices farmers are being paid aren’t covering the increase in their farm expenses. The cost of fuel is up and fertilizer prices have tripled.”

Beef and poultry, as well as pork and even lemonade and potato salad are all up this year. However, the survey did find a few things that are less expensive than last year.

The survey found the retail price for 2 pounds of ground beef increased by 36 percent from last year to about $11.12, while the average price of 2 pounds of chicken breasts increased 33 percent to $8.99. The price of three pounds of center cut pork chops increased 31 percent to $15.26. The cost of fresh-squeezed lemonade increased 22 percent from last year, while potato salad is 19 percent more expensive and hamburger buns about 16 percent more costly.

Some key cookout goods did see a drop in price from 2021. The cost of two pints of strawberries fell 16 percent, while a pound of sliced cheese fell 13 percent and a 16-ounce bag of potato chips fell 4 percent.

Many Americans are planning to spend less this year on July 4th celebrations this year because of Bidenflation. A recent WalletHub survey found that two-thirds of Americans plan to spend less money this year compared to last year. 57% said the reason is they are feeling the pinch of inflation. Some celebrations will be more restrained than people would like, especially after two years of pandemic restrictions. Non-essential purchases are not a part of plans despite greater freedoms this summer. Summer spending, in general, is predicted to be down.

The WalletHub survey was relatively small – 350 respondents – but it reflects national representation. Data by age, gender, and income was normalized to reflect U.S. demographics.

Inflation is hurting celebrations. 57% of Americans say that inflation is affecting their 4th of July plans.

Americans support USA goods. 65% of Americans say they make an effort to buy things made in the USA.

Financial independence is shaky. Only 56% of Americans feel financially independent this 4th of July.

Summer spending is down overall. More than half of Americans will spend less money this summer than last year.

Saving vs. spending. 64% of Americans believe saving money is more patriotic than spending it.

Most survey participants said they don’t plan to go holiday shopping this year. Again, the reason is inflation. It will be interesting to see what retail sales numbers are after the holiday as compared to last year.

A second survey finds that inflation is taking a toll on mental health, too.

A separate survey conducted by LifeWorks found inflation is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health, especially among those who are unable afford basic needs due to soaring costs

The Life Works Mental Health Index released last week shows that people whose basic needs are going unmet because of inflation have a mental health score 16 percentage points lower than the national average.

Only 16 percent said inflation has yet to affect them, even though they expect it will eventually.

That would make sense. The availability of mental health access is often lacking during the best of times. With an increase of people feeling pressure today to keep up with higher prices on everyday necessities, mental health resources must be feeling the pinch, too. Times are tough in Biden’s America. No one is in the mood for happy talk about a few cents saved here or there this year.