Good news: The great, all-American barbecue will cost you a lot less this holiday weekend – and lower energy costs spearheaded by the great, all-American energy revolution are a big reason why.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) says that the typical summer cookout feast – one that feeds 10 people – will cost $55.84, or $5.58 per person. Overall, barbecue costs are down 3 percent from last summer, when it cost $57.57.
The credit goes all around, said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF. It starts with decreased prices for many of the items on the average Fourth of July food-shopping list, which includes:
- 8 burgers
- 8 hot dogs with buns and cheese slices
- 4 pounds of pork spare ribs
- 3 pounds of potato salad
- 28 ounces of baked beans
- 15 ounces of corn chips
- 4 pounds of watermelon
- 2 quarts of lemonade
- 2 quarts of chocolate milk
While prices for beef have begun to stabilize after increasing earlier this year, the prices for others meats, like retail pork, have steadily declined, as have prices for dairy products, Anderson said.
Even better, the energy used to fire up the grill and prepare food is also less expensive. Lower energy costs are a big reason why prices for various food items are less expensive, highlighting how the nation’s ongoing energy renaissance is helping Americans in numerous under-the-radar ways.
“Fuel and other energy prices have also generally been lower so far this year compared to last year,” Anderson said. “This helps keep prices down on the more processed items in the basket. Energy is an important component of the final price for these products.”
In addition to cost-friendly food and electricity prices, the U.S. energy revolution is also helping motorists save hard-earned dollars at the gas pumps this holiday weekend.
The national average for a gallon of gas is currently $2.78, about 88 cents less than the average price on Independence Day last year. Drivers will also see the lowest Independence Day gas prices in at least five years, AAA says – welcome news for the nearly 42 million Americans that will travel between July 1 and July 5 – the most in eight years.
Like food costs and electricity rates, fuel prices are falling because of U.S. domestic production flooding the global market with a glut of oil, which has lower crude oil prices. Oil prices account for about two-thirds of the price U.S. drivers pay for a gallon of gasoline.
Declining energy costs are expected to save American families even more money in a variety of ways by year’s end. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, for instance, says that the average U.S. household will spend about $700 less on gasoline in 2015 compared with 2014, as annual motor fuel expenditures are on track to fall to their lowest level in 11 years.