Your Fave Foods Will Come At a Cost Tomorrow

by Abby Johnston
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Mmm... what's that smell? Burgers on the grill! Your friend just rolled up with some fresh vegetables to dress them with, you've got a fresh tub of all-American vanilla ice cream for dessert. Smells like freedom, doesn't it? Well this year, as the cost of Fourth of July food staples are rising, it could also smell like disappearing cash — and we don't mean throwing it on the grill.

Bloomberg reports in its CHART OF THE DAY that rising prices on commonly grilled foods, ice cream, and vegetables could make this one of the most expensive July 4 fêtes ever. Ground beef prices have risen 16 percent from last year to a record high due to shrinking cattle stock. Drought and compromised growing conditions in California have driven tomato prices up 12 percent. Even ice cream is up 1.7 percent, which in past years has been attributed to vanilla shortages and the fact that the world is a cruel, joyless place.

Climbing prices still won't stop most of you weekend warriors, though. Don Close, a vice president for animal protein at Rabobank Food and Agriculture Research and Advisory, told Bloomberg that consumers will likely swallow (literally) the cost of their favorite munchies.

“I would expect the overall grilling demand to be very good. The natural long weekend will be a benefit,” he said.

But if you're still worried about your bank account, never fear. We've broken down some of the most-consumed Fourth of July foods tracked on the Bloomberg index, and created a budget guide to survive Independence Day.

Ground beef

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You can't have a July 4 without a burger; it's just not what our forefathers would have wanted for us. So instead of full-sized patties, serve sliders at your party instead. The smaller, bite-size burgers will give you more bang for your buck, and you can use the savings to buy a package of much more affordable hot dogs.


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Nothing beats a fresh tomato slice on top of a burger (or sliders, in your case). But desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you're really feeling the hurt after buying all of that beer, you could always go for Ro*tel canned tomatoes. I know, hang with me for a sec. If you drain the can and roast them on the grill for a few minutes, you could tell everyone it is a spicy, Tex-Mex burger. Erm, slider.

Ice cream

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There is honestly nothing in the world that could serve as a fitting substitute for this creamy, icy heaven on a cone. So, no tips here. Just suck it up and buy some ice cream.