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Why your Memorial Day cookout will cost more this year

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer.

Whether you’re filling up the tank to go out of town or staying here to grill, your plans might cost you more this year.

We were from Broad Street Bullies, where they’ll be grilling good food all weekend long.

We talked to a local butcher who says he’s never seen prices this high.

Before you light up the grill and dig in, prepare for the cookout to make a dent in your wallet, high meat prices are having customers leave the grilling to the pros.

“I’ve never seen things quite like this. And certainly, never seen saw things like there were during the pandemic,” said Wayne Lanier, owner Lanier’s Fresh Meat Market.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose almost 15 percent, a change hitting a little closer to home.

“What’s increased in price lately is the chicken. And not only in price but in availability. We’ve been, you know, shorted a lot of chicken. Pork has gone up probably 25 percent in the last 30 days,” he said.

If you’re on a budget, Lanier says burgers are your friend. Ground beef prices have stayed relatively steady at $3 a pound.

Broad Street Bullies Grill owner Antoine Williamson says the price of steak has gone up $2 a pound. Shortages, price increases, and all on a holiday weekend, creates even more demand.

“On weekends like this, with everybody grilling out, I have to fight in the stores for the stuff I get on a regular basis. It’s best if I order in advance and hope I don’t run out,” he said.

A fight for availability but also reliability.

Williamson said: “You’re guaranteed to get what you want, you know, at the restaurants because everybody does the same. We’re going to buy in bulk, we’re going to buy ahead of time, we’re going to put it up in our freezers, and refrigerators, we’ll have it. If you go to a store, you never know if you’re going to get it.”

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