Is a fourth of july Cookout worth the expense? It's apparently quite a bargain. The American Farm Bureau Federation conducted an informal price survey to determine the cost of a typical Fourth of July Cookout. They found the typical summer picnic, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers and other fare cost an average of  $57.20 for 10 people. That's $5.72 per person. That's a better deal than a fast food combo.

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"Five dollars a person for a special event cookout is affordable for most people. We certainly know that there are people who struggle with affording food and other necessities, but in general, we're blessed with very affordable food in this country."
- John Anderson, chief deputy economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation

Sixty volunteer shoppers in 22 states checked retail prices were checked in 22 states by Sixty volunteer shoppers. Anderson said, "We expect the general level of prices to go up around 2 percent a year. That's kind of normal price inflation, and ... I certainly think that we're in the ballpark of those normal price changes over the past year."
Aside from burgers and hot dogs, the farm group's picnic menu included burgers and hot dogs, pork spare ribs, potato salad, lemonade, baked beans, watermelon, corn chips, chocolate milk, ketchup and mustard. It doesn't include beer. Americans are spending out a bit more for that this year.
John Davie, president and CEO of Boston-based Consolidated Concepts says, "More people are trading up to premium, more expensive beer."
The price of chicken has gone up in the past year. 52 year old Debra Graham says, "It's almost as cheap to buy steaks as to do chicken or burgers."