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Memorial Day BBQ costing more for shoppers as meat prices spike heading into weekend

Posted at 5:32 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 18:47:53-04

MILWAUKEE — Despite rising food prices, grocery stores stayed busy as shoppers prepped for cookouts this Memorial Day weekend.

"The food that you purchase at the grocery store is even higher. It's nearly 10.8% higher than it was a year ago," said Andrew Stevens, assistant professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Even so, Bunzel's Meat Market at Burleigh and 91st in Milwaukee stayed busy with shoppers on Friday.

"Oh no, I'm just saving a little more for that for groceries," said Christine Mantey.

Janet Emerson was set on splurging for baby back ribs and planned on saving on side dishes.

"I don't do it all the time. This is, like you said, a special occasion," Emerson said.

Stevens said overall meat and poultry prices are up about 9%.

"It seems to be that the deal is with pork. Pork prices are not expected to increase as much, only about 6% in 2022 and that may be because of some of the congestion and at ports," Stevens said.

Shopping around a few stores, TMJ4 News found prepackaged brats were on average about $6. Our price tracker found ground beef for burgers is pretty steady. We found some at $4.59 per pound. Eggs were across the board from $2.49 for a dozen up to $5.

Propane for the grill was $50 at Walmart for a new tank and $18 if you brought in an old one.

Bunzel's Co-Owner Chip Bunzel noticed some customers are more hesitant to spend, while others still want to go all-in for the weekend.

"They have gone up a big increase at first. I'm seeing they leveled off a little bit from there. What's gonna happen next week? I have no idea, but we just take one day at a time. We try to keep our prices as fair as we can," Bunzel said.

Experts expect food prices to keep rising this summer, but not drastically.

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