(PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are being hit with a more expensive holiday weekend than in years past, with soaring costs for everything from gasoline to hamburger buns.
Gas prices, at a national average of $3.88 a gallon, have now risen for 17 straight days, according to AAA. The motorist group says that for the first time since 2002, Americans plan to drive less this Memorial Day weekend than they did the year before. It says people are traveling closer to home and taking fewer trips.
And, that poll was taken during the last week of April, when gas was at $3.50 a gallon. At least 7 states now average more than $4 a gallon. Another survey conducted this month found 23% of Americans have changed their travel plans for this weekend due to high gas prices, with 12% canceling their vacations all together.
Meanwhile, for those just planning to stay home and fire up the barbecue, get ready for sticker shock there, too. With food inflation at the highest in almost two decades, the cost of an average barbecue could cost families about 6 percent more than last year.
Prices are up for everything from hot dogs to soda, potato chips and hamburger buns. Beef prices have been high, and chicken and pork prices are expected to rise because of feed and fuel costs.
For many people, that means cutting corners, by doing things like buying store brands instead of name brands. Others say they find themselves questioning every food purchase – wondering if they really need the item.
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mark from Berwyn, Pa. writes:
I spend $50/week just to drive back and forth to work. So this weekend, I stay home. No driving, no gas stations, no feeding the pockets of oil company executives and Arab sheiks. Mine will be a truly American holiday spent with loved ones.
Consumers are not going to let the economy spoil their holidays. It’s been proven over and over again.
For me, Memorial Day weekend has always been stay at home to watch the Indy 500 and old war movies on TV. By the way, Indy Car fuel economy: 5 miles per gallon of ethanol.
Mike from New Orleans writes:
We're staying home. We looked at our leisure budget for Memorial Day Weekend, and we figured out whiskey is cheaper than gas.
Kevin from Massachusetts writes:
It will be burgers and hotdogs this year instead of steak and lobster. The motor home will be parked in our backyard instead of the campground. We will all sit and watch the Travel Channel for that vacation experience.
Courtney from South Windsor, Connecticut writes:
A bit. It basically means the quality of my celebratory beverages will go down, but my consumption of them will go up. Drowning myself in Busch Light hasn't seemed this appealing since college.
Mark from Kalamazoo, Michigan writes:
No way, Jack. At 80mpg on the motorcycle, what better way to get out and enjoy the weekend? Besides, fast food prices usually stay under five bucks. It should be a killer weekend.