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May 23rd, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Soaring gas, food prices changing your holiday plans?

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(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?

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Filed under: Oil Prices • Rising Food Costs