Throw a summer cookout that won’t hurt your wallet

It’s officially summertime in Indiana, time for county fairs, pool days, camping and best of all: summer cookouts. So fire up the grill and head to your local grocery store to pick up the necessities: hot dogs, cheeseburgers and buns, baked beans and maybe some watermelon. Pretty soon you’ll be on your way to hosting the get-together of the summer.

Hold up. Unfortunately, everyone knows that like all good things, summer fun activities come with a price tag. Before you call your friends, maybe you should check your wallet.

Summer-Market-BasketIf you’re looking to host a backyard barbecue with friends and family this summer—on a budget—look no further than the results of Indiana Farm Bureau’s summer market basket survey. According to the survey, this year, hosts of summer cookouts featuring some of America’s favorite summer foods can expect to pay a little more than $5 per person for the meal.

Say what? That’s right; INFB’s informal survey showed that the average cost to feed 10 people at a cookout in Indiana this summer is $51.55, or $5.15 per person. The overall price is slightly less expensive than statistics from past years, and is also 8 percent lower than the national meal average. That’s exciting news for Hoosier hosts and hostesses throughout the state.

The summer cookout survey was conducted by 21 volunteer shoppers all across the state that collected prices on specific food items from one of their local grocery stores. The shopping list included ground round, hot dogs, hot dog and hamburger buns, pork spare ribs, American cheese slices, baked beans, potato salad, corn chips, prepared lemonade, chocolate milk, ketchup and mustard.

So go ahead, get to the grocery store, or maybe your local farmer’s market, for all your cookout needs. And when you get to the checkout line, take a sigh of relief! Thank goodness for Indiana farmers working hard year ‘round to grow and harvest your food—the farmers who only receive about 16 cents of a dollar spent on food. Using the ‘food at home and away from home’ percentage, the farmer’s share of this $51.55 market basket would be $8.76.

The summer cookout survey is part of the Farm Bureau market-basket series, which includes the annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey and two surveys that collect information on food staples that Americans commonly use to prepare meals at home. AFBF published its first market-basket survey in 1986.