How to Economize Your Summer Fun

Thanks to inflation, summer fun may be more expensive, but there’s still a way to economize your summer. Using Domo Variables, we'll explore the rising prices of common summer purchases.

Jul 8, 2024 - 01:27
How to Economize Your Summer Fun

Summer officially started last week, and we’re thrilled about it. I love Minnesota, where I live, in the summer since it is so cold, for so long. My family and I can’t wait to do all the summer things we’ve loved and miss. Today, we’re happy to look at all the fun things that summer brings—and take the opportunity to consider the best bang for your buck given inflation. Let’s take a look at the consumer price index (CPI) data.

Summer fun by the numbers: A closer look at seasonal inflation

Similar to our Valentine’s Day story, we looked at prices compared to four years ago, not just year over year, using Domo Variables. Overall, as of May 2024, prices are up 22.5% compared to four years ago.

To put that in perspective, if you paid $5 at a hot dog stand in the summer of 2020, you’d be paying $6.13 this summer. For small things, the difference might be negligible. But think about larger purchases you might make in the summer: a $700 grill, a $40 bike helmet, or a $75 concert ticket. Twenty-two percent can add up.

So, okay—let’s economize. We wanted to look at how inflation has impacted summer. These include movies and concerts, sporting events, bikes, sports equipment, ice cream, hamburger beef, prepared salads, ice cream, and hot dogs. (Funnily enough, the CPI still calls the latter category “frankfurters.”) It’s everything you need for some good, old-fashioned summer fun.

Here’s what we found: 

  • Your best bet may be going out to the ballpark, as sporting events are only up 3.3% compared to four summers ago. As of this writing, the College World Series is almost over, but MLB teams are just ramping up.  
  • Bikes are up just under 15%, and sporting equipment is up just over 12%. These aren’t great, but when you think that, in total, things are up 22.5%… 
  • Last, I hate to break it to you, but food is a bit rougher for your pocketbook this year. The biggest increases are in frankfurters, which are up over 20%, and prepared salads are up over 19%. Even ice cream is up over 16%—which might be why the kids are stealing tubs of it from grocery stores 

Explore our interactive inflation dashboard

Don’t forget to explore our interactive inflation dashboard below. Play around with the data to see how different summer staples have been affected over the years. You might just find some surprising ways to save! 

And if you found this analysis helpful, why not share it with coworkers, friends, and family? After all, summer’s always better when we’re in it together. 

Stay cool, stay savvy, and have a fantastic summer, no matter what inflation throws our way! 

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