Products might be more expensive this holiday season due to rising inflation, but some holiday essentials have gone up in price more than others over the past year.
According to a new Bankrate.com study, people are bound to pay more whether they are staying home or traveling.
Airfares have gone up 42.9%, and gasoline has increased 17.5%. For those staying at home, utility bills have risen 17.1%.
“The price of hosting a holiday gathering doesn’t just manifest itself through all the food that you have to buy, but also in the electricity and the cost of heating your home that comes along with having a party,” said Sarah Foster, a Bankrate.com analyst.
Food prices have been rising at a steady pace: Eggs are up 43%, flour and prepared mixes are up 24.6%, dairy and bakery products have risen 15.5%, and sugar and sweets have gone up 14.9%.
“It’s really food inflation that has become the most salient for households,” Foster said. “I think that’s why inflation overall has just been so challenging, because it’s really concentrated in these areas that households can’t put out of their budgets.”
The price of a meal at a restaurant is up 9%.
For those who want to avoid spending more than they can handle over the holidays, Foster said it’s important to make a budget and figure out your “hard stop,” so you know the amount that you can’t afford to surpass.
When shopping for gifts, Foster said that asking people for a list of what they want is a better idea than buying items as a surprise.
“You have a list of options that allows you to pick and choose what you can afford,” Foster said.
That also ensures that you are not buying something that the person doesn’t necessarily want.
“When inflation is high and already weighing on Americans’ wallets, no one wants to buy someone an unwanted item that just sits around and collects dust,” Foster said.