How inflation is ruining affordable summer fun in 2022

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Talk about a summer bummer.

Consumer prices are up a 9.1% increase across the board — the steepest rise since 1981 — and cool treats and amusements, such as ice cream and baseball games, cost more than ever before.

Americans are having to forego seasonal fun or dip into their savings to be able to afford it, according to Dr. Amit Batabyal, an economics professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Budgets are generally tight for most people,” Batabyal told The Post. “Even during the financial crisis, in 2008, we didn’t have that sort of inflation. So to that extent, [this summer] is unprecedented.”

Have a look at some of the high prices that are overheating August.

Ice Cream

Ice cream trucks might not be around much longer.
Getty Images

The skyrocketing cost of the finicky, hard-to-grow vanilla bean is wreaking havoc on frozen treats.

“Most ice cream shop owners, van owners are looking at substantial increases,” Steve Christensen, the executive director of the North American Ice Cream Association told The Post.

Vanilla isn’t the only issue. The cost of dairy ingredients is up as much as 30%, forcing frozen treat makers to raise their prices.

“Gallons of ice cream that used to be $8 or $9 are now at the $12 or $15 mark,” Christensen said.

Christensen told The Post that it’s normal for ice cream shops to increase their prices by 3% to 5% from year to year, but this summer, he said some places are raising prices by as much as 8% to 15%.

Ice cream trucks, like the the iconic Mister Softee, are being hit especially hard, since they also have to contend with skyrocketing fuel costs.

The trucks, Christensen recently told the New York Times, are “unfortunately becoming a thing of the past.”

Baseball games

It costs an shocking amount to take a family of four to baseball games nowadays.
It costs a shocking amount to take a family of four to baseball games nowadays.
MLB via Getty Images

And it’s 1, 2, $300 bucks to see the old ball game. This season, Yankees games cost an estimated $302.86 for a family of four including food, drinks and parking, The Hustle reported. For once, Mets fans are better off: A similar trip to Citi Field would cost around $197.47 under the same circumstances.

Nationwide, Major League Baseball tickets are 3.6% higher on average this year compared to last, per the 2022 MLB fan cost index. The real killer is the price of concessions. The price of ballpark dogs nationwide jumped as much as 30% from January 2021 to May 2022 — the “highest annual increase in the past thirty years,” an MLB vendor told ESPN. Citi Field dogs now cost about $7.25 and Yankee Stadium ones are $5.69. Nachos have also gone up 10% to 20% across the country. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks? Better take out a second mortgage.

Barbecues

A basic barbecue is costing much more nowadays.
Getty Images

Looking to have a big barbecue? Prepare to get burned. The cost of ground beef has shot up 13% since last year, from $4.88 to $5.40 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hot dogs are up 26% this year — an average increase of $4.01 to $5.22 per pound. And, buns, rolls and other breads shot up 10.1% just in the month of June, The Post reported.

Even the heat is costing more. Wood and propane are up a 28% increase over last year, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Beer and cocktails

Around the nation, the price of beer is soaring.
Around the nation, the price of beer is soaring.
Getty Images

It’s hard to swallow. Beer costs have risen 4.5%, per the Consumer Price Index. Heineken has raised its beer prices 8.9% since last year, Fortune reported.

Meanwhile, distilled spirits are up 5.5%, according to the CPI, and NYC watering holes say they’re seeing “double digit” inflation when it comes to stocking their bars. Telly Hatzigeorgiou, who owns the local chainlet Clinton Hall, said he’s paying an extra 10% for liquor and craft beers. He’s had to increase the price of tequila drinks to $18, up from $12 or $16.

Beach vacations

The beach isn’t a cheap vacation option anymore.
Getty Images

Paradise will cost you.

In the first quarter of 2022, the average plane ticket soared to around $325, 16.8% above the first quarter of 2021’s average seat of $281, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Air travel expert George Hobica told The Post that many people who canceled trips during the pandemic are now looking to get away. “That puts pressure on supply and demand.”

Once you reach your beachy location, you can expect to pay 22% more for accommodations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And, if you’re looking to eat some fresh seafood while you’re away, you’ll also pay more. Fish prices are up 13%, per the Consumer Price Index. That’s 3% more than the broad category of food overall.

Theme parks

Lake Compounce has had to raise it's prices due to inflation this year.
Lake Compounce has had to raise its prices due to inflation this year.
Robie Capps

Prepare to get hosed at water parks and theme parks.

After a major facelift, Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., now charges $59.99 for entry, up from the $54.99 price of 2021. Parking has seen the biggest increase between seasons: It’s now $30 for the days, up from $20 last year. The park’s marketing director Lynsey Winter said they’ve also increased prices on various concessions.

Further afield, Disney World and Disneyland are pricier than ever. Last October, the price of a single-day ticket for one park went up 6.5%, to $164 for admission to one park, whereas the two-day park hopper pass jumped 9% to $319.

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