The Real Cost of Celebrating July 4th

By Lewis Braham and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-06-28T15:04:23Z

Photograph by Alex Maclean/Getty Images

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According to the National Retail Federation, 68 percent of Americans will celebrate the Fourth at cookouts, barbecues or picnics. The average U.S. adult having a cookout on the holiday spent $59.14 on it in 2012, down from $61.16 in 2011. Hamburgers ($5.55), hot dogs ($1.66), charcoal ($8.24), watermelon ($4.46), popsicles ($3.67) and mayo ($2.99) accounted for a significant portion of the cost. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, we consume 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times. The NRF estimates total cookout spending to be $2.4 billion.