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Happy Thursday, Daily Money readers. Jayme Deerwester back with you. We’re almost to the long weekend!
Memorial Day BBQs take hit as food prices soar
“Inflation will be making its way to the Memorial Day picnic table, with consumers paying about 13% more for this year’s holiday staples,” said Kealind Trent, an analyst at Numerator, which polled 1,200 people about their holiday weekend plans. “And with nearly three-quarters of consumers saying they will cut back on spending this Memorial Day, we’re likely to see significant changes in how celebrators prep for their cookouts.”
Of those who plan to celebrate, 73% will pare spending. Even though most people (85%) still plan to buy meat, fresh produce (67%) and beer (75%), they’ll be trying to stretch their money with sales (64%) and more coupons (37%), Numerator said.
Below is a list of Memorial Day grocery categories seeing average price increases as of April 2022 versus year ago:
- Chips: +20.3%
- Beef: +20.1%
- Frozen Appetizers: +15.5%
- Hot dogs: +13.8%
- Dips: +10.4%
- Ice Cream & Novelties: +8.6%
- Beer: +7.3%
- Soft Drinks: +15.1%
- Cheese: +5.9%
- Packaged Rolls/Buns: +12.5%
- Vegetables: +9.2%
One way to save: Opt for store brand products, which are often made alongside the name-brand stuff, but costs up to 30% less.
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He laid people off and then got downsized. Here’s what one manager learned.
As the economy dips and layoffs emerge, my colleague Randy Essex takes comfort as a former manager in knowing he won’t have to tell anyone they are losing their job.
Essex was executive editor of the Omaha World-Herald after returning to his home state of Nebraska in January 2020 to lead its flagship newsroom following a 40-year career in daily news around the country. He arrived just in time for the newspaper’s sale and the onset of COVID.
And so the layoffs began, by phone since many newsroom employees were working from home. He would deliver the bad news and then an HR rep would provide details about severance, insurance and returning company property.
“It led me to think more than I had about how managers justify our role in this process,’ he writes. We tell ourselves it’s a corporate decision; that we have no power to stop the cuts. … I recognized that when I pursued senior roles, I signed up for this part of the job. If I’m going to enjoy being a leader, which I did, and the higher pay, I’ve got to suck it up and do this.”
A year later, Essex found himself on the other end of a layoff call.
“I admit to not taking it well,” he recalls as he listened to his own boss say the things he used to tell laid-off workers. “My thoughts were so different from my justifications when I was delivering the news. Despite For all I knew about our industry’s struggles, it still felt personal and like a failing.”
In hindsight, he says, “I grasp now that it subtly erodes our humanity as we forge on to the next management task. I dearly hope I never go through it again. From either side of the table. Or phone.”
🎧 Mood music 🎧
Since we’re just days away from the official kickoff to summer, it seems appropriate to quote The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk,” a summery song if there ever was one.
“From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel. Mmm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell. Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah. On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be.”
LISTEN WHILE YOU WORK: You can hear just about every song quoted in the newsletter on the Daily Money Mood Music playlist on Spotify.