Women shopping online during christmas

Happy Holidays: Here’s What Will Cost More This Year

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Women shopping online during christmas

Holiday Price Increases in 2021

Just in time for the holidays, inflation is driving prices through the roof everywhere, from the grocery store to the gas pump. According to the Labor Department, the Consumer Price Index jumped 6.2% from October 2020 to October 2021, the largest year-over-year increase since November 1990. The latest numbers break down these price increases in painful detail, and we've combed through them to find some of the most sobering. 

Related: Shortages That Could Make Your Holidays Way Less Merry

Large assortment of canned foods
Delivery man packing cardboard boxes in van

Postage and Delivery Services: 7.2%

Planning on sending packages to far-away friends and family this holiday? Prepare for sticker shock, with prices of both postage and package delivery up more than 7%.

Related: Why Stamp Prices Keep Rising

Gold, silver rings and chains
Woman Wrapping Christmas Gifts

Stationery Supplies and Gift Wrap: 8.3%

Even writing a heartfelt Christmas card and wrapping up all those presents will be more of a budget buster this year, with prices up more than 8%.

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Speaker, audio loudspeaker with bluetooth wireless connection with mobile smartphone and computer laptop using for voice call communication, multimedia music entertainment, portable mini home theater

Computers and Smart Home Technology: 8.4%

Technology is always a hot category over the holidays, but those deals might not be quite as smokin' this year. A shortage of microchips has snowballed since the pandemic shut down overseas factories, and it's affecting everything from laptops to voice assistants.

Related: Smart Home Products That Are Worth the Money

Bicycle Shop
Young woman personal stylist goes through hangers with clothes close up picking up outfit to wear
Nataliia Nakonechna/istockphoto

Dresses: 9.2%

Getting all dressed up for that company holiday party or new family photo? You might want to see if you’ve already got something in the closet that will fit the bill. Men, the news isn’t any better for you: The cost of suits and sport coats is up 9.3%

After online shopping a woman takes delivery of her new television
Vladimir Vladimirov/istockphoto
Still life image of brown and white eggs in cardboard egg cartons

Eggs: 11.6%

This typically cheap refrigerator staple is among the most notable grocery-store pain points, and if you’re planning to make a lot of Christmas cookies, you’ll definitely notice. Part of the problem: the high cost of chicken feed, plus severe weather that ravaged big egg-producing areas earlier this year.

Related: Is Raising Chickens Cheaper Than Buying Eggs?

Honey glazed ham
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Meat, Poultry, and Fish: 11.9%

Unless you’re vegetarian, those traditional holiday meals are going to cost a lot more, driven by the (much) higher price of meat. And it's not just the turkeys, hams, and roasts. If you love a big holiday breakfast, be warned: The bacon that usually goes with those eggs will cost an eye-popping 20.2% more.

Related: The Price of Bacon the Year You Were Born

Couple and sofa

Furniture and Bedding: 12%

Whether you want to spruce up the living room ahead of a big gathering or outfit your bed in cozy flannel sheets, it will cost you. And thanks to supply-chain disruptions at just about every turn of the furniture business, you might not get any furniture orders until long after the holidays.

Real installation of washer and dryer in laundry room
Couple travelers with medical masks on hotel reception talking to male receptionist

Lodging: 25.5%

It's never been cheap to stay at a hotel or rent a crash pad for a much-needed vacation, but here’s some bad news for holiday travelers. The hospitality industry has been slammed by plenty of pandemic-related forces, and it's still reeling from a massive decline in business travelers even as leisure travel bounces back.

Utility Meter Readers

Energy: 30%

The holidays aren’t much fun if you can’t stay warm and keep the lights on, so prepare for your utility bills to eat into your gift budget this year. The cost of electricity is up 6.5%, but that’s the very least of it. Piped gas costs 28.1% more; propane, kerosene, and firewood cost 34.7% more; and fuel oil is a painful 59.1% more.

Car Rental Rewards

Car Rentals: 39.1%

While rental cars aren't as hard to find as they were earlier this year, prices remain very high compared with last year — bad news for anyone who is traveling over the holidays. Experts also say they're likely to stay that way, as holiday travel increases demand while the microchip shortage continues to squeeze vehicle supply. 

African American woman at gas pump wearing mask

Gasoline: 49.6%

Unfortunately, even if you’re using your own wheels to head to those holiday shindigs, filling up the gas tank will be a sobering experience. Gas prices are at a seven-year high, with Californians paying a painful $4.62 a gallon, on average. Hurricanes and supply-chain issues have driven up prices, and experts say relief is unlikely any time soon.

Related: The Cost of Gas the Year You Were Born