WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — As Easter celebrations fast approach many might head to the store for traditional and delicious foods. But how are food costs affecting Easter plans this year?

The cost of candy has gone up 11% higher than last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Food price hikes can be especially troubling when families want to expand their easter dinner from a single-family-size to an extended-family-size.

“Everything has gone so expensive that it’s just nice to be able to buy something, take it home, and cook it. It’s still cheaper than going out. I don’t see it going back down. That’s the sad part,” said Karen, a resident.

80% of U.S. consumers say they will celebrate Easter and spend an average of $192.00 each on Easter celebrations, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Probably more. Once upon a time, I used to be able to spend $150.00 a week. Now it’s up to $200.00. And how much further is it going to go? Said, Karen.

According to a WalletHub report, Americans are expected to spend $24 billion on Easter items compared to $20 billion in 2022.

$7.3 billion will be spent on food, $4 billion on clothing, $3.8 billion on gifts, and $3.3 billion on candy. Is this because of inflation?

“Prices are much higher. Probably around $200.00 for an Easter lunch,” said Sherry Holton, another resident.

“We have already gotten old, so we spend our money on doctors and medicine. Yeah, we save a little, but it’s not like it used to be,” explained another local, Steve Wheat.

While some residents say they prefer to stay home and cook a traditional Easter meal, wheat says eating out it’s a better option.

“We’ll probably just go out to a restaurant on Easter Sunday because it’s only the two of us. Too much trouble to cook a meal for two people.”

“We are having a traditional Easter with ham, and pecan pie, and chocolate pie, and all those things,” added Holton.

However, other residents decided to have crawfish this Easter weekend due to the 25% lower prices compared to last year.

“We did crawfish and shrimp, and it was amazing. We all enjoyed it. None was left,” explained Mia Tisdale, a resident.

While 69% of Americans will continue the Easter tradition of dying eggs, some residents might try other cheaper options.

“I saw somebody on Facebook was painting potatoes instead of eggs. Anything you can do to save money and still have fun,” said Holton.