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"J. Paul Till, Director of Public Relations"
334 613-4313

MONTGOMERY Alabama shoppers paid less at the supermarket checkout for the second straight month as savings on poultry, produce and eggs led a 0.6 percent retreat in food prices. According to the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly food price survey, shoppers paid an average of $35.13 this month for 20 basic market basket items, down 21 cents from last month.

Poultry, which has become Alabama's largest agricultural industry with a value of more than $2 billion, continues to be a value for consumers. In October, poultry prices fell 4.7 percent as fryers averaged 74 cents a pound, down 8 cents from September and chicken breast was $1.80 a pound, down five cents. Eggs also were a bargain at 70 cents a dozen, down 13 cents from September.

On the produce aisle, harvest-time specials included sweet potatoes, which were a dime cheaper than last month at 63 cents a pound. Lettuce also was a good buy at 90 cents a head, down 9 cents from September. Overall, produce prices fell 2.4 percent, despite tomatoes and red potatoes edging higher.

Autumn cooks looking for a perfect complement to their sweet potato casserole may want to consider a beef roast. This month, chuck roast prices fell 19 cents to $2 a pound, as beef prices dropped 2 percent. Meanwhile, pork prices rebounded from last month as a 19-cents-per-pound jump in bacon prices pushed the total pork bill 1.8 percent higher.

In the dairy case, milk, butter and ice cream are on the rise this month following a five-month slide in prices earlier this year. Throughout the state, a half gallon of milk averaged $1.79 and a pound of butter was $2.75 as dairy prices climbed 2.3 percent.

Regional reports collected from around the state Oct. 2-8 show the October market basket total averaged $34.73 in central Alabama, $35 in south Alabama, $35.15 in northeast Alabama and $35.61 in northwest Alabama.

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