SEPTEMBER FOOD PRICES DIP 1 PERCENT LOWER
"MONTGOMERY, Ala." After edging higher for most of the year, beef and pork prices leveled off in September contributing to an overall savings of 1 percent at Alabama supermarkets. According to the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $38.35 this month, down 31 cents from August but up $1.18 from a year ago.
At the meat case, pork was the best buy with Boston butts selling for $1.44 a pound, down 11 cents. Pork chops and bacon were a penny a pound cheaper at $3.09 and $3.02, respectively. Steak lovers also could find savings on beef this month as the price of T-bone steaks fell 5 cents to $6.16 a pound. Ground beef also was a nickel cheaper at $1.55 a pound.
Poultry prices were up for the second straight month as chicken breasts surged a dime higher to $1.78 a pound--the highest price since May. Fryers were slightly more expensive at 92 cents a pound, up 2 cents, while eggs were at 85 cents a dozen.
Average produce prices also were unchanged in September as savings on potatoes were offset by higher prices for lettuce. Red potatoes averaged 59 cents a pound, down 7 cents, while lettuce was a dime higher at $1.18 a head. Tomatoes were $1.01 a pound, the price as in August.
In the dairy case, shoppers enjoyed savings on ice cream while butter prices edged higher. A half-gallon of ice cream averaged $2.73, down 28 cents, and butter was $3.28 a pound, up 6 cents. Milk was unchanged at $1.84 a half-gallon.
Regional reports collected at supermarkets around the state Sept. 1-8 showed the market basket averaged $37.01 in northwest Alabama, $38.62 in the central counties, $38.81 in the northeast corner of the state and $39.19 in south Alabama.