ALABAMA FOOD PRICES DROP IN SEPTEMBER
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- After increasing sharply during the spring and early summer, dairy prices fell for the second straight month in September, contributing to an overall drop in Alabama grocery prices of four-tenths of a percent. According to the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $44.56 this month, down 17 cents from August.
Increased production drove dairy prices 3 percent lower in September with a half-gallon of milk averaging $2.08, down 7 cents, while a half-gallon of ice cream was 14 cents cheaper at $2.94. Butter also was less expensive at $3.40 a pound, down 3 cents.
Meanwhile, prices for meat and poultry were mixed as shoppers saved money on steaks but paid more for bacon and pork chops. Reports collected by volunteer shoppers across the state showed T-bone steaks averaged $8.01 a pound, down 34 cents, and ground was 2 cents lower at $1.93 a pound. Chuck roasts, however, were more expensive at $3.15 a pound, up 9 cents. Overall, pork prices increased 3.7 percent due, in part, to a 38-cent jump in the price of pork chops, which averaged $3.45 a pound. Bacon also was higher at $3.45, up 16 cents, but Boston butts were a good buy at $1.49, down 23 cents. Poultry prices remained steady in September with whole fryers averaging $1 a pound, up 4 cents, while chicken breasts were unchanged at $2.18 a pound. Eggs also were a bargain this month at 91 cents a dozen, down 12 cents.
On the produce aisle, lettuce was down 7 cents to $1.08 a head, while red potatoes were up 4 cents to 64 cents a pound. Tomato prices were basically unchanged at $1.30 a pound, down a penny, and sweet potato prices held firm at 89 cents a pound.
Regional reports collected around the Sept. 1-7 showed the market basket averaged $42.82 in northwest Alabama, $43.48 in the central counties, $45.48 in the northeast corner of the state and $46.41 in south Alabama.