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February 19, 2010   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
February 19, 2010

Shoppers noticed savings on the produce aisle. Lettuce was down 24 cents to $1.42 a head.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Though the sweetest deals along grocery aisles in February included chocolates and candy hearts rather than chuck roasts and sweet potatoes, shoppers found that several staples were still affordable. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, Alabama shoppers experienced a slight increase of 1.36 percent, or 71 cents, this month for 20 basic market items, which had a total average cost of $53.08.

A significant portion of this increase came from several items in the meat case. Pork chops were up 10 cents to $3.37 a pound; T-bone steaks were up 17 cents to $8.07 a pound; ground beef was up 10 cents to $2.41 a pound; chuck roasts were up 28 cents to $3.46 a pound; and bacon was up 22 cents to $4.15 a pound. Chicken breasts were up 7 cents to $2.18 a pound, while whole fryers increased 2 cents to $1.21 a pound. While most meats were higher this month, shoppers did find savings on Boston butts, down 3 cents to $1.57 a pound. Eggs were priced at $1.78 a dozen, an increase of 16 cents from January.

News on the produce aisle was a little better this month as prices decreased a penny on average. Tomatoes were up 5 cents to $2.01 a pound, while red potatoes increased 5 cents to 79 cents a pound. Sweet potatoes also saw an increase, up 9 cents from January to 93 cents a pound. The savings on lettuce, however, more than made up for the increase on other vegetables. Lettuce was down 24 cents this month to $1.42 a head.

Shoppers looking for savings in the dairy case found a pleasant surprise, as milk, ice cream, cottage cheese and butter all decreased in price. Milk decreased 5 cents to $2.89 a half gallon, ice cream decreased 5 cents to $4.11 a half-gallon, butter decreased 2 cents to $3.60 a pound and cottage cheese decreased 8 cents to $2.55 a pound.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state Feb. 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $51.18 in northeast Alabama, $51.22 in northwest Alabama, $53.74 in central Alabama and $56.86 in south Alabama.

As a way to remind consumers that farmers are committed to producing food that is both healthy and affordable, the Farmers Federation will observe National Food Check-Out Week, Feb. 21-27. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, it takes just five weeks for the average American to earn enough disposable income to pay for his or her family's food supply for the entire year. On average, farmers receive 19 cents of every dollar spent on food in the United States.

Alabama Farmers Federation, a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, is the state's largest farm organization. Its county members conduct the informal monthly market basket survey as a tool to reflect retail food price trends.

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