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March 23, 2010   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
March 23, 2010

Shoppers found sweet savings on ice cream this month, down 25 cents to $3.86 for a half-gallon.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Though shoppers aren't likely to find a pot of gold at the end of the cereal aisle, the savings they will find throughout the grocery store this month can afford them the luxury of picking up a few extra food staples. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, Alabama shoppers noticed a savings of 2.6 percent, or $1.38, this month for 20 basic market items, which had a total average cost of $51.70.

A significant portion of the savings came from several items found in the meat case. Pork chops were down 17 cents to $3.20 a pound; bacon was down 2 cents to $4.13 a pound; chuck roasts were down 2 cents to $3.44 a pound; and ground beef was down a penny to $2.40 a pound. Shoppers found the greatest savings, however, on T-bone steaks and chicken breasts. T-bone steaks were down 40 cents a pound to $7.67, while chicken breasts were down 27 cents to $1.91 a pound. Though most meats were more affordable this month, whole fryers and Boston butts increased slightly. Fryers were up 2 cents to $1.23 a pound, while Boston butts were up 9 cents to $1.66 a pound. Eggs were priced at $1.55 a dozen, a savings of 23 cents from February.

Good news also extended to the produce aisle this month, as prices decreased 4 cents on average. Though the price of tomatoes increased 11 cents to $2.12 a pound, the savings on red potatoes, sweet potatoes and lettuce made up for the difference. Red potatoes were down 8 cents to 71 cents a pound, while sweet potatoes were down a penny to 92 cents a pound. Lettuce was down 16 cents to $1.26 a head.

Prices in the dairy case decreased for the second consecutive month, down nearly 3 percent from February. Butter decreased a penny to $3.59 a pound, cottage cheese decreased 3 cents to $2.52 a pound, and milk decreased 8 cents to $2.81 a half-gallon. Shoppers in the market for ice cream noticed the largest dairy savings; ice cream was down 25 cents to $3.86 a half-gallon.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state March 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $50.05 in northeast Alabama, $50.98 in northwest Alabama, $52.21 in central Alabama and $54.82 in south Alabama.

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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