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May 20, 2010   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
May 20, 2010

Down 56 cents this month to $2.32 a pound, tomatoes are a great staple to have on-hand during the warmer months. From the simplicity of a tomato sandwich to the lighter fare of a garden salad, tomatoes are an affordable - and tasty - complement to many dishes.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Spurred by double-digit decreases on tomatoes, eggs and ice cream, grocery receipts in May were a bit easier to pocket. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $53.97, down 14 cents or 0.3 percent from a month earlier.

A sharp rise in the average price of steak, bacon and Boston butts offset savings in the rest of the meat case this month. T-bone steaks were up 64 cents to $9.05 a pound; bacon increased 18 cents to $4.23 a pound; and Boston butts were up 16 cents to $1.85 a pound. Meanwhile, shoppers found savings on pork chops, ground beef, chuck roasts, whole fryers and chicken breasts. Pork chops were down 10 cents a pound to $3.25; chicken breasts were down 8 cents to $2.23 a pound; fryers were down 5 cents to $1.18 a pound; chuck roasts were also down 5 cents to $3.44 a pound; and ground beef was down 3 cents a pound to $2.48. Eggs averaged at $1.33 a dozen, a savings of 42 cents from April.

Though some items increased in the dairy case this month, those in the market for a cool treat were pleased to find savings on ice cream, down 21 cents to $3.85 a half-gallon. Cottage cheese also decreased in May, down 8 cents to $2.45 a pound. Meanwhile, milk was up 5 cents to $2.93 a half-gallon, while butter increased 3 cents a pound to $3.46.

Along the produce aisle, the cost of potatoes slightly increased, but noticeable savings on tomatoes provided shoppers with a bit of a price break. Tomatoes decreased 56 cents to $2.32 a pound, while sweet potatoes increased 14 cents to 90 cents a pound. Red potatoes increased 11 cents to 85 cents a pound, and lettuce remained the same at $1.37 a head.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state May 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $52.22 in northwest Alabama, $52.71 in northeast Alabama, $53.91 in central Alabama and $58.49 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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