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August 17, 2010   Email to Friend 

AS SUMMER DAYS DWINDLE DOWN, SO DO GROCERY PRICES
Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
August 17, 2010

Chuck roasts were an excellent buy in the meat case this month, down 36 cents to $3.30 a pound. A hearty addition to stews and soups, they're also great to cook, shred and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- As students bid farewell to another summer vacation, many parents face daunting lists of school supplies and new wardrobes. While back-to-school budgets can be tight, August's grocery receipts will leave a little extra room in everyone's pockets. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $52.99, down 78 cents or 1.5 percent from a month earlier.

A significant portion of the savings this month came from items in the meat case, where shoppers were able to stock up on choice cuts of chuck roasts and steak, among other hearty items. Chuck roasts were down 36 cents this month to $3.30 a pound, while T-bone steaks decreased 24 cents to $8.27 a pound. Also more affordable this month were pork chops, down 12 cents to $3.33 a pound; chicken breasts, down 9 cents to $2.05 a pound; bacon, down 8 cents a pound to $4.65; ground beef, down a nickel to $2.47 a pound; and whole fryers, also down a nickel to $1.16 a pound. Boston butt prices saw a slight increase, up 2 cents a pound to $1.88. Eggs increased 10 cents to $1.26 a dozen.

An increase in the demand of several healthy staples nudged prices along the produce aisle a little higher this month, up 7 cents on average. Tomatoes were up 21 cents a pound to $1.41; sweet potatoes increased 7 cents a pound to $1.02; and lettuce increased 2 cents to $1.46 a head. Red potato prices were cheaper this month, however, down a penny to 83 cents a pound.

While a few items in the dairy case increased this month, the savings on milk helped balance the scale. Half-gallons of milk averaged $3.01, down 8 cents from July. Meanwhile, shoppers in the market for butter, cottage cheese and ice cream found moderately higher totals on their grocery receipts. Butter was up a nickel to $3.86 a pound; cottage cheese was up 3 cents to $2.54 a pound; and ice cream increased 2 cents to $3.95 a half-gallon.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state August 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $50.50 in northwest Alabama, $52.26 in central Alabama, $53.55 in northeast Alabama and $56.89 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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