SHOPPERS NOT 'SPOOKED' BY SLIGHT INCREASE ON GROCERY AISLES
MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- Though goblins and ghouls run amok this time of year, shoppers need not be frightened by grocery prices this month. Although prices were higher for some staples, families were treated to savings on other products. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $55.41, up 37 cents or two-thirds of one percent from September.
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Higher prices on T-bone steaks, bacon and Boston butts were a significant factor behind the moderate increase this month. Steaks were up 27 cents to $8.83 a pound; bacon increased 17 cents to $5.26 a pound; and Boston butts rose 12 cents to $1.88 a pound. Other price increases affected ground beef, up 7 cents to $2.54 a pound; and chicken breasts, up 2 cents to $2.23 a pound. Offsetting the increase were the savings found on pork chops, chuck roasts and whole fryers. Pork chops were down 23 cents to $3.36 a pound; chuck roasts were down 6 cents to $3.39 a pound; and whole fryers were down 3 cents to $1.20 a pound. Eggs were up a penny to $1.22 a dozen.
Produce prices increased an average of 6 cents this month, largely caused by the increase in tomato prices. Tomatoes were up 29 cents to $1.81 a pound. Also experiencing an increase were red potatoes, up 9 cents to 88 cents a pound. Meanwhile, lettuce dropped 10 cents to $1.41 a head. Sweet potatoes dropped a nickel to 93 cents a pound.
Items in the dairy case weren't exempt from slightly higher prices this month. Ice cream was up 11 cents to $4.07 a half-gallon; butter increased 9 cents to $4.05 a pound; and cottage cheese was up 2 cents to $2.61 a pound. Milk remained the same, averaging $3.05 a half-gallon.
Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state October 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $52.99 in northwest Alabama, $54.60 in northeast Alabama, $57.28 in central Alabama and $57.41 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.