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December 15, 2010   Email to Friend 

DECK THE AISLES WITH MERRY SAVINGS
Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
December 15, 2010

Christmas is the time of year when many celebrate the joys of being with family and friends. As evident from this month's holiday market basket survey conducted by the Alabama Farmers Federation Dec. 1-10, it's also the time to celebrate lower prices on groceries.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Christmas is the time of year when many celebrate the joys of being with family and friends. As evident from this month's holiday market basket survey conducted by the Alabama Farmers Federation, it's also the time to celebrate lower prices on groceries. According to the latest results from the Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $54.10, down $1.13 or 2 percent from November.

Shoppers found quite a bit of savings in the meat case this month, with bacon and pork chops leading the price decline. Bacon dropped 49 cents this month to $4.68 a pound, while pork chops were down 13 cents to $3.29 a pound. Also more affordable this month were whole fryers, chicken breasts, ground beef and Boston butts. Whole fryers were down 8 cents to $1.16 a pound; chicken breasts were also down 8 cents to $2.17 a pound; ground beef was down 6 cents to $2.54 a pound; and Boston butts were down 2 cents to $1.82 a pound. Experiencing a modest price climb were T-bone steaks and chuck roast prices. T-bone steaks were up 23 cents to $8.12 a pound, and chuck roasts increased 8 cents to $3.46 a pound. Eggs increased 16 cents to $1.79 a dozen.

Average prices along the produce aisle were also down this month. Sweet potatoes dropped 19 cents to 76 cents a pound; tomatoes were down 11 cents to $1.57 a pound; and red potatoes were also more affordable at 79 cents a pound, down 7 cents from November. Though the price per head of lettuce increased 19 cents to $1.58, the savings on other vegetables more than made up for the difference.

Shoppers who top their favorite holiday desserts with ice cream noticed a slightly higher price this month, but receipts for other dairy essentials were a little easier to pocket. Ice cream increased 13 cents to $4.20 a half-gallon. Meanwhile, butter dropped 51 cents to $3.95 a pound; milk was down 2 cents to $3.09 a half-gallon; and cottage cheese was a penny cheaper at $2.56 a pound.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state December 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $51.94 in northeast Alabama, $52.43 in northwest Alabama, $55.67 in central Alabama and $57.96 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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