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June 28, 2011   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
June 28, 2011

Whether you put them between two slices of bread, in a bowl of lettuce and cucumbers or just eat them by themselves, tomatoes are one of the tastiest perks of summer. And this month, they're down 52 cents, averaging $1.79 a pound.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Though southerners have been experiencing higher temperatures for a few weeks now, it's only been a week since summer officially began. Shoppers trying to escape the sweltering heat with a little getaway were pleased to find that a trip to the grocery store this month didn't deplete those vacation funds. According to the latest results from the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly food price survey, the average cost of 20 basic market basket items was $58.41, up 38 cents or 0.65 percent from April.

Largely behind the slight increase this month were a few items in the meat case. T-bone steaks increased 37 cents to $8.68 a pound; bacon increased 27 cents to $5.72 a pound; chuck roasts increased 22 cents to $3.96 a pound; and pork chops increased 17 cents to $3.54 a pound. Meanwhile, chicken breasts were down 18 cents to $2.10 a pound; whole fryers were down 8 cents to $1.21 a pound; Boston butts were down 7 cents to $2.07 a pound; and ground beef was down a penny to $2.87 a pound. Eggs fell 10 cents to $1.53 a dozen.

Meanwhile, shoppers were able to find significant savings on an in-season summer favorite. Tomatoes were down 52 cents to $1.79 a pound. Also more affordable this month was lettuce, down a nickel to $1.53 a head. Edging higher this month were red potatoes, up 5 cents to 89 cents a pound; and sweet potatoes, up 3 cents to 92 cents a pound.

Prices in the dairy case were mixed. Butter was down 22 cents to $4.52 a pound. Milk increased 10 cents to $3.50 a half-gallon, and cottage cheese increased a penny to $2.56 a pound. Ice cream remained the same at $4.17 a half-gallon.

Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers throughout the state June 1-10 showed the market basket averaged $55.96 in northwest Alabama, $56.99 in northeast Alabama, $59.83 in central Alabama and $61.58 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.

For the freshest fruits and vegetables, visit a local farmers market. To find one in your area, visit www.buylocalalabama.com.

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