Mesa, AZ (PressExposure) January 15, 2010 -- This quarterâs menu and recipes are all from Arizona producers.
For five consecutive quarters, Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket decreased in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Market Basket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $45.89, down .13 cents from the third quarter. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federationâs national survey was $42.90, down $3.13 from the third quarter of 2009 and about 15 % less compared to one year ago.
Compared to one year ago the Arizona fourth quarter Market Basket items decreased $8.86, a drop of about 16 percent.
âCooking at home, with the items that have gone down in price, is one way to save money and serve up good healthy food at the same time,â said Sharla Mortimer, chair of the Arizona Farm Bureau Womenâs Leadership Committee. âAnd of special note, all of the fourth quarter âStretch Your Food Dollarâ recipes are from Arizona producers.â
To access an entire menu focused on those food items down in price in the second quarter and designed around stretching your food dollar, go to http://www.fillyourplate.org. Look for the âStretch Your Food Dollarâ menu and the additional food savings tips.
âSluggish retail demand, particularly for diary products, coupled with lower wholesale prices paid to producers, contributed to the decline in retail food prices reported this quarter.â said Arizona Farm Bureau Public Relations Director Julie Murphree.
âAgain this quarter and compared to one year ago, the foods that declined the most in average retail prices are among the least-processed items in our market basket,â Murphree said. âSeasonality of foods also affects prices at the retail level. Foods in season are typically more economical because they are abundant.â
Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, 10 decreased and five increased and one item remained the same compared to the 2009 third-quarter survey. The national survey shows 11 decreased and four increased and one stayed the same.
In Arizona, Russet potatoes showed the greatest decrease in price down $56 cents to $1.75 for the 5-pound bag; vegetable oil down 40 cents to $2.34 for the 32 ounce bottle; bacon down 35 cents to $3.05 a pound; ground beef down 27 cents to $ 3.42 a pound; orange juice down 13 cents to $2.94 a half gallon; a 20-oz loaf of white bread down 9 cents to $1.44; Sirloin tip roast down 8 cents to $4.77 a pound; eggs down 7 cents to $1.73 a dozen; red delicious apples down 3cents a pound to $1.19; toasted oat cereal down 1 cents to $2.89 for the 8.9 ounce box.
Shredded cheddar cheese stayed the same at $3.95 a pound.
Boneless chicken breast showed the largest retail price increase up $1.45 cents to $4.17 a pound. The other items that increased in price were a gallon of whole milk up 34 cents to $2.29; deli ham up 20 cents to $4.68 a pound; a 5-pound bag of flour up 13 cents to $2.55 and a 1-pound bag of salad mix up 3 cents to $2.94. Compared to one year ago, none of the items in the survey exceeded the highs of the previous year.
As retail grocery prices have gradually increased over time, the share of the average food dollar that Americaâs farm and ranch families receive has dropped. âIn the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. That figure has decreased steadily over time and is now just 19 percent, according to Agriculture Department statistics,â explains Jim Sartwelle, American Farm Bureau Economist.
Using the âfood at home and away from homeâ percentage across-the-board, the Arizona farmerâs share of this quarterâs $45.89 Market Basket total would be $8.72.
The Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey is unscientific, but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state. Bargain shoppers statewide should find individual items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages and certainly cheaper with discounts and in-store specials. Arizona Farm Bureau seeks to identify the best in-store price, excluding promotional coupons and special deals.