Food prices a little lower in the fourth quarter

We paid a little less in the grocery store over the last three months. The American Farm Bureau says the 16 items in their market basket survey cost $50.54 in the fourth quarter, down $1.36 or about three percent from the third quarter. Of the 16 items, 10 were cheaper while six were higher priced.

We saw lower prices on Russet potatoes, bagged salad, deli ham, apples, sirloin tip roast, flour, chicken breasts, vegetable oil, eggs and bacon. We paid more for whole milk, orange juice, white bread, ground chuck, shredded cheddar cheese and toasted oat cereal.

A sidebar tracking: a gallon of whole milk cost $3.73, a half-gallon of whole milk was $2.38, a half-gallon of organic milk was $4.00 and a half-gallon of rBST-free milk was $3.15. A dozen regular eggs was $1.90 while a dozen cage-free eggs was $3.38.

AFBF says using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across the board, the farmer’s share of the $50.54 market basket items would be $8.09.

Compared to a year ago, the price of the market basket is about three percent higher.  A total of 107 shoppers in 31 states participated in the survey.

In Wisconsin, the 16 items cost $49.34, about a half-percent below the third-quarter and two percent above a year ago. Casey Langan with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau says compared to September, half of the items in the market basket were higher and half were lower. Compared to a year ago, twelve were higher and four were lower priced. The Wisconsin survey is done at supermarkets in 30 cities across the state.

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