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Arizona Food Prices Down for the First Time This Year

October 12, 2010

For the first time this year, Arizona retail food prices at the supermarket are down in the third quarter of 2010, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Market Basket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $46.48, down $2.36 or about 5% lower than the second quarter of 2010. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey was $46.17, down $1.03 or 2% lower compared to the second quarter of 2010.

The Arizona third quarter Market Basket is only 46 cent higher compared to one year ago at this time.

“Overall, retail food prices have been relatively stable in 2010,” said Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Public Relations, Marketing and Education Director. “Price data collected by our volunteer shoppers during the third quarter of the year shows that pattern is continuing to hold.”

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 Look for the latest “Stretch Your Food Dollar” menu and the additional food savings tips.

“In general meat demand has improved quite a bit since 2009,” Murphree said.  “Today’s shoppers appear to be balancing cost and convenience to feed their families.”  Murphree also points out that food choices are influenced by cost, convenience or culinary skills.  “For example, chicken breast prices average $4.35 per pound compared to whole fryers at $1.29,” says Murphree. “Many consumers prefer the more costly cut due to convenience in preparation and serving, while others see this as an opportunity in today’s economic environment to save by purchasing the whole bird.”

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona, ten decreased and six increased, compared to the 2010 second-quarter survey. The national survey shows ten decreased and six increased.

In Arizona, sliced deli ham showed the greatest decrease in price down $1.07 to $3.92 a pound; the 32 oz bottle of  vegetable oil  down 84 cents to $2.49 a bottle; flour down 82 cents to $1.75 for the 5-pound bag; ground chuck down 37 cents to $3.25 a pound; toasted oat cereal down 24 cents to $2.75 for the 8.9 oz box; boneless chicken breast down 22 cents to $4.35 a pound; orange juice down 20 cents to $2.89 a half gallon; a 20-oz loaf of white bread down 13 cents to $1.42; milk down 6 cents to $2.66 a gallon and eggs down 5 cents to $1.27 a dozen.

Shredded cheese showed the largest price increase up 79 cents to $4.43 a pound.  The other items that increased in price were russet potatoes up 37 cents to $2.35 for the 5-pound bag; classic salad mix up 27 cents to $2.99 for the pound bag; sirloin tip roast up 15 cents to $4.92 a pound; red delicious apples up 4 cents to $1.49 a-pound; and bacon up 2 cents to $3.55 a pound.

As retail grocery prices have gradually increased over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped. “In 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,” explains John Anderson, American Farm Bureau Economist.

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the Arizona farmer’s share of this quarter’s $46.48 Market Basket total would be $8.83.

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.

Third quarter-2010

Third quarter-2010

Arizona National Arizona National

Red Delicious apples

$ 1.49 $  1.50     ▲ $ 1.45 $ 1.46
Russet potatoes, 5 lbs $ 2.35 $  2.63     ▲ $ 1.98 $ 2.51
Ground Chuck, lb. $ 3.25 $ 2.91     ▼ $ 3.62 $ 2.89
Sirloin tip roast, lb. $ 4.92 $ 3.86     ▲                  $ 4.77 $ 4.10
Sliced deli ham, lb. $ 3.92 $ 4.66     ▼ $ 4.99 $ 5.24
Bacon, lb. $ 3.55 $ 3.64     ▲ $ 3.53 $ 3.53
Boneless chicken breast, lb. $ 4.35 $ 3.44     ▼ $ 4.57 $ 3.25
Whole milk, gallon $ 2.66 $ 3.16     ▼ $ 2.72 $ 3.06
Shredded Mild cheddar cheese, lb. $ 4.43 $ 4.09     ▲ $ 3.64 $ 4.16
Eggs, one dozen large, Grade A $ 1.27 $ 1.41     ▼ $ 1.32 $ 1.53
All-purpose flour, 5 lbs. $ 1.75 $ 2.15     ▼ $ 2.57 $ 2.35
Orange juice, ½ gal. $ 2.89 $ 2.97     ▼ $ 3.09 $ 3.00
Vegetable oil, 32 oz. $ 2.49 $ 2.55     ▼ $ 3.33 $ 2.61
American Salad Mix, 1 lb  $ 2.99 $ 2.75     ▲ $ 2.72 $ 2.80
Toasted oat cereal, 8.9-oz. Box $ 2.75 $ 2.84     ▼ $ 2.99 $ 2.95
White bread, 20-oz. Loaf $ 1.42 $ 1.61     ▼ $ 1.55 $ 1.76

Key: ▲ up ; ▼ Down;  E even

2010 Market Basket Survey Results

Arizona Farm Bureau Money Saving Tips to Stretch your Food Dollars

  • Make a list and stick to it.
  • Check the newspaper for sale items then make a plan where to shop.
  • Use grocery store club cards and then compare prices to store brands
  • Go through your pantry and keep it organized so you know what you have.
  • Buy fresh items, instead of processed items.
  • Consider buying frozen vegetables, they are picked fresh, flash frozen immediately and are less expensive and will keep longer.
  • When planning your menu think about what you already have then use coupons to springboard your meal planning.  If lettuce, tomatoes and bacon are on special, why not BLTs for dinner?
  • Buy in bulk, but don’t buy more than you can eat.
  • Clip and use coupons.  Put a ‘C’ next to items on your list that you have a coupon for, it will help you remember to use it at the checkout stand.
  • Shop the edges of the store avoiding the items at the ends of the aisles.
  • Keep tabs on spending by keeping a running tally of what’s in your shopping cart.
  • When shopping meat sales items, consider stocking your freezer.

Stretch Your Food Dollar Menu XI

Arizona Farm Bureau put together a menu to help you stretch your food dollar by utilizing items that have gone down in price. This quarter’s items down in price are ground chuck, sliced deli ham, boneless chicken breast, milk, eggs, flour, orange juice, vegetable oil, toasted oat cereal and white bread.  Arizona Farm Bureau recommends stocking up on dairy and meat items as they are ideally priced. To obtain actual recipes for the “Stretch Your Food Dollar Menu XI” go to and click on the recipe tab.  Most of recipes for menu XI are from Arizona producers.

Menu for the Week:

Sunday: Pot Roast

Potatoes, carrots, celery & onions

Fresh sliced apples

Milk or Iced Tea

Monday: Barbeque Meatballs

Tossed green salad


Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff

Sliced tomatoes on bed of greens


Wednesday: Cheese & Spinach Omelet

Banana Walnut Bread

Milk or Iced Tea

Thursday: Seven Layer Salad

Crusty bread or baggette

Milk or Iced Tea

Friday: Barbeque Chicken Breasts

Savory Potato Strips

Tossed salad

Milk or Iced Tea

Saturday: Gilda’s Smothered Burritos

Waldorf  Salad

Milk or Iced Tea

***You may adjust this suggested menu to your family’s likes and needs.

Shopping list

Dry goods:

2 packages of Brown gravy mix, dry

1 large-can red enchilada sauce

1 dozen flour tortillas

Large jar Salsa

1 package egg noodles

1 lemon pepper, spice

1 bag dry pinto beans


5 lbs potatoes

2 heads romaine lettuce

2 bag American salad mix

6 large apples

1 bunch celery

1 bunch green onion

1 large yellow onion

1 container grape tomatoes

4 bananas

1 bunch spinach

1 cucumber

1 lemon

1 avocado

1-2 slicing tomatoes


2 gallons milk

4-cup bag of shredded cheese

1 dozen eggs

1 quart buttermilk

Cool Whip

Pantry items you might have on hand:

Flour                          Baking soda

Bacon bits                   Baking powder

Vegetable oil               Sugar

Salad dressing             Cinnamon

Vanilla                         Salt


4-5   lbs pot roast

3-lbs ground beef

1-package chicken breasts

1/3 lb salt pork

2 lbs bacon


1 package frozen peas

1 bottle Barbeque sauce

1 loaf crusty bread or 1-baggette

1 large can diced green chili

The cost of all the items on the “Stretch Your Food Dollar Menu XI” is about $80.41. Note that most of the shopping list items for this quarters menu are non-processed…keeping costs down.

About the Arizona Farm Bureau

Arizona Farm Bureau began a quarterly Market Basket starting the fourth quarter of 2006. The Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services. Go to to learn more. To obtain “Stretch Your Food Dollar” menu and nutrition information go to

As a member services organization, individuals can become a member by contacting the Farm Bureau. For information on member benefits call 480.635.3609.

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