Supermarket survey finds Arizona egg prices down, cereal up in 1st quarter

Salad mix prices declined, but chicken breast costs rose during the first quarter of 2018, a new survey found. (Photo courtesy of Bashas’)

Prices in the grocery aisles were up in the first quarter of 2018, a new survey showed.

Leading the way was the increased cost of toasted oat cereal, according to the latest Arizona Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $48.14, up $2.89 or about 6 percent more than the fourth quarter of 2017.

Egg eaters received a break with costs declining 24 cents a dozen.

Compared to Arizona’s March 2017 first-quarter survey total of $49.16, the 2018 first quarter Marketbasket survey shows that Arizona’s food prices have decreased about 2 percent year-to-year. Comparatively, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national survey was $51.05 up about 2 percent from the survey conducted a year ago.

“While we’re in the new year looking back at last quarter’s food prices we’re getting a pretty good gauge of what prices will do in 2018,” Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau outreach director, stated in a release. “We continue to encourage Arizona families to keep hunting for those bargains in our basics like your meats, fruits, vegetables, diary and eggs to stretch your food dollars.”

Of the 16 items surveyed in Arizona five decreased, 10 increased and one item remained the same compared to the 2017 fourth-quarter survey.

In Arizona, off-the-shelf prices for eggs showed the greatest decrease in price down 24 cents to $1.69 a dozen; vegetable oil down 17 cents to $1.59 a 32-ounce bottle; salad mix down 11 cents to $2.68 a pound; shredded cheese down 4 cents to $4.70 a pound and flour down 3 cents to $1.83 a 5-pound bag.

Toasted oat cereal showed the largest price increase up 78 cents to $3.57 for the 8.9-ounce box. The other items that increased in price were chicken breast up 76 cents to $2.95 for a pound; sirloin roast up 61 cents to $7.39 a pound; orange juice up 33 cents to $3.13 a half gallon; ground chuck up 31 cents to $3.45 a pound; apples up 26 cents to $1.25 a pound; deli ham and milk up 20 cents to $3.81 a pound and $2.15 a gallon respectively; bacon up 2 cents to $ 4.51 a pound and white bread up 1 cent to $1.14 a 20-oz loaf.

Russet potatoes were the same at $2.30 for a 5-pound bag.

The Farm Bureau Market Basket Survey is unscientific, but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state, according to the release.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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