Prices remain stable for common grocery items, such as bread, eggs, cheese, potatoes, milk.
In fact, retail food prices in Wisconsin are about a buck less than the national average during the third quarter of 2010, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Marketbasket survey. The Farm Bureau’s quarterly survey of 16 basic food items in 18 communities across Wisconsin cost $45.13 at the end of September.
Casey Langan with the Farm Bureau credits relatively stable energy prices for the consistent cost of food, which could change by the end of the year. “When we see our energy prices climbing, you can usually expect food prices to follow suit.”
Langan says you can save money by purchasing foods in season, stay away from expensive processed foods, use coupons, and plan ahead by making a list.
Regardless of the price, Americans spend less money on food than any nation — just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, farmers increasingly get a smaller share of the food dollar. They got about one-third of the retail food dollar back in the 1970s, but that figure is down to just 19-percent today.
NOTE: Prices in Wisconsin for 10 of the 16 items were lower than the national average: sliced deli ham, sirloin tip roast, bread, eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, bagged salad, orange juice, potatoes, apples and whole milk. The prices for five of the items were more expensive in Wisconsin than the national average: flour, toasted oat cereal, vegetable oil, chicken breasts and bacon. The average price of one pound of ground chuck ($2.91) was the same in both surveys.