Trying to save money at the grocery store? You might want to look at what's been called the other white meat.
A new report from the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation shows that the cost of a typical market basket of items in the fourth quarter of last year was $50.54. That's up about 2 percent from the prior quarter. But the organization's Peggy Jo Goodfellow said the price hikes were not across the board. Bread is cheaper, as is salad and cold cereal.
"Right now, the meat prices are the ones that have gone up," Goodfellow said. "Except for pork. We are fortunate here in the state. We do have a pork producer. So our pork is fairly stable. But the beef and the chicken, they have gone up slightly."
Well, maybe a bit more than slightly. That pound of sirloin tip will cost you 50 cents a pound more than the prior quarter. Goodfellow said that reflects the effects of the drought in the Midwest and the resultant shortage of animal feed. Still, Goodfellow said there is some relief on the horizon. She said the lower fuel prices now should translate into lower grocery bills, as it reduces the cost of everything from operating the tractor to filling the tank of the truck that brings goods to markets.