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Survey shows drop in Arizona grocery store prices

PHOENIX — It may not feel like it, but you may be spending a little less at the grocery store.

The Arizona Farm Bureau’s Market Basket Survey for the third quarter of this year said the total cost of 16 basic grocery items was $50.88. That’s down $1.76, or about 3 percent, than the second quarter of 2014.

Twelve items on the list went down in price, with eggs showing the biggest drop.

“They were down 42 cents to $1.93 a dozen,” said Julie Murphree, communications director for the Arizona Farm Bureau. “Bacon and boneless chicken breasts were both down 36 cents to $4.49 a pound and $4.05 a pound, respectively. Flour was down 34 cents, and ground chuck was down 33 cents.”

Murphree said competition among grocery stores is driving down the prices.

“We do believe that we are in one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, salad mix led the list of items that increased in price. It jumped 52 cents to $2.91 for a one-pound bag. Murphree blamed the jump on lettuce imported from California.

“That will shift to Yuma, where more than 95 percent of our leafy greens such as head lettuce and spinach will be coming from during the November through March period,” she said.

Three other items on the list cost more.

“Apples were up 25 cents, and toasted oats cereal was up 24 cents,” she said. “Orange juice was up 10 cents to $3.03 a half-gallon.”

Murphree expects prices to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014 because of the holidays.