Market Basket prices fell back to $93.25, down from $95.81 in May, and up only 1 percent from $92.01 last June. Interestingly, the prices remained higher through the first two weeks of the month, but dipped in the second half to bring the totals down overall.
The lower total for the 41 items included in the Market Basket came from decreases on canned goods, meats, dairy products and miscellaneous items. The totals for produce, canned goods, drinks and breads, cereals and grains remained stable for the month. For the year, meats were 9 percent higher.
A pound of yellow onions fell 15 percent this month but is still 40 percent higher than June 2009. Iceberg lettuce was on sale at many grocery stores bringing the average price down 20 cents a head. Dole bananas continue to be a bargain at all stores.
The cost of canned goods remained stable for the most part with the exception being a slight rise in the cost of Starkist chunk light tuna, up after a several month decline in price to 99 cents last month.
Cuts of meat that are popular for grilling were on sale in most stores surveyed. Sirloin and chuck steaks and pork chops were all less costly than in May. Whole frying chickens and Oscar Meyer sliced bacon were both up for the month and year.
Store brand tea bags and coffee continued to cost less than last year. A six pack of Budweiser beer in cans has been the same for more than a year.
In breads, cereals and grains aisle, prices were nearly unchanged for the month. However, five pounds of sugar is 15 percent higher than in May 2009.
Frozen food prices were down overall, for both the month and year. Store brand ice cream was on sale in many stores and cost 25 cents last on average than in May.
In the dairy case, prices fell on every item except sliced American cheese. Most dairy products are comparable in price to last year.
Local strawberries are on the stands and sweet and juicy. Local corn will be ready the end of July. The blueberry season goes into August. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melons are in season. Plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines will be at full peak in July and August.
The Market Basket Report is a bimonthly survey of 41 food items commonly purchased by consumers. Four major supermarkets are surveyed in the Plattsburgh area and the resulting report produced. The report is a community service sponsored by the Technical Assistance Center at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.