Nobody wants to overpay at the grocery store, especially on items you buy everyday. So we decided to research the national average price for the most popular food items—bread, apples, milk, eggs and chicken. Just how much is too much to pay for the top five grocery picks? Take a look at what we found.
BREAD. The average price of white bread in the U.S. is $1.40 per pound, and for whole wheat it’s $2.06. This is a slight decrease from a year ago for white bread, but up 16 cents for wheat. That’s because Americans are trying to incorporate more whole grains into their diet.
In the Midwest, white bread costs about $1.28 per pound, less than the national average. However, it’s easy to find sandwich bread on sale anywhere, often for as little as 99 cents a loaf. Coupons can help you save on specialty bread, too, like Ecce Panis Bake at Home Bread.
RED DELICIOUS APPLES. The national average price per pound has stayed consistent at $1.28 this year, and it’s slightly higher in the Midwest. In some heavily populated cities such as Los Angeles, we found Red Delicious Apples for as little as $0.77 a pound, a 40% savings from the national average. FYI—California, Michigan, New York, Washington and Pennsylvania are responsible for the majority of apple production.
MILK. Milk costs an average of $3.50 a gallon across the country and $3.86 in the Midwest. June happens to be National Dairy Month, so you may see more sales on milk then than usual.
EGGS. On average, large Grade A eggs cost $1.78 a dozen—in the Midwest, just $1.44. According to the USDA, eggs are the most volatile when it comes to price. When the recession began in 2008, eggs reached a peak price of $2.20, more than double their cost in 2002. If you want to gage how the economy is doing, take a walk down the egg aisle.
BONELESS CHICKEN BREAST. Boneless chicken breast averages $3.18 a pound nationally and $3.24 in the Midwest. We found boneless chicken breasts on sale for $4.99 per pound in Chicago, much higher than the average. Yet, that same exact brand of chicken was $1.97 per pound in a L.A. grocery store owned by the same supermarket chain.
National Average vs. Midwest
Final Word: Bread and eggs are less expensive in the Midwest, but apples, milk and chicken breast are more expensive. Living in a smaller town doesn’t necessarily mean smaller grocery bills. For the best savings, shop store circulars and use your coupons.