Shoppers’ wallets staying full as grocery prices drop

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TAYLOR RIDGE, Illionis – Grocery shopping is getting easier for a lot of us. The prices for many things at the store are falling. The American Farm Bureau says the 16 items commonly used to make two family meals now costs under $50. That's down more than four dollars from a year ago.

Deals on eggs are now half the price compared to this time last year.

Chicken is down 16%.

Cheese and milk are down 10%.

Flour and bread are 7% cheaper.

Orange juice is 5% less expensive.

You are paying more for some items like fruits and vegetables, potatoes and bagged salads but for many other items we're seeing more production and that means lower prices for shoppers.

Farmer Tom Muller has seen the highs and lows of farming over his 45 year career. Right now he's seeing the U-S go through another year of bumper crops.

“This oversupply isn't going to go away overnight,” says Mueller.

What Americans don't eat can be sold to other nations but exporters have slowed their buying.

“The dollar is strong enough that it makes our products not as competitive which makes our products here in the U.S. more expensive for other countries,” added Mueller.

Last year's bird flu also caused many trade partners to stop taking eggs and the demand for them isn't fully back, causing egg prices to drop.

Muller says expanding trade agreements for American made products would help with the surplus.

“It would help a lot as far as leveling the playing field as far as our trade,” says Muller.

For now, consumers will see more money in their wallets at the grocery store checkout.

“Retailers will realize they need to move the product and the best way to move the product is to lower the price,” says Mueller.

He warns the good deals wont' last forever.

“Consumer needs to take advantage of the lower prices now while they are here,” added Mueller.

The agriculture department also says food is a better deal for families these days. Back in the 70's, food costs ate up about 30% of a family's budget. The farm bureau says it's now 17% of today's family's budget.

The farm bureau says less than nine dollars of that average $50 family grocery bill goes to farmers.