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In Brief: Vegetables for a Budget

Good news for lovers of fresh vegetables. While the overall price of foods eaten at home rose almost 3 percent last year, vegetable prices fell 5 percent, according to USDA Economic Research Data updates last month.

For the second year in a row, beef and fats and oils showed the biggest percentage increases, each group rising about 6 percent. Chicken prices also rose approximately the same amount.

For vegetables, the report cites warm weather leading to abundant crops in for lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables, which was a sharp contrast to the poor harvests and high vegetable prices of 2011. Fresh fruits nudged up slightly in retail prices overall, with apples one of the notable increases. But fruits and vegetables prics as a whole, including processed foods, remained about the same as last year. 

Source: USDA Economic Research Service. Changes in Food Price Indexes, 2010 through 2013.

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