The article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 29, 2008 - Here is today's good news, St. Louis: There will be 97-cent pork steaks this Memorial Day weekend -- no ifs, ands or butts about it.
Once again, both Shop 'N Save and Schnucks are promising they "WILL NOT BE UNDERSOLD" on that Gateway City favorite -- pork butts sliced into steaks. And, there's price protection on fresh brats sold in bulk packages, too -- about $1.99/pound.
On the other hand, that 5-pound pack of jumbo hot dogs is $1 higher this year, and boneless ham is 20 cents more a pound.
To get a sense of how much food prices have risen in the past year, we compared advertised prices on 10 specific products in this week's local Memorial Day grocery ads for the major chains -- Shop 'n Save, Schnucks and Dierbergs -- to last year's ads for the same holiday period. While some specials, the loss leaders, are comparable in price, we found higher unit prices for many of the other advertised products.
So, here's today's bad news: The groceries on this week's short list cost about 11 percent more than last year. And then there's that nearly $4 a gallon gas to get to the store -- but that's another story.