By Julie Vrazel

I don’t always enjoying making the weekly—sometimes more often—trip to the grocery store. A game plan is usually necessary. And once you’re at the store, you have to be aware of the other shoppers, hope the check-out line isn’t too long and pray the total bill is affordable.

In a time when we expect significant price increases, food prices are holding fairly steady at the grocery store, according to Texas Farm Bureau’s Grocery Price Watch survey. Based on the survey’s first quarter results, Texans paid $46.66—on average—for a basket of 16 staple food items.

Shoppers always have their eyes on meat prices, which can have a major impact on the total grocery bill. This quarter, prices for chicken dropped, while beef and pork prices increased.

Low grain prices and additional hatches have poultry farmers increasing production, which helps keep prices lower at the grocery store.

The ongoing drought, which brought the U.S. cow herd to its lowest numbers since the 1950s, has affected beef production. Although there are fewer cows, the demand for beef has remained steady, resulting in an increase in prices of sirloin steak and ground beef.

Pork prices also have jumped due to hog farmers dealing with a virus that has reduced pig numbers.

Texas families saw savings on seven items, including chicken breasts, sliced turkey, cheddar cheese, rice, milk, lettuce and grapefruit.

While you’re watching the prices at the cash register, farmers and ranchers are calculating their input costs to grow the crop that feeds you and me. Food prices are a tough balance. We all want to save money and feed our families nutritious food, but the farmers and ranchers have to be profitable in order to continue growing our food and fiber. Just a little food for thought.

Check out the full survey results below, or read TFB’s new release with additional information.