According to an October study by the American Farm Bureau, retail food prices in 29 states decreased for the fourth consecutive quarter and "are significantly lower than one year ago."
Retail prices for the most widely purchased food fell from a year earlier: whole milk, 27%; cheddar, 23%; potatoes, 22%; apples, 19%; eggs, 16%; vegetable oil, 16%; and ground chuck, 10%.
Items that bucked the trend and went up in price were bacon, orange juice and flour.
Food costs, however, can be tricky to gauge for consumers as manufacturers increasingly are packaging their goods in smaller packages. Where you live can also make a difference. Expect to pay more for a gallon of milk in New York City than you will in Wisconsin.
Even in a down economy, people still can't get enough of smart phones. But even as consumers gobble up the latest offerings by Apple, Research in Motion and Motorola, the price tag for these hand-held wonders is starting to drop.
According to forecasters with ABI Research, the greatest increase in smart-phone shipment volume over the next five years will be found in the $100 to $200 range. While only 18% of smart phones were priced less than $200 in 2007, 27% have cracked that mark this year. The research firm expects that by 2014, almost 45% of smart phones will hit that price point.
"Prices will hold at a certain point," says Kevin Burden, ABI's mobile devices practice director. "We may never see a $30 smart phone. But over time, smart phones will take a substantial part of the mainstream handset market."
Homes and apartments are at the lowest levels this decade.
According to Moody's, apartment prices nationwide declined 24% during the past year. On the East Coast, prices dropped the least, just 6%. In the South, they plummeted 44%.