(NEXSTAR) — If you live anywhere near this Texas area, it might be worth picking up groceries while you’re around.
That’s according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, which recently released its Quarter 2 2023 Cost of Living Index. The index compares the after-tax cost of living of 274 participating urban areas based on six different categories.
One Texas city was only just beaten for the top spot on the council’s list of 10 least expensive places for grocery items. Texans, it turns out Cedar Park in Central Texas has the second least-expensive groceries of the U.S. areas covered in the index.
Cedar Park, which has a population of about 83,159, was edged out for the top spot by Thibodaux-Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, by only two points.
“Cedar Park’s high quality of life and commitment to enhancing livability and economic vitality continue to attract new residents and to build new business investment,” Cedar Park Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin said in a statement. “At a time when families across the nation are talking about the cost of groceries, knowing that Cedar Park ranked as the second least expensive city for grocery items this quarter reinforces why so many are happy to call Cedar Park, Texas home.”
Cedar Park also ranked fourth least-expensive U.S. area for appliance repair costs, with a $57.50 average — well below the national average of $92.74.
Overall, two Texas cities cracked the top 10 least expensive urban areas in U.S. — the southern cities Harlingen and McAllen placed second and third on the index, respectively.
Many of the most expensive grocery cities were in only two U.S. states, with Alaska’s Fairbanks and Anchorage ranking first- and second-most expensive and Washington’s Seattle and Kent placing fourth- and fifth-most expensive, respectively.
The cost of food
You may be wondering: will the cost of food go down anytime soon? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August 2023 Food Price Outlook for 2023 and 2024 gives some idea.
While some data indicate slowing inflation (food prices are growing slower this year than they did last year), much of the information shows food prices are still expected to get pricier.
All in all, grocery food prices are expected to rise 5.9%, according to the USDA.