Andrea Watkins isn't a big fan of grocery shopping, but you'd never know it. In January 2011 Andrea started monitoring grocery prices to track whether or not Houstonians were seeing price increases due to rising energy costs or other economic factors.
Since January, it's become clear the question isn't whether grocery prices are higher, it's how much more are Houstonians paying this week? Her grocery price survey keeps her busy nearly every week, pricing 75 items at 3 of Houston's biggest grocery stores.
Andrea's Finance and Accounting education at the University of Connecticut is coming in especially handy these days, but she grew up in Connecticut, thinking she was going to be a sports reporter. She landed an internship and sports producer job at WVIT in Hartford, CT, which gave her many great locker room stories to tell, but she easily transitioned to news reporting. That was in 1986 when hired by KFDA in Amarillo when she discovered the joy in having weekends off. Andrea spent four years reporting news in the Texas Panhandle, eventually holding the positions of noon anchor, assignments manager and assistant news director simultaneously.
Andrea joined the Fox-26 reporting team in 1990, starting as a producer and weekend anchor. Over the years Andrea has reported on a wide variety of stories, from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, to the Houston Rockets back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. Her feature reports have has taken us through the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing course, taken us to a US and British joint exercise involving more than 50,000 military personnel, and brought us an award winning profile of a Houston make-up artist who helped boost the self esteem of cancer survivors while she herself was undergoing chemotherapy. Andrea also closely followed the events connected to the 1993 murders of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, one of Houston's most notorious crimes.
When not in the FOX 26 newsroom, or walking grocery store isles with a clipboard, she can be found with her husband and two sons, probably watching a baseball game. They also like to spend weekends camping when little league baseball schedules don't get in the way.
Catch Andrea's reports on the top local and national stories of the day weekday mornings on FOX 26 Morning News 4 to 10am.