Grilling a steak or hamburger will cost you a lot more this spring and summer. A Bloomberg survey shows the supply of beef has been cut to a 63-year low, due in part to dry conditions across Texas.
With a higher demand, shoppers are seeing rising prices. Last week the USDA announced that the retail value of USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record $5.28 a pound in February, up from $4.91 the same time a year ago.
Here are a few tips to make shopping for beef as budget-friendly as possible:
• When you find a really good sale (at least 25 percent off) snatch it up and freeze what you can.
• Keep an eye out for meat reduced for a quick sale. These products are safe to eat as long as you eat them that day or freeze them for later.
• Look for value-sized packages. These tend to be cheaper by the pound. Divide the portions according to your need and freeze.
• Consider using pork or turkey, usually about $1 less a pound.
• Build your menu around less expensive meat. Instead of a New York strip or rib-eye, choose sirloin. Marinating will add flavor and make the meat less tough.
• Stretch your ground beef with bread crumbs and add extra veggies to kabobs.
• Consider having meatless meals, using beans, quinoa or cheese for protein.
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