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.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less