Earlier this week I shared forty of my family’s favorite ground beef recipes. You all loved that post. Thank you to everyone that shared it on Facebook and Pinterest. I am so glad that you all love ground beef as much as my family does.
The topic of ground beef though brought up some interesting discussion on whether or not ground beef is actually an inexpensive budget friendly meat. The discussion got me thinking about the price of ground beef in different parts of the country and if others agree with me that it is an economical meat to buy.
In my post I mentioned how inexpensive, versatile, and family friendly ground beef is. Some of you may have disagreed with that and that is fine. I love having discussions like this where we can all learn from each other.
So today for Ask the Readers we are talking ground beef. And I would love to hear your thoughts.
I love ground beef, but I think you already know that. I will admit though that it is not quite the bargain it used to be.
Several years ago you could find it on sale for about $2 a pound, at least in my area. I have not seen it that cheap in a long time though. It is still cheaper than many other cuts of meat, but not the bargain it once was. Although most meat is not the bargain it once was.
Here are two of my local ads from this week.
This one is from Sprouts where you can get high quality grass fed ground beef on sale for $3.99 a pound. Not a great price, but I think pretty good for the quality.
Here is another one from a local grocery store.
$3.29 a pound, now that is more like the price I like to pay. As you can see chicken and ribs are on sale too this week and they are cheaper per pound than the ground beef.
I love chicken and ribs. And I love to buy chicken when it is on sale. It is a great meat.
But here is why I still think ground beef is a good deal. Both the chicken and ribs that are on sale are bone in. I am paying for the bone. With ground beef I am not. I think the ground beef is more versatile, too. There is so much more you can do with ground beef than with a chicken leg.
The other thing is that 1 pound of chicken legs or 1 pound of ribs won’t really feed my whole family. If I serve a lot of sides, I can make it stretch, but not like a pound of ground beef. You can also often find ground chicken or turkey on sale that can be used in place of ground beef. So I am sticking by my love of ground beef, at least as long as I can get it for a decent price.
Now that I have shared my thoughts on ground beef, I would love to hear yours.
What price are you paying per pound for ground beef where you live? And do you still find it a good budget friendly meat to serve your family?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I love seeing what prices are around the country and even the world. And if you love ground beef be sure to check out my post on 40 ground beef recipes my family loves.
Wowza! Grass fed for $3.99 seems like an amazing deal!!! I pay $6.99 per pound for organic grass fed at my grocery store, and that is a sale price. I think regular us $7.99 a pound. Regular price for lean ground beef is right about $5 per pound I think. I am in Florida and shop at Publix.
Micha @ Cookin' Mimi
Ground beef runs between $3.50 and $4.50 a pound at the grocery store and slightly less than that at Sam’s. The ground chuck I bought yesterday was $3.38 a pound at Sam’s Club. This was in Georgia.
In central Iowa, we currently pay on average $4+ for a pound of 80/20. The price rises as the percentage of fat goes down. I try to buy on sale and stretch it by mixing with ground deer for soups and casseroles. My family loves ground beef.
Organic grass fed here is around $8.00/lb…. “reguar” ground beef is around $6/lb. Not cheap…
That is high! I am curious though how does that compare to other cuts of beef? I am guessing you must pay well over $8.00/lb for steak and roasts.
Roast beef is usually around $9.00/lb. 🙁 Needless to say its a rare treat here!
PS – I’m in Ontario, Canada. 🙂
I buy 90% lean at Sam’s Club and pay $3.89 a pound, or $3.49 for the 10 pound chub. I’m in extreme North Texas (Sherman). If we lived closer to Dallas, it would probably be higher.
I agree with you that ground beef is still an inexpensive way to feed a family. We live in Montana so we buy our beef straight from a butcher. I have bought a whole beef from a family friend that raised it and had it processed. It was about $2.50/lb. My mom buys her meat straight from the same butcher and it is cheaper than the grocery store and probably better. I find that I can make so many dishes with ground beef and as long as I buy the leanest it is just as healthy. I find chicken expensive, especially because we usually only eat white meat which is just breasts.
the problem with ground beef is there’s 3–93%, 85%, and 80%. A few other stores have 90% and 70% (not sure if 70% even qualifies under the USDA). And 80% isn’t necessarily chuck. The true butcher terms have been lost in the process. So, it’s really hard to know what is the best and healthiest meat to serve one’s family. The higher the percentage, the higher the price.
I prefer to buy meats which have been freshly ground in-store–less chance of contamination, shouldn’t be exposed to e coli, less handling, fresher, no CO to artificially “keep fresh” and distort the red color, etc…
so my answer, it depends on what you want to serve your family. quality varies. price varies. it’s still more economical than steak or roasts. especially when feeding teens with bottomless stomachs.
Yes, I agree on on the % of fat. I prefer the leaner ones too. And I think you may be right on the 70%, I am not sure they even sell that one anymore. I have not seen it in a long time. I think it is often finding the right balance between price and what is healthiest. At different times and with different budgets I choose different things.
I did forget to say I mostly buy 93% at a store which freshly grinds it, and it’s in a bulk size package (5-6lbs). I bring it home and break it down into smaller, meal-sized portions. Because I buy it in the bulk-size, it’s about $3.50lb. Bought in smaller quantities, it is closer to $5-6+/lb.
Holy Cow! (no pun intended lol) That is the price I find 85% or 90% ground beef on sale for here. Grass fed pushes it up to at least the $7 mark. Lucky you!
I have a share of a cow that has been amazing. It’s truly grass fed & finished, plus raised organic and the flavor is out of this world. I think I paid around $5/lb for everything. If that is not available for us I try to buy my ground beef at Costco for $3.49/lb (organic). Our local store brand is $7.99/lb for organic ground beef (buffalo is $8.99/lb – insane!). I’m in Colorado.
My husband loves buffalo burgers, but I think it is way too expensive. I have bought it a few times on sale, but that is it. And I agree I always love it when we can buy beef locally from a rancher. It is so much better!
We have done the share of cow as well (grassfed, etc like you said – in NC), and this time it was around $4.50-$5/lb for everything, too. Last time we did it – around 1.5 years ago – it was around $3.50/lb. I rarely buy beef in-store because of it, so I’m kinda glad to see that it wasn’t just our farmer/butcher who upped prices, but rather they are going up everywhere – I felt a little cheated when I did the math this time and it came out higher! Inflation, I guess. Ugh.
Funny you bring up the price of beef; it’s been a fairly big topic in our household. I noticed buying lean ground beef at the regular cheap grocery store the other day to be $4.50/pound!!! Managed to get it on sale there this week, but regular ground beef, at $3/pound. From a local farmer, for grass-fed (NOT organic), buying/sharing a whole cow’s worth, is going to be closer to $5/pound this year. We’ll have to see how much room we have in our freezer and our budget, I guess. We live in British Columbia, Canada. By the way, I noticed this week that regular large eggs have also gone up from about 2.64/dozen to $3.20/dozen. That is a huge jump!!! What the heck???!!!
New York State is where we live. Ground beef is anywhere from 3.29 and up for regular beef. Grass fed at the store can run as high as 5.99-7.99 and even more at the co-ops! You’re getting a great deal. Happy for you, sad for us. Sometimes I just look to see how much a big beef roast is and buy that and grind it myself. Love my Kitchen Aid! Those sometimes I can get at 2 something a pound, not often though. Beef has gone up and chicken has too. Use to be for a whole one .69 a lb. Now, it is at least 1.09-1.99 a lb. Not free range either. That’s about 2.49 a lb.
We like our beef, …meat. Oh well, the sigh of the times.
I’ll check out your ideas more closely with the ground beef though, I do have selective eaters too.
Here in New England sale price for plain old 80/20 is $3/lb, 90/10 is about $4.25/lb. Grass fed? Forget about it, $7+ a pound. Ground beef definitely not the “cheap” food it once was for us, especially since I get regularly get boneless chicken breasts or thighs for $1.99/lb.
We have moved to “Lean Ground Beef 7% fat” after some medical issues to reduce our fat consumption. I occasionally use ground sirloin (about 10% fat) if we’re serving hamburgers or hamburger steaks. Between the move away from ground chuck, ground round, market ground beef and the increase in beef prices, we’ve seen a real shock to our budget. I typically pay $5-7 a pound for instore ground beef.
I have access to less expensive beef in chubs through Zaycon Foods but I am hesitant to make a change. I do not like the concept of chubs or the large quantities of beef ground at the same time to manufacture the chubs.
In the past, I’ve tried the organic/grass fed ground beef products through Whole Foods but I was very disappointed in the quality – particularily the smell.
I’m located in North Metro Atlanta.
We’ve moved to reducing the quantity of ground beef in our dishes by 25% or more.
I’m in Texas and meat is really cheap here, but I’ve still seen how ground beef (and beef in general) has gone up in price lately. I can still occasionally find it for 1.99/lb but that’s usually on a holiday weekend like memorial day. Lately sale prices have been more 2.49 and 2.99/lb. One thing that has gotten way cheaper is ground turkey. That stuff used to be above 3.00/lb and now it has consistently been 1.99/lb. Regular price for chicken is 1.99/lb or less.
Pork is dirt cheap but I can’t really eat the stuff for some reason.
I’ve started mostly using ground chicken or turkey. Ground beef has just gotten too pricey for me. Sometimes I get lucky and find some ground chicken or turkey amongst the marked-down meat. Other times, I buy bags of chicken breasts and them myself. Besides being more economical, it’s healthier.
I am in Northern Ohio and our ground beef is anywhere from $2.99-$3.99 a pound depending on how much fat is in the product. Organic is twice that amount. Seems strange that beef prices shot up with the “Mad Cow” scare and since then it has not come down at all and you do not hear about “Mad Cow”. It irks me that there is no cheap meats for any one on a fixed income. Even our ground turkey is going up weekly. Started out at $1.99 and is now up to $2.89 a pound. I used to live in Pa and would get a whole cow at a time. Those were the good ole days.
I got some at Costco last weekend for $3.79/lb for 88% in California.
I don’t know if they come to your neck of the woods but I LOVE the Zaycon Foods ground beef. It is sold at $3.99 a pound and is about the freshest you can get since they get it from the farmers and bring it straight to a parking lot near you…it also has many benefits including being super lean and it has no pink slime! You have to order 40 pounds (four 10 pound chubs) at a time but you can easily repack it and freeze it in the amount your family would use…or go in with a friend (or two or more) and split the order as many ways as you want to. You can check them out here:
I also LOVE their boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I would love to try their bacon, waffles, etc. but I only have a standard freezer attached to my refrigerator so I am not able to really take advantage of all they have to offer. Someday when I can afford it and have my own house so there is room, I want to get a chest freezer so I can store more meats, make ahead meals, etc. I know it will really make my life a ton easier!
I bought a 3lb package of 80/20 ground beef today at Food Lion and it was on sale for $3.99/lb. The smaller packages were more expensive. The regular price of what I got is $4.29. I think it’s cheaper at BJs but I haven’t checked recently. I was looking at the prices of ground anything and it looks like beef was the most expensive. The ground pork was $3.99/lb in a 1lb package and the ground turkey was about the same. I hadn’t thought of it but the way you explained it makes sense, even though it does cost more than I want to pay, when you mix it in with other stuff, it’s a good buy compared to a steak/whole piece of something that has to stand on its own.
I won’t buy it if I have to pay that much for it – except in town where they grind it fresh. And that’s only a few times a year. If I can’t get it for at or near $2/lb, it doesn’t get bought.
We live in coastal WA state and it was on sale recently for 3.99/lb. I just can’t pay that so we switched to ground pork (and some chicken) and just quit having anything that used ground beef. The pork I can get for 2.20/lb which is doable. But we had some members of our church (dh is a pastor) who raise beef who gave us some and now I’m getting out the ground beef recipes. 🙂 It was so nice to have meatloaf last week. We normally just use 1 pound per meal even with the 7 of us. I splurged with the meatloaf and then we had tacos too.
Great post!! I was so curious about other areas too. It’s amazing how often you can substitute pork (but then I drain it super well and squish between several layers of paper towels since it’s so greasy.)
I pay right at $4.00 a lb for ground chuck (80/20) at my local Kroger. While on vacation last month, we visited Fresh Market. On Tuesdays in September they sold ground chuck for $2.99 a lb. (Normally $4.99/lb) It was very good. I get their emails with weekly ads. I see they have that same deal in October. $2.99/lb on Tuesdays. There is a Frsh Market in a bigger town about 45 minutes away. My daughter lives here but works over in that town. I will be sending her to the Fresh Market next Tuesday to stock up on some for me. I don’t mind paying $3 a lb. if it is really good. I love Fresh Market grocery stores. If you have one available..check out their ground chuck on Tuesdays this month.
I can’t even buy grass-fed in my area because I live out in the sticks. I can get it about an hour and a half form where I live, if I’m ever there, and it’s $7.99/lb. I buy 90/10 ground beef from my local supermarket, and it is $5.29/lb. (keep in mind it’s NOT grass-fed).We use a fair amount of ground beef, but there are more economical options for us.
Maybe I should be paying more attention to the Sprouts ads – that’s a great price! I’m near Los Angeles and I normally pay about $6-7 at least for organic grass fed and that’s from Costco. I rarely see any ground beef for under $5 at Ralphs (Kroger), unless maybe it’s the kind that comes in those plastic wrapped tubes, but I never buy those. I use ground turkey a lot too, because that seems more economical and healthier than the beef. But overall, I feel like meat prices in general have risen more recently.
I don’t know what is up with some of the articles that I have read on the internet, about ground beef going up only 5 percent. Because here in Kentucky, it seems like a lot more than that. Last year, we were paying like 9.99 for a 5 lb. roll of ground beef. It is now $18.99 for a 5 lb. roll, and the guy in the meat department told me today that it is going to go up to $19.99 soon. I don’t know what anyone is supposed to do. Even chicken has gone up. I already could not afford steak, or more expensive meat. I used to make tacos or something at home, because we can’t hardly ever afford to eat take-out food. But more and more, take-out food may just start being cheaper. I am on a budget, and I am seriously worried about how I am going to afford to feed my family. We may just have to have meat once a week, and rice and beans the rest of the week.
I agree all meat has gotten expensive, even on sale it is much higher than a year ago. And I agree it is more than 5 percent. Meatless pasta dishes are usually a good option too. Although they are better with meat, most are good meatless too. I also like to stretch my ground beef in mexican food by mixing in the beans with the meat. It seems to stretch more that way than serving the beans and meat separate.
wow i would yhink it was cheep tto but mine is about6.50 a pound and grass fed ….8.50
I always get 90/10 at Sam”s Club. The price has been steadily increasing, but still less than Kroger’s or any other grocery store. Even after the horrorific drought here in Texas I really watch the prices. I able to even get from time to time a whole boneless ribeye for3.99 lb to4.99 lb. Repack at home then wait for the next meat sale. Sometimes I get bacon for5.99 for 40ozs.
Going rates for14oz sausages good Czech and Polish is about 3.99. I wait and get it at 1.88 per link. As the addage goes: Good things come to those who wait. Happy shopping and bon apetit.