Beef Prices Spike Just in Time for Fourth of July: 6 Ways to Save Money
Just in time for your 4th of July cookout! Beef just got more expensive. Prices are up by as much as 61 percent this summer -- record highs. A pound of ground beef cost around $2.99 last year; this year it's $3.31. I guess that's not a huge difference -- except I think we've all seen how a few extra cents here and there can really add up on your grocery bill.
So if you are trying to stay on a budget with your Independence Day celebrations, what can you do? As far as red meat goes, it really doesn't get much cheaper than ground beef. Well, we have a few suggestions.
1. Add more ingredients to your patties. Hey, restaurants do it -- why not you? Some people add breadcrumbs to their patties, but you could add chopped veggies, herbs, even black olives (try it, seriously). A hamburger doesn't have to be 100 percent beef to be tasty.
2. Look for sales and specials. But you knew that already. Check your circulars for coupons -- you know the drill.
3. Make sliders instead. We like to think of meat as the main course, but you could switch things up a bit and make little sliders as apps. Then make your party more about the corn-on-the-cob, the macaroni salad, the watermelon.
4. Buy directly from a farm. This is what I do. I know this isn't an option for everyone, but it's worth the trouble to see if there's a farm-share or meat-buying club in your area. If you buy from a small, local, family-run farm, this is better for the farmer as well.
5. Pork, the other, um, red meat. Let's not pretend pork is like chicken. It comes from an even-toed ungulate (cloven-hoofed mammal). And a pork burger is pretty darn good eating.
6. Eat less meat. I know it sounds radical. It won't turn you into a Communist or anything like that, I swear! But maybe limit everyone to just one, medium-sized hamburger?
Personally, I think meat is already insanely cheap, especially ground beef. This is an ANIMAL we've killed for food. Shouldn't it kind of cost a bit? Farmers have been feeding it and watering it and housing it. Maybe instead of lowering prices on meat, we need to change how we think about it. Just an idea.
How do you save money on beef?