Feeding the family healthy, enjoyable meals within a budget can be challenging. As my children have grown over the past few years, so have their appetites and food preferences. The one thing I can count on is their love for beef’s great flavor, which thankfully pairs well with many fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Here are some easy shopping tips for planning meals that help keep the family happy and healthy with beef’s saving value.
- Consider cost-per-serving ratio. One serving of protein is equivalent to 4-ounces of raw or 3-ounces of cooked beef. On average, one pound (16-ounces) of beef is about $4. That means beef costs about $1 per 3-ounce cooked serving. Beef is packed with 10 essential nutrients for that $1. Its value you can count on.
- Purchase family-size packs/bundles. Look for family packs or bundles in the meat case that have a variety of items for a lower price-per-pound. If you can’t use all the items at one meal, simply freeze them or use the cooked leftovers for sandwiches, salads or stir-fry the next day.
- Go small. If you don’t need a full pound of beef, just purchase the amount needed. Simply visit the meat case to find perfectly-portioned steaks and roasts. You can buy high-quality beef at just the right size and just the right price.
- Buy in bulk and cut your own. By purchasing larger cuts of beef and slicing them into steaks at home, you can save up to $2 per pound. You can freeze cuts individually or use for your next meal.
- Hunt for bargains. Every week your local grocers will offer specials on beef. Watch the paper for coupons and deals. When you find a good deal be sure to buy enough to stock your freezer. Uncooked ground beef can be properly stored in the freezer for approximately 3-4 months. Uncooked steaks and roasts can be frozen for approximately 4-12 months.
- Ask for help. Talk to your local butcher or meat counter clerk. Their job is to help you find the most appropriate cut of meat to suit your needs. You can also look for recipe labels on the corners of packages of beef for helpful information. Or, if you have a smart phone, you can visit the online Interactive Butcher Counter while shopping to find helpful information regarding cuts, nutrition and recipes.
Recipe: Grilled Beef Tri-tip
This delicious Grilled Beef Tri-tip with Tropical Fruit Salsa recipe is a great value for any meal. Stretch your dollar further by serving it with a wholegrain option, such as brown rice, and save the leftovers for steak tacos the following day.
Source: South Dakota Beef Industry Council