When it gets cold outside, I get lazy with my cooking. Maybe it’s a lack of Vitamin D, but by the time we get to dinner I’m ready to be done in these winter months. The sun has gone to bed and so must I.
These are the times I bust out pot roasts and stews—they’re easy to make and warm my soul.
Luckily for me (and all of us, really), beef prices are down this year! That means all the pot roasts and stews you’ll be eating will cost you less than they did during previous winters.
At the end of 2014, beef prices hit a major peak. So pot roast two years ago? Super expensive.
But at the end of 2016, we’re looking at a 10% price decrease. If you’re a savvy shopper, you will have noticed the decrease at the meat counter, and you can expect those prices to stay low.
How to Save Even More on Beef
Beef prices have gone down, but we want to save as much money as humanly possible every time we go grocery shopping. Or shopping period.
Today we get some insider tips from the folks at The Beef Checkoff—AKA real, live beef farmers and ranchers across the country. Check out this infographic to see if you can find innovative new ways to save:
Personally, I had no idea you could even do number four, but I do own a knife and am happy to cut both my own steaks and my grocery bill simultaneously.
Food Safety and Beef
Good food safety measures start before you even bring your food home. You can start right there in the grocery store by picking up your beef last. There’s this rule that it should only be thirty minutes from store cooler to fridge/freezer.
I once lived in a rural setting where I traveled a pretty long distance to get affordable food. The store was just about 30 minutes from my house, so there was no way I was meeting the store cooler to fridge rule. I invested my own cooler, which helped me bring my meats home safely.
When you arrive home with your beef, make sure you put it on the lowest shelf of your fridge or freezer so the juices won’t contaminate any of your other foods. It’s also a good idea to put the beef on a plate or tray inside the fridge.
To thaw beef safely, you should do so in the fridge—not at room temperature! Once again, make sure you put the frozen beef on the lowest shelf on a plate or tray so that juices don’t spill over onto anything else.
It is okay to thaw ground beef in the microwave, too. Check out this video to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
How do you know which cut to buy?
It’s no good to go through all the effort of saving money at the store if you end up throwing away uneaten leftovers when you’re done. Food waste is evil and expensive. It’s like throwing money into your trash can.
Don’t throw money into your trash can. Instead, get educated about how many servings come in a pound of beef, whichever cut you’re buying.
Speaking of cuts, if you’re anything like me, you’ve stood at the meat counter looking and feeling like an idiot as you stare at all of your options, unsure which to pick. There is no beef package labelled “pot roast” or “Bake me!” You just have to know which cut to use for which recipe, which is something I did not learn in Home Ec.
There is a solution for this, though! Before you go to the store, use this quick tool to figure out which cut your recipe calls for so you can go in looking confident instead of confused. Yay for the internet!
Find Amazing Beef-Centric Recipes
Remember those beef farmers and ranchers? They also have an online recipe portal full of delicious ways to prepare a meal. I’m partial to these recipes because they also tell me which cut to buy which saves me another step.
Here are a couple that our family will be trying:
Garlic-Herb Crusted Roast
This one requires me to use the oven, but it’s still simple enough for my lazy self. Plus, it’s one of their lean recipes which is a win.
Pot Roast with Cider-Maple Gravy and Mashed Butternut Squash
Confession: this is not one of their lean recipes. But holy festive flavors! Definitely excited to give this one a try and check out their other holiday-oriented recipes.
Have you noticed beef prices going down in your area? What techniques do you use to save at the butcher’s counter?
*This post is funded by The Beef Checkoff and brought to you by The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.*
We eat a fair amount of beef. Mainly I can pick it up cheaply by looking for the “manager’s specials” at our local store and sticking to those. When those aren’t available, we don’t buy it, but we tend to be well satisfied using that approach,.
That’s a great tip, Emily!
Oooohhh I like a good roast with vegetables too. That’ll definitely be on the menu over the holiday break with the whole family together!
Perfect time for it! So low maintenance and can feed a lot of people!
We’re very happy to see beef prices going down, and have a few go-to recipes.
Ibotta is our new favorite way to save on beef. There’s a $4 off beef, pork, or fish coupon in there regularly, if you buy a six pack of Goose Island. I can either say it’s a free 1 pound package of meat (or nearly free, depending on what we buy), or it’s a $4 six pack of beer. Either is good enough for me. 🙂
I’m totally going to have to check that out! Haven’t seen it, but I’m a new Ibotta user. I don’t even know what Goose Island is haha. Regional selection?
We have a roast on the menu for the week – yum! We buy our beef in bulk from a local farmer. We purchase a whole grassfed steer that we split with my parents (they take 1/4) and we try to make it last for an entire year. I like having it on hand, but it’s really hard to make it stretch when it’s always available in the deep freeze. I’m trying to make more meatless meals and smaller portions to stretch it further.
That is intense! And super smart! It would be really tempting to NOT run to the grocery store when you know you’ve got beef in the basement, but what savings!