The 7 Ideas For Saving Money On Beef – How To Get A Good Cheap Steak
This is something you might observe in bodybuilding circles, since they are loading on that type thing… However there is a good few steak aficionados, who, like me, love beef and can’t possibly survive without it.
So here we are – I feel like it’s my duty to share the ways of buying good value (I hate the word ‘cheap’ to be honest) cuts with you. I will also show you how to prepare and cook them, so you are totally in love with not only your savings, but the flavor as well.
What Are Cheap Cuts Of Steak?
Before we actually start getting the really awesome, inexpensive cuts, we need to see what are they!
So, here is a list of steaks, which may be considered less expensive:
- Chuck / chuck eye
- Top / bottom round
Please note that this list is more of a guideline to which cuts are more likely to be cheaper. Sometimes you can come across other names for the same cuts (e.g. hanger steak also called ‘butcher’s steak’) and that can be misleading.
Ok, I hope that’s a bit clear now? Now we are ready to get buying and saving money at the same time…
The 7 Ways Of Saving Money On Steak
How to buy cheap steak? I am going to share a couple of ideas with you here:
1. Buy a roast and cut your own steaks.
This is one my favorite methods which I use all the time. Instead of buying, for example, round steak – get an entire round roast instead. It’s usually 15-20% cheaper per lb and you get to cut it yourself in the slices you want.
You may then refrigerate it for 2-4 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.
2. Buy in bulk – cow-pooling is a good way to save.
This one might be an extreme example (depending on how aggressive you are at saving and how badly you love steak), but you might consider that in future.
Basically the idea is the same – you buy lot of steak (e.g. 40 – 160kg). You can even share it with your neighbors (actually that’s the idea of cow-pooling).
Shop around and see if there is a chance of you doing that.
Perhaps you might not find the cow-pooling opportunity, but buying steak in bulk might still be an option (smaller slaughterhouses and butcher shops might well be willing to sell and deliver that quantity).
And you might be lucky to stumble upon cheaper than in supermarket grass-fed beef!
3. Use slow-cooking for even tougher cuts.
Have you got a crock-pot? This device is ideal for when it comes to making tougher cuts tender and flavorful. Not only it’s a healthier way to cook meat, but it’s an investment which pays off quite quickly.
Once you have it, load up with even cheaper cuts to get remarkable dishes. I am talking about the likes of brisket, chuck roast, oxtail and even shanks (for home-made broth).
Prolonged moist cooking helps to break down these collagen-rich cuts into delicious, hearty and beefy pieces.
By the way, these cuts are also rich in glycine, which is used for treating several medical conditions (e.g. stroke).
4. Sale – A Good Time To Stock Up
When the sale is on, it’s time to think in advance and buy more steak. Note that it would typically mean that it’s approaching its ‘use-by’ date, so you would need to cook it all at once or freeze it till next time.
Note that some grocery stores would have a special sales shelf, where they put all the sales items at the beginning of the day. Make sure to check it in the morning, when the stock is refreshed. You will see it disappearing as more people go shopping.
And in case you haven’t yet seen how to preserve beef in the freezer so it stays fresh and flavorful – check it out here.
5. Coupons & Loyalty Programs Are Your Friends.
You know those loyalty programs when you, for example, buy 8 cups of coffee and get the next one free? Some butchers have something like that in place, so see if you can be loyal to them.
Coupons, especially with big online meat retailers, can work the same way – and they bring savings.
How to find a food coupon? Simple google something along these lines: “retailer name coupons”. Insert the name of the place you are looking for instead of ‘retailer name’.
6. Butchers are humans too – when do they mark down?
Did you know that butchers would typically lower their prices, once meat starts changing its appearance (e.g. the surface would dry out a bit)? These changes are natural and don’t affect meat quality (or safety).
Get some really good deals by simply asking the guy, when is that the best time to come for reduced price steak? Awesome savings and good choice are guaranteed!
Note however that if you are concerned about safety, seek for advice (the butcher will tell you if it’s bad or not).
7. Don’t buy ground beef – grind your own at home.
Why not grind your beef at home? Not only it’s safer from the health point of view (all those beef recalls…), but it can work out cheaper too!
Another thing to consider – how fatty is the ground beef you get? It might seem like buying 75% lean ground beef is much cheaper than 95%, but the difference is not that dramatic (if existent) at all. As you cook it, the fat will drain out. Hence you are probably paying the same amount of lean meat, even though the pack is cheaper.
How To Tenderize Cheap Steak?
Ok, you got that cut of beef and managed to save.
Now, it’s very likely that it’s one of the cheaper, less flavorful cuts. And here is the thing – how can we make it a bit more flavorful and tender?
One of the options is marinating. It’s a good way to enhance the flavor and make the surface a bit more tender.
See the quick guide to marinating steak to make it tender and delicious.
Another way is to cook it the right way.
Now, what’s the ‘right way’? In my opinion, this is when you preserve most of the juices and flavor inside.
For more ideas on how to tenderize a cheaper cut, please, proceed here.
I hope you found this article beneficial and valuable. Now it’s up to you and I can only wish you every success and loads of luck with getting beef on sale all the time!
Please tell me – how do you save money on steaks? What’s the best value steak in your opinion?
Please leave a comment / question below. Thank you!