Eating Steak on the Cheap

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The flavor and aroma of a nice, juicy steak is hard to beat. The problem is that steak is usually cost prohibitive. It is a safe bet that a lot of people would love to be able to eat steak once in a while, but may not be able to afford many dollars per pound to purchase it. A person can save money on steak, though.

Traditional method

It is normally less expensive per pound to buy meat by the quarter or half, meaning a quarter or a half of the animal, and then to cut it up at home. While this will often save substantial money, for many people this isn’t an option because of the initial expense, effort and lack of storage space, however. Still, this method is worth some thought. If the price of cheap steaks is over $4 a pound and a hundred pound quarter costs $2 a pound, it would cost less than half as much, though the initial outlay of money would be much greater because a hundred pounds of meat are being purchased.

Meat on special

Meat is also sometimes on special, either at a store or a butcher shop. It pays off to buy the meat when it has been discounted, freezing any excess for later use. Again, this assumes that there will be space for the extra meat and it ignores the fact that the special prices are often because the meat isn’t high quality and might be tough. 

Boneless roast

Using a roast can be the best way of all. It isn’t uncommon for roasts to also be on special, especially if they weigh five pounds or more. Even if they aren’t on special, the roast is usually less expensive than steak. Using a roast has additional benefits, as well. The meat tends to be more tender than cheap cuts of steak and a person can cut it, against the grain, to the desired thickness. If the roast is indeed on special, even a small freezer is normally large enough to handle any excess.

As an example, in a small town in Montana, the main store often sells beef round steak for just under $5 per pound. Top sirloin steak is often over $7.50 per pound. A boneless sirloin roast normally sells for a little less than $3 a pound, with occasional specials that are closer to $2 per pound. This means that the equivalent of top sirloin steaks cost much less than half the cost of the actual steaks, and a five pound roast can be cut into 5-10 steaks. 

There are ways to save money on steak, without sacrificing flavor or quality. If a person chooses to use a bone-in roast, the cost can be even less, though the bone normally will need to be cut. In any event, a person can buy in bulk, they can purchase the meat when it is on special or they can cut their own perfectly good steaks out of a roast. The savings are often substantial, allowing a person on a low or set income to still delight in a treat of steak once in a while.