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How to get the best deal on steak

Beef prices are higher than they have ever been and are expected to rise more in the next couple of years.

The reason is prolonged drought in many areas, which make cattle costlier to raise. By 2024, beef production will drop by 2 billion pounds, according to the Agriculture Department, because ranchers can’t make a profit and are getting out of the business.

If you want to treat yourself to a juicy steak, you will have to shop smart. We’re going to focus on New York strip steak. A strip steak is tender, tasty and good for grilling. But it isn’t as tender as a rib-eye or a tenderloin. It also isn’t as expensive.

Many people like New York strip steaks because there is little waste. There are no bones. Good strip steaks are marbled with fat, but, unlike a rib-eye, there isn’t much internal fat. An 8-ounce cut will generously feed all but the biggest eaters.

Photo: Deposit Photos

Here are some grocery shopping ideas for getting the most steak for your money.

Go big

A whole New York strip loin weighs between 12 and 14 pounds. You can serve about one adult per half pound of meat. So, think 24 servings from the whole loin.

One of the best and least expensive places to shop for a whole loin is Cheney Brothers, a Florida-based restaurant supply warehouse located in most parts of Florida. Cheney Brothers is open to the public but bring your credit/debit card because it doesn’t take cash. The South Florida stores are:

  • Riviera Beach, two locations. 1 Cheney Way, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Phone: 800-432-1341. Also 2061 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. #200, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Phone: 877-224-2433.
  • Fort Lauderdale. 240 SW 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315. Phone: 800-497-3810
  • North Lauderdale. 5150 N. State Road 7 Suite B., North Lauderdale, FL 33319. Phone: 854-497-9919.

Whole loins are always in stock and currently cost $7 per pound at Cheney. That is $3.50 a steak. In all, you’ll pay nearly $100, and you’ll have to do your own cutting and trimming. Unless you are serving a couple of dozen people, you’ll need freezer space and packaging for the excess meat. A well-wrapped steak will keep for a year. Or partner with a friend or two and split the loin. To shop online and arrange for a curb-side pick-up time, register at Cheney Express.

You can buy whole loins at other places, but you probably won’t see the same savings. Costco keeps them in stock. This week they are $16.99 per pound. You may have to order in advance elsewhere.

Photo: Deposit Photos

Shop the sales

Meat is sometimes a sales item, especially around the grilling holidays, like upcoming Labor Day.

Target has a deal this week – buy one, get the second steak at 20% off. Target strip steaks are $14.79 per pound. If you buy one 8-ounce steak, you’ll pay $7.40 and the second one will cost you $5.90, for a total of $13.30 per pound. That almost twice as much as you’ll pay at Cheney, but a lot less trouble.

Winn-Dixie doesn’t have strip steak on sale this week, but it is offering a great price on T-bone and boneless rib-eye steaks – $6.99 a pound when you buy a “value pack,” whatever that is. The deal is good only Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-13, 2023.

Consider BJs or Sam’s Club

Fans of BJs say this club market routinely has the best prices on good meats. Strip steaks usually are available at $12.99 per pound for a minimum of four steaks. That price ranges from $35.72 to $45.47 per package.

Sam’s Club sells strip steaks for less – $11.99 a pound for a minimum of four Member’s Mark house brand steaks. Prices per package vary depending on the thickness of the cut. Website reviewers often say the Member’s Mark meat is tough.

Other less expensive sources for meat

Gordon’s Food Service sells individual strip steaks for $11.20 per poundd. Reviewers say the meat is as good as you are likely to find at Aldi or Walmart. Gordon's stores are in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Little Havana and west Miami.

Wild Fork is also a popular option for lovers of meat and seafood. Its New York strip is selling for $8.98 a pound (bone-in) and $9.98 a pound (boneless). Wild Fork stores are in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise and Aventura. 

Among conventional grocery stores, Aldi and Walmart are the usual winners in the price contest. But in the steak competition, neither are standouts.

  • Aldi is selling two New York strips for $11.49 a pound. If you only want one, it is $12.99 per pound.
  • Walmart is offering strip steaks for $14.97 a pound. Its grass fed and prime steaks are more.

Photo: Deposit Photos

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Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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