Being a clever buyer can save you major cash on this dinnertime staple. Here are three surefire strategies for savings.
1. Compare Prices
Surprise! The biggest bargains might not be at the supermarket. Call your local butcher, go to the farmer's market and check out warehouse clubs. Don't be afraid of a family-size package, either: If the best deal is for a larger package than you have room for, call a friend—you can split the meat and the cost.
2. Keep Detailed Notes
Consider starting a price book. For a few weeks, bring a notebook every time you shop. Jot down the ground beef prices on different days and at different stores so you'll recognize a great deal when you see it. If you eat ground beef twice a week, saving 50 cents per pound can add up to more than $50 a year.
3. Go Lean (But Not Too Lean)
In general, the more fat in beef, the less it costs. But depending on your family's needs, you can buy a fattier, less expensive grind; once it's cooked, the nutritional information for 70 percent and 80 percent ground beef are comparable (see chart below).