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The Cost Of Meat

The Cost Of Meat

Q. I was looking around for information about buying meat at cost-per-serving as opposed to cost-per-pound, and I didn’t see anything in your tips about it, and wonder if any stories were written about it.  I come across vague statement about how one "should" purchase meat this way, and no explanation of how to do it!

Cost Per Serving? What’s that?

How many web sites and thrifty living books have you encountered that give vague statements about buying meat in cost-per-serving as opposed to cost-per-pound? I found the answer:   This site contains a chart for quick and easy comparisons while in the store. I highly recommend you add the chart to your price books. Why all the fuss? Price per pound does not exclude waste—bones and fat.  I e-mailed my Agricultural Extension office here in Corpus Christi, Texas, and got this response: Boneless and ground meat (flank, tenderloin, boneless loin, sirloin butt, sirloin strip, round, liver, heart, kidneys, brains, sweetbreads, tongue, sausages, and wieners) will yield approximately 3-4 servings per pound. If you take the half-way point (3 � servings), just divide the cost of the meat per pound by 3.5. Meat with a medium amount of bone (rib roasts, rump roasts, chuck, chops, steaks, ham slices, loin roasts, and leg of lamb) will yield 2-3 servings per pound. Again, I would take the price of the meat per pound and divide it by 2.5.  Meat with a large amount of bone (short ribs, neck, breasts, brisket, shank, or shoulder cuts) generally give 1and � servings per pound. Divide the cost of the meat per pound by 1.5 It is very possible that although these cuts of meat may appear to be inexpensive when compared to other cuts on a per pound basis, when you calculate the cost per serving, some of these cuts may be quite expensive. Note: A serving size is 3 ounces. Reference: Foundations of Food Preparation, 6th edition

I recently visited my local health food store and discovered a produce called TVP natural meat substitute. It comes in both chunks and flakes. Mix the flakes in meatloaf or with ground meats and chunks in soups and stews. It mimics the flavor or the dish and has the consistency on meat. You can stretch the meat you buy while giving your family a healthy (sneaky yet delicious) dose of soy protein. I tried it on my family and not one of them had any idea that it wasn’t meat! I bought a 12oz bag for only $1.49!  Laura in Arkansas

My husband is a meat cutter, so I think I can relate some professional authority. The chain my husband works for (as all are supposed to) reduces all meats the day before the expiration date on the package.  The meats are still good!  You can get some great deals, bring them home, package them and freeze for use.  I’ve purchased $6.00 steaks for $2.50-$3.00, and ground round & sirloin for .99 a lb.  Also, a darker color on beef doesn’t make it bad.  This occurs when the meat surface reacts to oxygen in the air.

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