HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Beef Prices are at an All Time High and Rising Through 2014....Will It Affect Your Purchases or Consumption?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. we've cut down on beef both for health and then price. Price of beef is much like the price of gas - as it increases the initial uptick is a shock, then it becomes the new norm and you think less of it. If we're in the mood for a good steak, we'll pay the price.

    1. It doesn't matter to me. I don't eat enough of it or in large quantities to make a difference.
      I am also used to paying more for specialty beef because I don't buy it at a grocery store. I wonder if the specialty beef market will increase as ordinary grocery store beef prices rise?

      1. Check your 401(k). It should be rising faster than beef prices.

        1. no,
          i eat none of it, whatever the price.

          1. Nope. I need healthy, quality proteins from grass fed beef in my diet.

            1. I think allot of people have already curtailed consumption of beef, the price is already high andthe quality of beef has deteriorated. l

              17 Replies
              1. re: dolly52

                Quality depends on what kind of beef you buy (or can afford) and where it comes from. Quality costs. Not everyone can keep up with those costs.

                1. re: mcf

                  Grain finished strips & ribs up close to $3.00 lb. How much increase have you seen with the grass finished?

                  1. re: Tom34

                    I can't honestly say that I know exactly when the prices spiked first, but its' been at least a year, I'd say. I'd say the increase is approx 15-20%, depending on where it's from.

                    1. re: mcf

                      With grain finished the big jump has been w/in the last 6 weeks.

                      I have about 30 vacuum sealed steaks in the freezer but wish I had a few more.

                      1. re: mcf

                        I know this is off the subject but a friend just told me boneless skinless chicken breasts hit $90.00 for a 40 lb case and they expect $100.00 plus by next week. No relief there :-(

                        1. re: Tom34

                          Maybe it'll cause folks to resort to something with some flavor.

                          1. re: mcf

                            Yeah, I prefer beef / pork & seafood myself. I just feel bad for the restaurant owners as they have always been able to push chicken dishes when the price of other items went up.

                          2. re: Tom34

                            I've noticed the price difference in the past few months in the store. Usually every 4 weeks or so, my store would put them on sale for $1.99/lb (thighs too). These past few months I haven't seen it for less than $2.49/lb. While 50 cents a pound doesn't seem like much, I usually buy 8-10lbs at a time to last the month, so it does add up when my entire grocery budget for a week is only $75.

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              For much better moisture and flavor, I roast chicken breasts with the bone and skin, and if using the meat for a salad, remove it afterward. much cheaper that way, and better product. Not as convenient, and I don't often do it because I'm a dark meat lover.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Yes but I'm guessing the price of that goes up too. I buy bone-in meat occasionally (especially thighs), but I really don't like paying for things I'm not going to use, like bones and skin. It may seem like a lower price, but once you add in the cost of what you're not actually consuming, it ends up being about the same. I rarely eat a chicken breast whole anyway, I use it cut up in various dishes for the most part, or if I am eating by itself, they have lots of seasoning and/or are stuffed/breaded.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  I hate meat without bones and skin. :-) And you do use them for a better end result, flavor and texture wise.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    The end result is better, but I use the bone and skin for stock so it doesn't get thrown away around here. I never purchase stock in a box, so that saves money too.

                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      I have a freezer bag that I load up with wing tips, backbones and giblets for homemade stock, too. No waste.

                              2. re: juliejulez

                                Yeah, I think the $1.99 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast sales are over for a while. $2.75 to $3.00 on sale is not out of the question.

                                1. re: Tom34

                                  I believe Pathmark has Boneless/Skinless Chicken breast for $1.98/lb, 5-7 pound packages (average), through tomorrow. 5/16

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    I would grab it while you can.... 40 lb "untrimmed" case price is $90.00 ($2.25 lb) from major purveyors Sysco Foods & also Roma Foods. Most expect $100.00 by next week.

                                    Ground beef is through the roof and 109 Rib & 180 Strip up $3.00 lb in the last 4 to 6 weeks.

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      Thats a great deal.....our Shoprite add shows 40% off Tyson boneless / skinless chicken 2.75 lb package - 3.5 lb package, final cost $2.93 Lb. At $1.98 lb, it sounds like Pathmark is behind the price spike. I would buy several if you like it, re-wrap it and freeze it.

                                      On a brighter note, 5oz to 8oz large Snow Crab legs are $5.99 lb. Several lbs of that and a few ice cold brews make for a real nice evening :-)

                      2. Nope. I prefer to savour the best quality beef maybe every week or two. Happy to eat lighter meals, or even go vego sometimes on other days.

                        1. In March 2013, the wholesale price for choice 0x1 sub primal striploin was about $5.50 lb. As of this Friday it was at $8.00 lb.

                          As long as I can get great quality aged steak to cook at home in my BGE over lump charcoal cheaper than mediocre food at a restaurant (meal, drinks, tax & tip) , I will continue buying and cooking my own.

                          1. Its one of the reasons we sprung for half a cow this year instead of quarter. Our price per lb last was under $3.00 ($2.49 IIRC) and this year it was $4.36. Still a bargain for grass fed cows that we know personally and can see how they are raised as well as knowing the butcher and his facilities so we know the quality is there as well.

                            1. No. But, then, I'm not buying retail beef from the grocery store, either. If I were, I probably would be cutting way back.

                              Instead, I buy a quarter steer once a year from a local rancher (grass fed, organic, etc.). This year's purchase is already in the freezer.

                              The nationally-reported price rise is mostly not going to the local ranchers except to cover their skyrocketing costs (fuel, power, etc.) And today's prices aren't always covering those costs, either. Buying local means I am paying much less than retail and the rancher is making a lot more money that he could by selling into the national meat processing and marketing system which is the subject of the linked NBC article.

                              Of course, I'm not buying wagyu steaks and if the rancher decided to go into marketing high-end specialty, organic beef business and quadruple his charges (as one very large ranch here has done), then I'd look elsewhere.

                              1. I already don't eat a lot of beef because of the price. So, I'll probably stay that way. I do hope that we can buy a freezer soon and maybe go in with some friends on a half or quarter cow, there are a few places near my house that sell them for pretty reasonable prices.

                                1. It already has. Not that we've been big beef eaters to begin with, but I'm not paying X for one piece of meat that's now cut small enough that the asking price is laughable. For instance, my husband loves brisket, but there's no way I'm buying it when a piece that's two-thirds the size of my 12" saute pan costs over $20. The fact that it's going to shrink while cooking is adding insult to injury re that price point.

                                  I'm starting to see it with poultry, too; however, the prices havn't risen as quickly as beef. Another example: We eat a fair amount of ground turkey. It was a reasonably-priced good source of protein. The 90% lean has shot up to around $6/lb. here; 85% lean (which is what I use), over $4/lb.

                                  For those of us on a strict budget, it's going to be interesting. My husband is already eating more peanut butter sandwiches. I'm eating more pasta.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                    For the ground turkey it might save you some money to get a grinder and grind your own. You will also know exactly whats in it. Then make stock out of the carcass. I do that with whole chickens for chicken burgers.

                                  2. price has definitely effected the amount of beef I eat. i can't belive how much the costs have risen for food in general.

                                    the rise in cost to my understanding is due to last years draught and the low corn yields, which are used as a primary food source, not to mention as the high cost of gas / fuel.

                                    i'm stunned by the prices at the market and how much they've risen over the last year or so. I am also stunned that the Gov't maintains there is almost zero inflation... doesn't add up in my book.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sparky403

                                      Food and energy were removed from the inflation equation years ago. If they were still included, the inflation factor would be much, much higher than reported.

                                    2. I only buy my beef from one farmer, and he hasn't raised prices (yet?). Pastured beef isn't exactly affected by rising corn prices, though.

                                      Until we get a chest freezer sorted out, we stick with the cheap cuts and mainly ground beef. I spend $5.50/lb and buy two pounds once or twice a month (give or take a few ounces -- we buy direct from the farmer, never the grocery store, and not every pack of meat is identical; the price is listed as per pound, but really it's per pack and they give discounts when you buy more than a pound at a time -- it's cheaper by more than a dollar per pound than at the grocery store). Lately we've mainly been making burgers with it, but in winter we use it in dishes that easily last us 3-4 nights, which brings the price per serving down considerably. There's too many precious nutrients in pastured beef to give it up entirely, and we actually eat more beef than we did three years ago or even a year ago.