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The Value of Beef

Part 2 of What’s Keeping You From Buying Beef?

Grocery shopping….probably my two least favorite words in the world right now.  It’s expensive, time-consuming, and for me requires an hour and a half round-trip drive.  Add in the cost of fuel and it’s downright expensive.  I cook most meals at home and have 2 growing children who seemingly appear to have multiple stomachs.  

Once I get there, nothing frustrates me more than empty shelves.  Supply chain mismanagement and inflation continue to be an issue.  USDA states that inflation for at-home food products is 9.9% and that inflation for beef is 9.63% from just 12 months ago.  Numbers we are ALL feeling.  

Inputs for farmers and ranchers are at an all-time high.  Now, you might be thinking that this impacts the amount of money each farmer earns from their animal, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  The major meat packers have a monopoly hold on beef, therefore very little of the actual increase is profited by the farm.  I’ll touch more on this piece of farming in the next parts of our series.

  How can you, as the consumer, save money?

You can buy a quarter of a beef, half beef, or a whole beef at a fraction of the grocery store prices, directly from a trusted local producer.  Not just beef, but Prime Angus beef. You don’t have to purchase individual cuts only from the grocery store!  Not only are you saving money on your overall grocery budget, but you are also supporting local farmers and ranchers, like my family, and feeding your family the highest grade of beef. 

I did a quick comparison of where beef prices were in January of 2022 as compared to now.  Based on wholesale pricing found on the Cattleman’s Beef Association, the average cost last year was $5.97 per pound while this year is $9.36 per pound.  That’s a whopping 63% increase! Read more about wholesale pricing here.

Let’s break down the cost of beef in the grocery store.  For pricing, I used a local grocery with a strong reputation for purchasing quality beef.  Keep in mind choice is the highest grade available in the grocery store, so that is the grade we will be using.  When breaking down the cuts, roughly 25% will be steaks, 35% roasts, and 40% ground or trimmed beef.  If we have a hanging weight of roughly 700 pounds.  Keep in mind, this will not include processing. 

The average cost of steaks in the grocery store is $14.86, the average cost of roasts in the grocery store is $7.84, and the average cost of all other cuts in the grocery store is $8.45.  On 700 pounds of meat, that gives you a total of roughly $6886 pounds.  When you compare our pricing of $4 per pound for whole beef, that gives you a total of roughly $2800.  That saves your family roughly $4086 over the course of a year on an entire freezer full of Prime Angus beef.  Talk about an amazing value!

Let’s talk about Retail Beef

I completely understand not having the freezer space or the need to purchase bulk beef.  To ensure everybody can enjoy Prime Angus beef, we keep a healthy stock of retail beef for purchase!  Having said that, all beef you find in the store is perfectly safe and healthy to eat, we just want to offer something the grocery store cannot, Prime Angus beef.  

Prime Angus is most often found at high-end meat shops and offers an unparalleled level of flavor due to the marbling.  Take a peek back at last week’s post to see how we feed our beef and their overall health and finishing process.  It truly is something we are proud of.  

While our Prime Angus beef is priced either in line or at the same pricing as the grocery store, you purchase it slightly differently. Steaks for example, typically you purchase a single steak at a specific weight, when you purchase steaks from Heartland Beef Co. you receive 2 steaks per pack. (minus sirloin because they are massive!) Below is a quick chart referencing the grocery store pricing and an average price per pound for our beef. I want to stress this because all pricing is based on the lowest weighted beef package by cut.

CutGrocery StoreHeartland Beef Co.
Rib-eye Steak16.99 per pound16.47 per pound
T-Bone Steak10.99 per pound13 per pound
Porterhouse Steak11.49 per pound10.76 per pound
Strip Steak10.99 per pound12.5 per pound
Sirloin Steak8.99 per pound5.47 per pound
Ground Beef5.35 per pound5 per pound
Brisket11.47 per pound10.86 per pound
Roast5.69-9.99 per pound7.33-8.33 per pound
Short Ribs7.99 per pound6 per pound
Stew Meat6.99 per pound8 per pound

When you buy beef from us, you are getting a larger portion of Prime Angus beef. By packing our steaks together 2 at a time, you get a better value. Especially because Prime Angus beef is graded above what is traditionally found in the grocery store. Again, talk about a great value!

What factors do we consider in pricing?

It does cost quite a bit to finish out beef. Besides the opportunity cost of holding onto an animal for 3 additional months, feed is expensive. In order to finish out our beef, we want them to gain 3-4 pounds a day for that perfect rib eye. Depending on the price of commodities, that number can be very high or crazy high! In the last 2 years specifically, the cost of feed has skyrocketed.

Next are the processing fees. Our retail beef must be either USDA or state inspected (depending on where we sell it) and that does come with a higher price tag. On top of processing are storage costs. Unfortunately, the last 2 months were not kind to us, we lost 2 freezers in a 2 week time period. Thank goodness I happened to have a lower inventory and was able to move that beef around and save it all. However, that left me with the problem of replacing the lost storage space. In 2023 alone, we have purchased 4, yes 4, new freezers!

Our goal is simply to provide you with the highest quality Prime Angus beef at the best value. By eliminating multiple chains in the overall supply chain process, we are able to provide you with a beef option that is not readily available in the grocery store. We want you to feel good about where your beef comes from, knowing that it truly is the highest quality available. Keeping beef on hand is a healthy and affordable way to stretch your family’s protein budget. Reach out to us today and remember, it’s okay to have beef with us!

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