February 14, 2012

Stocking up on Meat this Month

Last summer many areas of our country experienced droughts.  One of those areas was Texas.  Due to the cost of feeding cattle and the extremely hot weather that threatened their herds, farmers and ranchers sold off a great number of their cattle.  This was higher than usual.  This led to an influx of beef on the market.  Even though prices of beef had gone up last year there were times over the summer, due to the influx of beef on the market, and early fall that I was able to get great deals on hamburger, chuck roasts and other cuts of beef.  So I did what I always do, I packed my freezer with these great deals.

In the morning my alarm on my clock radio goes off right before the Ag/Farm Report.  I never set my alarm so that I could listen to this report.  My alarm is set for 6:10 and shortly thereafter the report comes on.  Over the years I have learned to listen to this report and interpret what it means to me, a consumer. 

This morning they talked about how many heads of cattle went to market yesterday as compared to last year.  The amount was significantly lower than last year. 

I have been paying attention to the Ag/Farm report and to the news reports.  Every now and then you will hear that farmers/ranchers don't have as many animals to go to market as they sold off a lot of their herds last year.  The result, we will be paying a lot more for beef this year.

I have already noticed this at the grocery store.  Now a good chuck roast is over $1.50 a lb. more than it was last year.  In some cases they have advertised ground beef (80% lean) on sale for $2.99 a lb.  Yikes!!!!! 

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to pick up some bananas and I noticed a large handwritten sign on the front of the store that said "80% ground beef $1.99 lb."  Wow.  $1.99 is my target sale price for ground beef, but I didn't buy any beef yesterday.  Why?  I needed to spend some time going through my freezer and organizing it.  I wanted to see how much ground beef I still have on hand and how much more I can afford to buy. 

With this knowledge I am heading to the grocery store today to buy 20 lbs. of this sale ground beef. Today is the last day of the sale and today is also the day that the grocery sale flyers come out in the newspaper.  So I will be able to see if ground beef will be on sale beginning tomorrow (a new sale's week) at a price lower than $1.99.  I highly doubt it, but I will be able to make a final decision today about purchasing 20 lbs. of ground beef.

This is the type of strategy I use in shopping all the time.  Knowledge is power. 


Debby said...

Great deal on ground beef for sure. I grocery shop the same way, this week it was pasta 5/$5.00 I picked up enough for close to a year I think!! We get our meat from a local farmer so I always get a better price than the grocery and I know where it comes from.

Debs said...

We just don't have the storage to buy like that. On the basics I have a good idea of how much they cost at different shops - i have 4 different named stores within easy access, and more than one of each. I have noticed in the past that the same item can cost different amounts at the same store, but a different location.

Anyway, as i said, i keep an eye on best prices and i shop reduced - when items are marked down because it's the last day they can be sold. For example on Monday i was able to get enough sausages to make sausage casserole for 12 next sunday at a vastly reduced price. I knew i was looking out for dood deals on sausages and that when i do certain other errands this week i could pop into different stores to find what i needed. This week i was lucky to find them on monday!

I also did a freezer survey and took note of everything i have in there, and will be trying to not shop so much the next couple of weeks but live off what we have.

Kathy said...

I never thought about listening to the Ag/Farm reports to get an idea about the price of beef. What a great idea!

Spendwisemom said...

Great deal on the meat. We have just decided to use more beans in place of meat. They are much cheaper and go farther. We also feel better when we eat them. But, sometimes it is nice to have a juicy burger!