The cost of meat in the age of COVID19

I buy my meat at a local meat market. For years they have offered a dozen free eggs with every $25 purchase. Our running joke was how difficult it was to spend $25 there (a household of two women–50+ and 90+, so small quantities). At the start of the lockdown, demand increased, eggs were more difficult to come by and the free eggs went away.

We went to the shop a few days ago. We wanted an eye roast, but everything on offer was 2+ pounds, so we asked if they could cut it in half. This is a request they have always honored; but this time was a no . . . they were too busy. We ended up with two very thick NY strips, 1.5 pounds of ground beef and a 4-pack of chicken breasts. $40 !!! Admittedly, that’s at least seven days of meals, but it’s still twice what we’re used to.

Then today I heard the owner of a BBQ restaurant on the radio. The brisket he used to pay $2.68/lb is now $8.25/lb. His admittedly expensive custom ground beef that he used to buy for $3.75/lb is now $9.20/lb.

Restaurants can not only open, but when they do they are going to have to charge exorbitant prices. And I think I’m going to have to adopt a diet with much less meat :sob:

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My experience too, here in SE MI.

$7.99 / lb for stewing beef? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
$4.99 / lb for Ground Chuck?
$7.19/ lb for bone in Chicken Wings?

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Wow, and they are the cheap cuts. Wings used to be $10 for 20 pounds. Ground beef was $2/lb. And no, I am not talking about decades ago, I’m talking a year or two ago. On the plus side, gas was $5/gallon then and is less than $2/gallon today. Of course, there’s nowhere to travel, but we still must eat.

No wonder I paid $20 for two NY strips. Maybe we’ll stretch it out for two meals :thinking:

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Because they tend to be more crowded/move slower, I haven’t been shopping at the smaller places around here, so I don’t know what’s been happening there, but prices at the supermarket don’t seem to have gone up as much as one might expect based on the reports of supply-chain disruptions. Don’t know whether that’s a regional/random thing, or we just haven’t been hit by that particular phenomenon yet, or what, but so far so good. Fortunately, I’d survive pretty happily eating much less meat, though there’d be a bit of an adjustment period (mostly because “meat” is generally easier or at least quicker to cook… (And I also have a fair amount of fish in the freezer, which would take the edge off. Which reminds me, I really should start digging into that. No point in letting it just sit there, “ageing”…:roll_eyes:)

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These prices sound like what kosher meat costs --or used to cost. Who knows what it’s like now.

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Picked up this week in East Texas:

$4.47/lb T-bones(they were more like Porterhouse steaks!)
$1.78/ lb boneless chicken breasts
$5.19/ lb ground beef (holding steady at this price)

Not bought - Whole brisket on sale $1.67/lb. Probably really fatty.

Stew meat has been ridiculously over priced for years now as has pot roast cuts.

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What a difference a week makes.:slightly_smiling_face: Ground beef jumped to $6.59 /lb. but the real eye-opener was the marinated beef fajita meat at our local Mexican market. It went from $8.59 to almost $12 /lb. I didn’t buy either one.

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Shoprite in central NJ today had family packs of skinless boneless kosher chicken breasts at $4.99/pound, which has been the usual price for quite a while, IIRC

Cheap - but not nice-looking- cherries have arrived in South(east) Brooklyn, and decent-looking ones are at more or less normal prices (which among other things, means variable from day-to-day/week-to-week). My supermarket even had their first “corn sale” of the year. The ears were awfully light (and they’re enforcing a strict no-shucking policy these days) so even at $5/1 I decided to pass until the seem a little better. And in general, “seasonal” produce (though not local-seasonal yet) seems to have started turning up at more or less normal prices. Maybe a little   higher, but they might be “normal” price increases, or - since I’m talking about small independent stores - just “today’s/this week’s” price. Scallions (at 59¢) for example are 20¢ cheaper right now than they were a few days ago…

Supermarket meat prices seem to be fairly stable for the time being. Some things are a little higher, but not dramatically so, and “sales” have started coming back, at more or less normal “sale” prices…

Cherries here were on sale last Wednesday through Monday, but since I shop only every ten days I missed that. :frowning: I did get smallish ears of corn for $0.19 each. Scallions at Shoprite are $1.50 a bunch, because they have only organic. At the Asian Food Mart they were $0.50 a bunch.

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Shoprite prices are crazy. & now with their Corona 1 page circular it means there’s really not much on sale. Although, 3 12 packs of Diet Coke for $8 is the best price I’ve seen in a long time.

The LA Times has an article about rising food prices.

“April retail prices for boneless pork chops and ham were nearly 6% higher than in March and retail prices for hamburger and sirloin steak were about 4% higher, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. The price of whole fresh chickens rose by more than 12%.”

Meat seems to have settled a bit here, but there are certainly less deals to be had. In the suburbs of Boston area and I saw wings for $2.99/lb (7+ seems crazy unless that’s free-range, pasture raised). I did see chicken thighs and drumsticks on sale for $0.99/lb ,which surprised me. Pork chops were $4-5/lb, depending on cut and thickness. Steaks were usually $12-17/lb as well, from regular choice to angus prime beef.
If you were looking for organic grass-fed/pasture-raised anything else, I’m sure that would be way higher too. I’ve seen chicken thighs for example easily go for $9 - 12/lb in those specialty stores.

My “beef” (pun intended) is the stupid hit-or-miss dairy I’ve mentioned in other threads. While I did find light cream this weekend, it’s going for about $4.50 for a quart. This used to be anywhere from $2.50 (when on sale) on sale to $3.75 per quart.

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At Wegman’s in NJ yesterday ground beef was $5.19/lb

But the real issue for me was the things that aren’t clearly marked in the package. Used to be that it was easy to find the price nearby but now a lot of items were suspiciously unmarked. A few things were a bit more than I thought they would be.

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The price today was $5.99/pound. I will probably make more tofu curries in the future. :slight_smile:

Actually, of course, chicken is still a lot cheaper than going out for dinner, and cheaper than cod or salmon (the only fish I buy).

I was debating getting a duck for Thanksgiving. The kosher ducklings at Shoprite were (checks price, takes smelling salts) $50 or so each.

We’re having a half turkey breast and two drumsticks for Thanksgiving.

Wow! I’m with you on that pricing! Turkey is definitely a better option.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold