First Person: 3 Ways I'm Dealing With the Rising Cost of Beef

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According to Newok.com, beef prices continue to rise, and are now 9% higher that they were in 2012.

With beef priced now ranging from $3.27 a pound for ground beef to $6.86 a pound for USDA choice boneless sirloin steak, it's really taking a toll on my family's budget. I normally budget about a $200 a month for groceries, and about $50 of that is usually spent on meats. However, with beef prices skyrocketing, I've had to find ways to adjust our menu to afford to feed my family.

Here are three things I'm doing to adjust to the rising cost of beef.

Substituting other meats

I'm a big fan of beef, so it hasn't been easy for me to the transition from beef to chicken or turkey, but I'm finally adjusting. There are a number of go-to meals that my husband and I now make with meat substitutes. For example, we recently made tacos for four people using turkey. If we would have used beef in the meat portion of our tacos would have cost us around $8, but since we used turkey it only cost us $4. That's a 50% savings in one meal. I estimate that we save at least $20 a month substituting other meat products for beef.

Going vegetarian

My family is far from "vegetarian." In fact, my husband wouldn't eat anything except meat if I would let him, so vegetarian meals aren't something we're really used to. However, since the cost of beef started to rise, we've found several meals that work well without meat. One of our favorites has become a veggie lasagna. Ditching the beef, and adding eggplant to our lasagna saves us around $10 a month.

Stocking up using sales and coupons

Since beef prices range from $3.27 a pound for ground beef to $6.86 a pound for USDA choice boneless sirloin steak, we have little wiggle room in there. I find that certain cuts of steak are cheaper than others, as well as certain blends of ground beef. I recently found some 80/20 ground beef for $2.79 a pound, so I stocked up.

If the price of beef continues to rise there is a chance I will have to remove it from my shopping list altogether. I simply can't spend a 30, 40, or even 50 percent of my family's monthly grocery budget on meat alone. For now, stocking up, substituting other meats, and adding vegetarian meals are all helping us enjoy some beef meals while keeping our budget in check.

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