How Much Does Ground Beef Cost?

Written by: Staff

Ground beef is known to be one of the most versatile types of meat, especially in the United States, where it is considered a staple ingredient for households in America.

Ground beef is used in so many recipes such as spaghetti, hamburgers, and tacos.

Ground beef in a bowl by USDAgov, on Flickr
Ground beef in a bowl” (CC BY 2.0) by  USDAgov

How much does ground beef cost?

Depending on the quality/grade, if it’s organic, current market conditions and where it’s purchased, the costs of ground beef can vary anywhere from $3 to as much as $10 per pound.  At most stores, common lean to fat ratios you will see will include 73, 75, 81, 90, 93 and 100 percent.  As the percentage goes up, so does the price.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps tracks of the average price of ground beef.  As of 2001, 100% ground beef averages close to $3.67 per pound, whereas lean and extra lean ground beef can be closer to $5.75 per pound.

Heb, a grocery store chain, lists its prices on its official website.  An 80 percent lean value pack retails for $2.89 per pound, while a 90% lean pack will be closer to $4.49 per pound.  96 percent lean, the leanest ground beef they sell, retails for $5.49 per pound.  Walmart, when we researched their prices, had the same prices.

Wegmans, another popular grocery store, offered its pricing online.  An 80 percent family pack retailed for about $2.20 per pound, while a one pound pack of 93/7 grass fed ground beef retailed for closer to $7 per pound.

Canned ground beef can be found online for about $6 to $9 per 28-ounce container.

At Walmart, a 28-ounce can of Keystone ground beef retails for about $6.  A can of ground beef, when compared to raw ground beef, will be all natural, 100 percent fully cooked and will require no water when prepped.

Type of GroundAverage Price (per pound)
73% Lean$3
80% Lean$4
85% Lean Natural Grass Fed$6
90% Lean$4.50
90% Lean Natural Grass Fed$8
93% Lean$5
96% Lean$6

Ground beef overview

Ground beef, at most local grocery stores, is primarily sold in one pound-packs, at a wholesale club, however, the packages can range anywhere from four to seven pounds.  Depending on where you purchase, it is often grounded fresh in store.

Most ground beef sold in stores are freezer-packed and are ready to cook, sold in the refrigerated meat section.  They often can come sitting on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic wrap or will come wrapped in a casing/tube.

Tips to know:

There’s often confusion between ground chuck and ground beef.  While they both are similar in taste and even composition, there are distinct differences.  For starters, a four-ounce service of ground beef has about 278 calories if it’s 80 percent lean, while the same serving of ground chuck will have about 380 calories, a 100 calorie different.  The fat also varies, with ground chuck providing 30 grams for the same serving size, while ground beef will have close to 18 grams for an 80 percent fat variety.  Lastly, as for the taste, if you pay closer attention, ground chuck will have a richer and more favorable taste when compared to a basic pack of ground beef.  In conclusion, if you want a serving with fewer calories but with more fat, ground chuck will be your choice, but if you want more fat with fewer calories, then it’s best to consider its alternative — ground beef.

To store ground beef, always freeze within two days of opening it.  If you haven’t opened the package, then it’s best to freeze it and consume within six months for the best flavor.  If you have already opened the package, then consider either vacuum sealing if you have a vacuum sealer or double wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

How can I save money?

As with any meat, buying in bulk can always drive the costs down.  At Sam’s Club, for example, the cost of a four to seven-pound pack can average $3 to $4 per pound.   Costco was closer to $2.50 per pound for its 80/20 ground beef.  Savings can also be found if you were to find a local farmer who sells meat in bulk packs, which often can come in 20 to 30-pound quantities.

Generally, the leaner the meat is, the more you’re going to pay.  The same can be said about organic, grass-fed varieties.  While you can pay a cheaper price for the lower grade meat, do keep in mind these packages will have more fat, creating much more grease/fat when preparing a meal.

Ground beef is almost always on sale at many grocery store chains.  If you live in an area with competition, check the circulars to see who’s offering the best deal at the time.  Even if you can’t consume it that day, ground beef does freeze well for up to six to 12 months.  In some rare cases, you may be able to find ground beef coupons from your local grocery store or even a particular brand.

Aside from the local grocery store, consider checking out a local meat market.  Meat markets, just like a farmers market, will often have cheaper prices and a better quality cut.  Again, as mentioned, you can score quite a deal if you do buy in bulk and freeze the rest.  A reputable, good butcher will prepare the meat so that it can be stored in a freezer.

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Average Reported Cost: $4

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  1. Steve (Lincoln,  Michigan) paid $4 and said:

    Was it worth it? Yes

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