How to save money on meat despite rising prices

HOUSTON – Dining out or eating at home, no one can escape the higher price of meat these days. It’s not just beef, chicken and pork also costs significantly more now than they did this same time last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says we are paying about a dollar more per pound for ribeye than this same time last year. And it’s not over. The price of beef, chicken, and pork are all expected to rise even higher this year.

Why are meat prices higher?

  • The cost for crops like corn and soybean that ranchers use to feed their cattle and farmers use to feed chickens are up.
  • Fuel and transportation prices to transport the cattle and products are more expensive.
  • Export demand has remained strong for pigs. China continues to import U.S. pork, contributing to high prices.
  • Poultry plants are struggling to find workers.
  • When restaurants on the west and east coasts open up 100%, the demand will increase even more.

How to save

One of the best-kept secrets to saving is right down the road. This is not an ad for Joe V’s Smart Shop, but if you have never been to check out their prices, you should. The stores are owned by HEB. They are low-cost club-like stores that don’t require a membership. They deal in volume to keep prices about 10 to 15% lower than regular retail stores.

“This concept is experiencing the greatest growth of any of our concepts,” said Joe V’s Lisa Helfman. “And it’s because people are smart shopping and they want to be able to stretch their dollar.”

Joe V’s offers $20 meat bundle packs that add even more value. Each bundle contains 10 or more pounds of meat for $20. Purchased separately, all of the meat in the pack would cost almost twice that amount.

For example, Bundle Pack #2 contains:

3 lb pork riblets

2.63 lbs Eckrich Smoked sausage

2.5 lbs Hill Country Fare Seasoned Split Chicken Leg Quarters

2 lb Seasoned Mexican Style Pork

1 lb Chicken Breast for Milanesa

Joe V’s sells the same products you’d buy at HEB. They even have prime steaks and lobster. They keep prices low by limiting variety and cutting some frills. For example, you have to bag your own groceries.

There are nine Joe V’s in the greater Houston area. Here are the locations:

12035 Antoine Dr, Houston, TX 77066

(281) 895-8668

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

5609 Uvalde Rd, Houston, TX 77049

(281) 454-6947

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

12009 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77092

(713) 683-1720

Open Daily: 7 am - 10 pm

612 N. Victory Dr, Houston, TX 77088

(281) 847-0996

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

3500 Garth Rd, Baytown, TX 77521

(281) 420-4047

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

7755 W Bellfort Blvd, Houston, TX 77071

(713) 721-0100

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

6100 W Fuqua St, Houston, TX 77085

(713) 413-9300

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

2929 FM 1960 Rd, Houston, TX 77073

(281) 784-4200

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

4203 Red Bluff Dr. Pasadena, TX 77503

(281) 478-8400

Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Other ways to save no matter where you shop, stick to chicken for your family’s protein. Chicken prices are also up, but it is still cheaper than beef and pork.

No one is certain when prices will level out or go back down, but it appears the rising costs will continue at least through the end of this year.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.