How to Eat Steak on the Cheap

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I’m a big fan of beef, but unfortunately it’s one of the more expensive meats at the grocery store. In order to buy beef for cheap, especially sirloin steak, I’ve put together a super easy to follow strategy to get steak for cheap. Here’s the πŸ„ run down:

  1. Buy steaks in bulk when they go on sale
  2. Freeze the steaks ❄ (and yes they’re okay to cook from frozen, so no need to defrost. More on this below)

The tweet below has video of my latest beef haul, with freezer paper and tape ready to go. 12 pounds of sirloin steak for $30!

Step 1 – Buy Steaks In Bulk When They Go On Sale

Large family packs of USDA Choice Sirloin at most grocery stores are running at anywhere from $5.99 to $8.99 per pound. That’s not a bad deal, but at that price per pound, your money will not go a long way. A typical 4 pound pack would run you $24-$32 at those prices.

Here’s the trick, every couple months, these family packs go on sale. That’s when you buy. Yesterday I saw the lowest price I’ve ever seen for non clearance sirloin – $2.68/pound.

I’ve more frequently seen $3.99 per pound for beef sales, which is the price point I typically buy at. In this instance I was able to save even more, and I bought 12 pounds. It may have been because Memorial Day weekend is just ahead, or maybe the butcher ordered too much, but for whatever reason it was a great deal, and I pounced.

In case your wondering, I found this deal at Northwest grown grocery chain, Fred Meyer.

Step 2 – Freeze Your Steaks

Before we get into how to freeze your steak, check out this 3 minute video by America’s Test Kitchen on why cooking a steak from frozen is actually recommended:

If you don’t want to watch this video, here’s the article summarizing why frozen steaks turn out better.

One important note, if you do cook your steaks from frozen, keep in mind the cooking time will be longer. I recommend using a digital thermometer to keep tabs on your steaks internal temp throughout the cooking process, so you can pull it at your ideal doneness.

Are you on board with cooking steaks from frozen? Okay, great! Next up, you’ll want to be strategic about how you freeze your steaks. Simply dumping them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag, or worse, in the grocery store packaging, will cause freezer burn to creep up in a matter of days or weeks. Instead, wrap your steaks in freezer paper.

Freezer paper has a waxy side which keeps moisture in, and a paper side, which will accommodate tape and writing. A standard roll of freezer paper can be found at most grocery stores, and on Amazon for around $8. A roll of freezer paper will last you a long time and it’s the most economical choice. If you are in the money, a vacuum sealer and freezer bags would be good option too. Amazon’s “choice” vacuum sealer is only $60, but the freezer bags will run you an additional $15, and be an ongoing expense.

Pile of steaks wrapped in freezer paper in two stacks on a table. Each wrapped steak has

This is the 12 pounds of steak I recently acquired for only $2.68/pound at Fred Meyer.

Whether you choose freezer paper or the vacuum seal – I highly recommend labeling your steaks. Make sure to include the cut of beef, as well as the date they are being frozen. I find that steaks in freezer paper last a good 3-5 months. Steaks that are vacuum sealed will last about twice as long, if not longer. I prefer to keep my freezer supplies rotating so long term storage is not a big goal of this strategy.

And there you have it. Wait until family packs of steak go on sale, buy as much as you’re comfortable wrapping and freezing. Then take the steaks out at your leisure and cook them.

Have a beef with this recommendation, or want to chew the cud? Hit me up in the comments, tweet me @oakfive, and/or be sure to like and share this article. Thanks!

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