Costco Prime Beef

Everyone wants the best, right? You want to drive the best car, live in the best neighborhood, get your child into the best college, etc. So naturally if you are a steak lover you want to eat the best steaks – so you want Prime beef. It is suppose to be the best quality beef that your money can buy. It’s what you find in all the top dollar steakhouses. But prime beef can be hard to find in the grocery store. In fact most stores only carry choice beef with maybe some select. Costco is one of the few major chain stores that does carry a selection of prime beef. But before we dive into selection and price, I first want to give you a little lesson on what prime beef is.

What does USDA Prime mean?
Beef in America is graded by the USDA. The first thing you need to look for is a symbol on the package that says USDA Prime. For the defintion of Prime Beef, we turn to what the USDA says : “USDA Prime is the superior grade with amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. It has the highest degree of fat marbling and is derived from the younger beef.” It’s all about the how much fat is running through the meat and how old the animal was. Younger beef is more tender. If you can develop good marbling in a short time, then you will have prime beef. This isn’t easy to, it requires perfect timing, which is why most beef isn’t prime.

Where Costco’s Prime Beef come from?
Unfortunately I could not find this information. I heard they get beef from U.S., Canada, and Australia but nothing more specific than that. The downside with a company the size of Costco is that it is hard to track the sources of their meat. I wish there were as good as Whole Foods Market is about sources, as you can easily trace their meat back to the source.

What Prime Beef Does Costco Sell

Below you will find a table of prices that I found during my April 2015 visit to Costco. Prices and selection may vary in your region, check stores for exact pricing.

Cut price
Ribeye $14.99/lb
New York Strip $14.99/lb
Top Sirloin $9.99/lb
Whole Top Sirloin $7.69/lb

Not a giant selection by any means but enough to get a good steak. If you buy the entire Top Sirloin and slice it yourself your getting a prime steak for $7.69 per pound, which is 10 cents less per pound that a choice sirloin steak (according to my April 2015 visit to Costco), so it’s a great deal but only if you really have the money to spend on a big chunk of meat at once.

If you want to spend the big bucks and get a truly great steak, I would opt for the Ribeye over the NY Strip. In my opinion it Ribeyes are more flavorful and since their the same price might as well go with the more flavorful cut.

Have you ever bought Prime Beef at Costco? Please share your experience in the comment section below. Was it worth the extra money?

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Uncured No Nitrates Added Costco Meats

What do you think when you hear the words “preservatives”? Do you have a favorite preservative? Do you love you some sodium nitrate? When it comes to food and preservatives most of us would say we want to avoid them, yet we buy food with them in it all the time. One of the biggest culprits has been lunch meat or other pre-cooked meats and one of the most used preservative has been sodium nitrate. There has been a big push in the last couple years to see more meat products sold without this nitrate. The push has gotten even bigger in the last year as more and more products are showing up with labels like Uncured or No Nitrates added. If this is something that appeals to you, you can find some of these products at your local Costco, I have a guide of some of the things you might find on the shelves as part of my own going series on whether it’s worth your money to invest in a Costco membership.

Product Price
duBreton Organic Uncured Ham 18oz $9.89
Jones Uncured Canadian Bacon Cherrywodd 24 oz $9.99
Sausages by Amylu Chicken Sausage 3 16oz packs $12.99
Coleman Natural Chicken Sausage Mild Italian 48 oz $13.99

Let me take a moment to highlight a few items from the list.

Jones Uncured Bacon

The package indicates that no nitrates have been added. A note at the bottom indicates except those naturally occurring in salt and celery powder. A lot of things labeled as no nitrates or uncured use celery powder or juice instead. It is a high source of naturally occurring nitrates. This Canadian Bacon has been smoked using cherrywood, my favorite wood for smoking meats – I just think it tastes the best.

Coleman Chicken Sausage Costco

A classic mild Italian sausage made using chicken instead of pork. The chicken were raised with no antibiotics or no added hormones. Hormones are not allowed by law in raising chickens, so every chicken is raised without hormones, so that label is really meaningless, yet you see it used all the time. The no antibiotics thing is something to look for.

Amylu Sausage Costco

Looking for something a little different, try this other chicken sausage that contains apple and gouda. Please note that if you are avoiding pork, this sausage does use a natural pork casing, so even thought it says chicken sausage it still technically contains pork.

What about Kirkland brand meats?
I was unable to find any Kirkland brand meats that were uncured or nitrate free. I know for certain that their Black Forest ham contains nitrates.

What about Columbus Meats?
The Columbus meat products I found contains no nitrates, but their ingredient list did include things like potassium cholordie, soy protein isolates, sodium phosphates. This was the first I heard of soy protein isolates. The Soyfoods Association of America defines it this way : “Soy protein isolate is a dry powder food ingredient that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean, making it 90 to 95 percent protein and nearly carbohydrate and fat-free.

Should I Only Eat “Uncured” Meats?
I am not pretending that I know all the answers. There is a lot of debate on whether sodium nitrates are bad for you or not – some say avoid them like the plague, others say they are fine for us and even have health benefits. The internet is full of a million opinions on the subject. The point of this post is present to you what products that Costco carries that have no added sodium nitrate. I recommend you doing the research and determining what you feel comfortable consuming. Make sure you read your ingredient lists so that you know what you are buying and putting into your body.

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What Prime Beef Does Costco Sell

Americans love their beef. Americans also love warehouse store like Costco. A place where you can get a big pack of steaks or a whole cut of beef for a cheaper price per pound some other stores. Are those deals as good as they use to be? I originally wrote my guide to buying beef at Costco two years ago. I decided it was way overdue to update the prices on that list, I did that last week. How has the prices of beef changed in two years. Look at my handy dandy table below. I list the price back in February 2013 first, then the price in April 2015.

Beef Type Feb 2013 Price -> Apr 2015 Price
Flat Cut Brisket $5.99/lb -> $6.99/lb
Ribeye Steaks $15.99/lb -> $9.99/lb
Ribeye Roast $7.99/lb -> $9.99/lb
Tenderloin Steaks $12.99/lb -> $13.99/lb
Whole Tenderloin $10.19/lb -> $11.99/lb
Prime New York Strip Steak $15.99/lb -> $14.99/lb
Whole New York Strip $5.49/lb -> $8.29/lb
Prime Top Sirloin $7.99/lb -> $9.99/lb
Choice Top Sirloin $4.99/lb -> $7.79/lb
Flank Steak $6.49/lb -> $8.19/lb
Top Round $4.19/lb -> $5.79/lb
Short Ribs $6.99/lb -> $6.99/lb
Eye of Round Roast $3.99/lb -> $4.99/lb
Round Tip Roast $3.89/lb -> $3.89/lb
Chuck Roast $3.99/lb -> $4.89/lb

Has the Price of Beef at Costco Gone Up?
As you can see from the numbers above, yes the price of beef at Costco has risen and not just a little bit. Almost every cut on there has gone up by at least a dollar if not more. The two things are actually the same price – short ribs and round tip roast. Two cuts actually went down, the ribeye steaks and the Prime New York Strip steak. The rest all rose in price. They had a really good deal on Choice Top Sirloin at $4.99/lb but that went up almost $3 per pound!

Why is the Beef More Expensive?
Is Costco just trying to get more money out of you or is there another reason behind this increase. Rest assured it’s not Costco alone. Beef prices are up across the board, no matter what store you are in. A report in the USA Today from February 28, 2015, said that beef prices were up 19% in January 2015 when compared to the previous January. Forecasters expect prices to climb 5-6% more this year. What is the reason for this increase. The article goes on to talk about how droughts in Oklahoma and Texas has led to smaller herds which equals less supplies and higher prices. Herd sizes were the smallest they have been in 2014 since 1951! A USDA report say that cattle producers are holding on to their cattle longer to try to maximize their weight. We think of drought effecting fruits and vegetables, but we also have to take into account livestock who also need water for their survival.

Has the increased price of beef effected your family’s spending habits. I know in our family we only have beef on special occasions, not even necessarily once a month. It has become a luxury item not an everyday purchase.

Here are a couple YouTube videos to watch about that talk further about the price increases.

This one is from “Beef, It’s What For Dinner?”, seems to be directed at retailers.

That one video was probably a bit on the positive side. Here is another report featured on Bloomberg, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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I will have the 2015 prices available by the end of the day on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 To be notified when the 2015 post will be available, sign up for my weekly newsletter by submitting your email below.

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We are getting ever so close to one of the most anticipated days of the year – Christmas Day. How is your shopping going? Have you been done for weeks or have you not even started? Whether you are in early shopper or a late one, most people probably pick out what they will eat on Christmas Day as one of their last decisions. And if you are still wondering what you might make, consider a large chunk of beef, available at your local Sam’s Club. People want to know how much that will set that back. I made a visit to my Sam’s Club in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Wednesday, December 17th to see what they had.

Meat Price
Emmbe Prime Rib $12.98/lb
This prime rib comes in a sealed packaged coated with spices and is hardwood smoked. It's not a huge portion so you would might need more than 1 of these to sufface or choose another option.
Whole Beef Tenderloin $12.98/lb
No cut of beef is more melt in your mouth than the tenderloin. I have cooked it for Christmas in the past. You can cut it into steaks and serve up some filet mignon or roast the thing whole (I like Alton Brown's method)
Choice Rib Eye Roast $9.98/lb
The biggest cut of beef I found on this trip was their Rib Eye Roast. It's the same cut that butcher cut rib eye steaks from. Very flavorful and the cheapest of the three options. Below you will find a video showing you how to cook one with a roasted garlic sauce. The person in the video cooked it to a high temperature that I would recommend. I would pull it at about 135 to 140 for medium. She pulls it at 150 for medium but with carry over heat it looks just barely pink. I would like more pink in mine but to each their own. Realize that the center will be the pinkest. If you have guests that want it more well done you can serve them the end pieces.

I have been studying for months whether a membership to Sam’s Club is worth the price. So in each case I examine whether or not an item will save me money by buying it there. In this case, I can get a Rib Eye Roast from Kroger for $8.99/lb and I know that several local grocery store chains have whole beef tenderloin for under $10/lb. Sorry, Sam’s Club the prices on these items does not justify a membership in this case. Shop around and if you can’t get a better deal in your area. For some, Sam’s Club still might be the better option. Know your options and don’t assume that Sam’s Club membership alone is going to bring you the best bargain.

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Click here for the 2015 Costco Turkey Price Guide

“Attention Costco customers. Are you in a need of that perfect bird for your Thanksgiving feast? Then come on down to our meat department and check out what we have for you…(followed by some lame sounding gobble, gobble).” So if this was a real life situation and you were heading down to the meat department as fast as you could make it with your oversize cart, what would you find. If you were visiting the Ann Arbor, Michigan location say on Monday, November 17th, 2014, here is what you would see.

Turkey Type Price
Butterball Fresh All-Natural Turkey $1.09/lb
A fresh turkey from Butterball. The label does say all-natural however your not just paying for turkey in this package. The turkey contains an added solution of salt water and spices.
Fran'Mani Diestel Whole Brined Turkey $3.39/lb
This turkey was raised at Diestel range in Sonora in Northern California. It was then brined by Fran'Mani Handcrafted Foods for Costco. This price for a brined Diestel turkey is cheaper than the $4.99/lb you can expect to pay at Whole Foods Market for a similar brined Diestel turkey.

Just as it’s big warehouse store counterpart, Sam’s Club, Costco doesn’t offer much in the way of selection, neither does it offer a frozen turkey. Of course these stores don’t promise the most varieties just the biggest quantities. You want more choices you will have to go somewhere else. Their fresh turkey, a Butterball, was 10 cents more a pound than the fresh one at Sam’s (a Jennie-O). I am not crazy about the fact the Butterball has an added solution. This adds to the weight of the meat, I would rather just brine it myself.

Why Buy Diestel Turkeys for Thanksgiving

What Costco did have that I found exciting was a Diestel’s turkey. I didn’t think they carried them on my side of the Rocky Mountains. I recently did a post on 9 Reasons to Buy a Diestel Turkey. They run an amazing turkey ranch where they do things the right way – good for the bird, good for the consumer. If it’s in your budget to pick up one of their turkeys it should be worth your hard earned money. Yes this turkey is already brined, which of course I would rather do myself. However to have a chance to try one of Diestel’s turkey I might opt for it. The ingredient list of the brine includes water, sea salt, sugar, paprika, dextrose, anise, garlic, sage, rosemary, onion powder, and red pepper.

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Costco Organic Chicken

The organic food industry has been booming over the last decade. A 2011 study done by the Organic Trade Association, reported a record 78% U.S. families buy organic food (see article in IndyStar). How many of those families are making organic meat choices? If you aren’t one of those families is it because price is an issue? In my ongoing mission to decide whether not it’s worth your money to buy a Costco membership – today we are going to look at what prices you would pay if you have a Costco membership for organic meat – specially chicken.

To read more about organic, check out my entire list of organic blog posts.

What is Organic Chicken?
What makes chicken organic? I went straight to the source for requirements for chicken to be certified USDA Organic (you can read the whole speal at the USDA website).

“Farmers and ranchers must accommodate the health and natural behavior of their animals year-round. For example, organic livestock must be:
– Generally, managed organically from the last third of gestation (mammals) or second day of life
(poultry).
– Allowed year-round access to the outdoors except under specific conditions (e.g., inclement weather).
– Raised on certified organic land meeting all organic crop production standards.
– Raised per animal health and welfare standards.
– Fed 100 percent certified organic feed, except for trace minerals and vitamins used to meet the animal’s nutritional requirements.
– Managed without antibiotics, added growth hormones, mammalian or avian byproducts, or other prohibited feed ingredients (e.g., urea, manure, or arsenic compounds).

Two main things most people are probably looking for here is that their fed is organic and the land they are raised on is certified organic.

What Type of Organic Chicken Does Costco Carry?
All the organic chicken I found at my local Costco was from Coleman Natural. They raise their birds all over the country on family farms. The farms are close by to their processing plants. They make frequent visits to the ranches/farms to be sure that their standards are being met, including testing to be sure no antibotics or hormones are given. The company was the first to bring chickens labeled free range and organic to the market.

How Much Does Organic Chicken Cost at Costco?
On my visit they only offered three types of chicken : whole fryer, drumsticks, and boneless skinless breasts. Here are the prices from my visit last month. For prices for the conventionally raised chicken, check out my Costco Chicken Prices post.

Chicken Type Price
Whole Fryer $2.49/lb
Unlike with the convential chicken the whole fryer is not the cheapest. You are going to pay $1.40 more per pound for the organic.
Drumsticks $1.99/lb
Love dark meat the best? Buy drumsticks. They are the cheapest way to get organic chicken at Costco. The bones can be saved up and used for making homemade chicken stock later.
Boneless Skinless Breasts $5.99/lb
This is where things get really pricey. It's twice as much money for the organic boneless skinless breasts. You save money if you buy a whole fryer and learn to cut it up yourself. This way you can get organic breasts for $2.49/lb plus you will have dark meat and bones for stock making. I posted some videos below to help you.

Here is a video that shows you how to cut a whole chicken to it’s parts.

In this video you will see how to de-bone chicken, so you can have boneless skinless chicken breasts for the cost of a fryer chicken. Make sure to save those bones for stock. Making homemade chicken stock will not only save you money but give you a great ingredient for soups, sauces, etc.

Organic chicken at Costco is reasonably priced. You are going to pay more for organic but if you take the time to butcher your own fryer than it is affordable. Or save money and time and just go with the drumsticks.

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Ground Bison Costco

Welcome to a continuing series on examining whether or not it is worth your money to buy a Costco membership. I am examining whether it would really save my family money to shop there. If I find that it does, then I will get a membership. I have been focusing on the price of meat. I talked about beef prices and chicken prices in previous posts. Now I want to look at one of my favorite types of meat – bison. To answer the big question first, does Costco carry bison meat? Secondly, why would I want to buy it?

Can You Buy Bison at Costco?
Yes they do! However the only thing I found on my last trip to Costco was ground bison. That’s ok – a bison burger is a tasty dinner (so are bison hot dogs!). Bison meat is leaner than cow meat and has more protein, so it’s a win-win. Some say it’s even a bit sweeter. I don’t find that it is has a gamey flavor that puts people off to meats outside of the chicken, pork, and beef that Americans eat a lot of. I think most people if given bison and told it was beef, probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash – thinking they just got some really good beef!

How Much Does Ground Bison Cost at Costco?
I found it going for $7.19 per pound. Not too bad. The price may sound high when compared to ground beef which usually ranges from $2.99 to $5.99 per pound depending on the type of meat. Bison is more expensive. There are three reasons why that is (according to Great Range Brand Bison)

“1) There is less of it, i.e. supply and demand.
2) The breeding stock is more expensive.
3) The meat is more expensive to produce.”

In my experience I have found that the price of ground bison in my most places to be around $9.99/lb. A lot of the time I find it in the frozen section. Unless you can find a cheaper local source, then in the big grocery stores, Costco is most likely going to be your best value. Mark one down for Costco!

Where Does the Ground Bison Come From?
At my store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the ground bison featured was from Kiva Sun – a Native American owned company. It comes in a 20 ounces package for $8.99 which works out to $7.19 per pound. According to their website the following is true about their animals:

Antibotic free
Never treated with hormones
Grass fed
Finished on non-GMO diet
Respected at all times

They are committed to respecting the bison and see the meat as a gift from it. I believe that when you treat an animal that is being raised for food the proper way, it’s not only going to benefit the animal’s life and it’s environment but also it makes for a better product for the consumer. I feel more comfortable eating bison meat. They are smaller companies producing the meat that show more care than the large beef companies that have huge operations where it is all about producing the cheapest product as fast as they can. Not to say that isn’t people out there raising bison in an less than respected fashion, but I think your odds of getting good meat are better when you buy bison. I am able to look up a company like Kiva Sun, see what they are all about. Most of the time when you buy ground beef it’s harder to trace the source of the meat.

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One of my top grocery shopping tips is stop shopping by the price, shop by the pound or the ounce. This is the only way to judge how much something really costs. I generally will buy whatever has the best per pound price unless these two conditions exist : 1) the more expensive item is far superior is flavor and quality or 2) the cheaper per pound item comes in a size that I won’t use in time for it spoils.

It’s easiest to shop by the pound when the price pound is right on the package and you don’t have to bust out the calculator. Like you do when shopping for beef. I have had relative success when it comes to traffic for my Beef Price Listing for Costco (also have one for Meijer), I thought I would do the same for Sam’s Club. So I popped into the store this afternoon (Thursday, March 20th, 2014) and recorded the prices I found. All the beef cuts were choice beef. The store I looked at was in Ypsilanti, Michigan, prices could vary in other parts of the country. You will also find some tips on what to do with these cuts.

Shopping for beef tenderloin or prime rib for Christmas? Check out my Christmas Sam’s Club price guide

Beef Prices at Sam’s Club

Beef Type Price
Whole Brisket $4.98/lb
This is the best beef cut for BBQ and smoking as well as what it used for corned beef. Check out my post on How to Quickly Brine/Cure Corned Beef.
Whole Ribeye $7.58/lb
This is the price for an entire ribeye that's a siginficant chunk of beef!. The price per pound is really low for ribeye. You can cut it up for steaks or roasts. Check out this YouTube video on what you can do with it.
Ribeye Steaks $8.98/lb
There is a $1.40/lb price difference between the already cut steaks and just buying the whole Ribeye.
Tenderloin Steaks $13.98/lb
This is what is refereed to as Filet Mignon. The average price of these at most grocery store is over $18.99 per pound.
Whole Tenderloin $11.98/lb
Want to buy the whole tenderloin and cut it up yourself. It will cost you under $12 per pound. My favorite recipe is Alton Brown's Tenderloin Roast.
Top Sirloin $5.98/lb
This is one of my favorite steaks. I like the flavor and it's cheaper than a Ribeye or T-Bone. Try Broiled Sirloin Steak.
Flank Steak $6.97/lb
What I like about the flank steak is that it takes marinades exceptionally well. Excellent broiled or used for fajitas.
Top Round $5.08/lb
This is cut is often referred to as London Broil. It does best with a slow cooking method as it's a tough cut.
Short Ribs $6.98/lb
Wonderful for stews and BBQ. They are fatty and tend to give me heartburn thus I rarely cook them. If I want BBQ I would opt for brisket as I can better control the fat content by cutting off any extra fat.
Eye of Round Roasts $5.00/lb
A cheap steak that can be tasty if cooked perfectly. The steaks were selling for almost the same price $4.98/lb.
Sirloin Tip Roast $4.88/lb
Don't be confused by the word sirloin. This is actually from the round but close to the top sirloin cut. It is not as good as top sirloin it is more tough.
Whole Round Sirloin Tip Roast $3.77/lb
Buy the entire roast and save $1.11/lb.
Sirloin Tip Steak $4.98/lb
Sirloin Tip Roast cut into steaks. They are good when sliced first marinated for 2 hours and cooked quickly with high heat.
Chuck Boneless Roast $5.48/lb
A boneless roast that is perfectly for finger licking good pot roast. Sear it and cook it low and slow. Check all of my Pot Roast Recipes.
T-Bone Steak $8.87/lb
T-Bone steaks are mostly a strip steak with a t-shaped bone with a little bit of the tenderloin clinging to the bone on the right side. Great for the grill with some homemade steak sauce!
Top Loin Strip Steak $8.98/lb
Also referred to as a New York or Kansas City Strip Steak. Fall somewhere between Ribeye and Top Sirloin in taste and price.
Whole Loin Boneless Strip $6.58/lb
You have the whole strip for a savings of $2.40/lb.
Beef Stew Meat $4.58/lb
Leftover pieces of beef sold for stew. Hard to tell the type and quality of these pieces. I would only cook low and slow.
Bottom Round Roast $4.78/lb
A cheap roast that can be satisfying when prepared right. Check out How to Cook a Tender & Flavorful Bottom Round Roast?
Beef Oxtails $4.98/lb
Strong beefy flavor. Great for using to make beef broth. Not much meat on them.
Ball Tip Steak $5.47/lb
Comes from the bottom part of the sirloin butt. It's full name on the package was Sirloin Bottom Butt Ball Tip Steak. It needs ot be tenderized before eating. I recommend using a 48-Blade Tenderizer
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Meat Buying Guide Prices Beef at Meijer

After the recent success on my guide to buying beef at Costco, I decided to expand to other stores. I want people to be informed when it comes to purchasing steaks and roasts. With so many options out there it can be hard to discover what’s a deal and where you are overpaying. So I provide this guide to one of the biggest chains in my area – Meijer.

Beef Type Price
Flat Cut Brisket $6.19/lb
This cut requires long cooking time. It's great for smoking or BBQ. It is the top choice for making corn beef. To learn more about brisket check out this post.
Ribeye Steaks $12.99/lb
One of the most flavorful steaks does cost you a pretty penny. You can save 20 cents a pound if you buy the family pack.
Tenderloin Steaks $19.99/lb
This is what many people call Filet Mignon. I would recommend buying a whole tenderloin and cut the steaks yourself as you can find whole tenderloins at other stores (Costco or Hiller's for example) for much cheaper per pound
Top Sirloin $7.99/lb
A great steak for the grill that doesn't cost as much as a Ribeye or T-Bone. I recommend you try cooking them in your oven's broiler.
Flank Steak $7.69/lb
I love to broil these things. They take a marinade better than any other cut of beef I know.
Top Round Roast or Steak $5.69/lb (for either)
This cut comes from the upper back part of the cow. It's tougher than the sirloin. It is also lean. Dry cooking methods tend to dry this cut out. I would stick to wet cooking methods with this cut.
Bottom Round Roast $4.49/lb
Another tough piece of round but one that can be flavorful if you follow my cooking instructions.
Short Ribs $5.29/lb
Good for stews and BBQ. I haven't worked a lot with them as fatty cuts of beef tend to give me heartburn. This is one of the few cuts I found at Meijer that was cheaper than at Costco.
Eye of Round Roast $4.69/lb
Makes for a cheap yet still flavorful roast when prepared properly. Take a moment to visit my post on how to cook this cut.
Chuckeye Roast $4.99/lb
This is my go to cut for pot roast. It has the enough fat and it tasty when you slow cook it. One of my favorite pot roast recipes is my Moroccan Pot Roast.
Chuckeye Steak $5.19/lb
Basically a chuckeye roast cut into steaks. When treated right these steaks can be grilled to perfection. I have a salt trick for cooking these steaks that works out well.
Chuckeye Center Eye Steak $5.69/lb
This is the center portion of the chuck eye steak. This is the best of it. The problem with a chuckeye steak is you still end up with some grizzly parts that I usually discard. With the center eye you can eat the whole thing without throwing any out. In the end despite the higher price it might be still a better deal if you are just going to grill it.
Oxtails $5.89/lb
Not a lot of meat but a lot of beefy flavor. I like to use them to enhances beef broths like the one I used when I made Ina Garten's Rich Beef Barley Soup.
Skirt Steak $6.19/lb
This is the cut to use when making Mexican dishes like Fajitas.
Ball Tip Steak $5.69/lb
A cheap steak cut coming from the loin. A popular cut in Michigan. It can be grilled or braised. I would recommend marinating before grilling though.
Beef Shank $4.29/lb
Just as the oxtails – shanks also works well for broth making. It is a lean cut often used to make lean ground beef. If you are going to eat it braising is your only option as it is too tough for any other cooking method.
Top Loin Steak $12.99/lb
A boneless cut that comes from the top of the short loin primal. Most places call it a New York Strip steak. Meijer calls it a Top Loin which is more descriptive to what it is. Other people call it a Kansas City Steak or a Strip Loin Steak.
T-Bone Steak $12.99/lb
A bone-in steak with a bone that looks like a "T". It has a little piece of tenderloin on one side.
Porterhouse Steak $12.99/lb
If I am going to pay the same price for a T-Bone and a Porterhouse I would go Porterhouse every time. The real difference in the cut is how much tenderloin is there. Porterhouse have a greater deal of the tenderloin on the right side of the bone.

I really don’t buy a lot of meat at Meijer. Their meat isn’t the best quality. Their prices are above those of Costco on every single cut they both had, minus one. They do have sales that will save you money, so if it’s a good sale I would buy something there. Otherwise I look elsewhere for my beef.

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Meat Buying Guide Beef Prices at Costco

I have been doing some research on whether or not it’s worth it to get a membership at Costco. I have not made a final decision on this yet. One of the factors I was looking into was the cost of meat, particularly beef. I headed over to my local Costco yesterday to see what they had to offer in terms of selection and price on their packaged beef. Below you will find a list of what I found at the Costco location in Ann Arbor, Michigan (please note this list has been updated as of April 30th, 2015 to reflect current pricing). Prices and selection could vary depending on where you are at. I also include some tips on how best to prepare each type of beef.

One thing I wanted to point out is that Costco carry some prime beef. Most grocery stores don’t touch the stuff. Generally all you will find is choice beef, but some select in really cheap stores, but for the most part prime beef is used in restaurants. Check out my post – What is the Difference Between Grades of Beef? – to learn more.

Make sure you check out my other meat guides for Costco : Chicken Prices | Organic Chicken Prices | Fish Prices (Coming Soon!) | Pork Prices (Coming Soon!) | Bison Prices

Beef Type Price
Flat Cut Brisket $6.99/lb
This cut requires long cooking time. It's great for smoking or BBQ. Also is the best choice for making corn beef. To learn more about brisket check out this post.
Whole Ribeye $6.79/lb (2013 price)
This is the entire ribeye. It's a large chunk of meat. The price per pound is really low for ribeye. You can cut it up for steaks or roasts. Check out this YouTube video on what you can do with it. Please note that they didn't have any Whole Ribeye in stock when I visited in April 2015 so the price is still the 2013 price.
Ribeye Steaks $9.99/lb
The steak are more expensive then the whole cut. Under $10 a pound for ribeye is not a bad price at all – probably one of the cheapest prices I have seen lately.
Ribeye Roast $9.99/lb
Not as expensive as the steaks. If this roast was bone-in and a prime cut it would be prime rib. You can use this to get close to restaurant prime rib in your own kitchen.
Tenderloin Steaks $13.99/lb
Most places just called these Filet Mignon. This is a cheaper price than most places. But I would recommend buying a whole tenderloin and cut the steaks yourself.
Whole Tenderloin $11.99/lb
Cheaper than the steaks and you can cut it into roasts as well. I like Alton Brown's recipe for Tenderloin roast.
Whole Tenderloin Peeled $19.99/lb
Same tenderloin but it has been peeled and trimmed for your convenience. That's a lot of extra money per pound to pay for convenience. Better for learning to do it yourself.
Prime New York Strip Steak $14.99/lb
This prime beef steak is great for the grill (probably the only thing I would do with it)
Choice New York Strip Steak $6.99/lb (2013 price)
The choice option is a ton cheaper here. You have to decide if the prime is really worth the additional $8/lb!
Whole New York Strip $8.29/lb
Get a whole NY strip and cut into steaks that you can make whatever thickness you like.
Prime Top Sirloin $9.99/lb
Great grilling option. Or you can broil it. I have tried Alton Brown's recipe for Broiled Sirloin and it was good. You can also braise it. It's a good value for a prime steak.
Whole Prime Top Sirloin $7.69/lb
For prime beef it doesn't get any more affordable than this.
Choice Top Sirloin $7.79/lb
If you have the extra money in your budget go for the whole prime sirloin and cut the steaks yourself. You will be getting a higher grade beef for 10 cents less per pound!
Flank Steak $8.19/lb
I love to broil these things. They take a marinade better than any other cut of beef I know.
Top Round $5.79/lb
This cut comes from the upper back part of the cow. It's tougher than the sirloin. It is also lean. Dry cooking methods tend to dry this cut out. I would stick to wet cooking methods with this cut.
Short Ribs $6.99/lb
Good for stews and BBQ. I haven't worked a lot with them as fatty cuts of beef tend to give me heartburn.
Eye of Round Roast $4.99/lb
Makes for a cheap yet still flavorful roast when prepared properly. Check out my post on how to prepare eye of round roasts.
Round Tip Roast $3.89/lb
Less tough than other round roasts. It still needs a wet cooking method. Braise it. Cut it up for stew meat. You can roast it but you need to do it slowly and not past medium.
Chuck Roast $4.89/lb
This is my go to cut for pot roast. It has the enough fat and it tasty when you slow cook it. One of my favorite pot roast recipes is my Moroccan Pot Roast.

I did like some of the prices, especially for the whole ribeye. I have paid $4.99/lb and $5.99/lb for whole beef tenderloin in the past (at the right time of year) so I think I am not impressed with their price. I have made this same kind of list of beef found at Sam’s Club, so you can do your own comparison.

What you purchased beef at Costco before? What did you think? I would love to have your comments below. Also make sure to check out my post on Buying Bison at Costco, and why you might want to give it a try over beef.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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