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 on Monday, February 25, 2013. 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 $5.99/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
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.
Ribeye Steaks $15.99/lb
Look how much more expensive the steaks are then the whole cut. You are buying them $9.20/lb to cut it for you. That just doesn't work for me.
Ribeye Roast $7.99/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 $12.99/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 $10.19/lb
Cheaper than the steaks and you can cut it into roasts as well. I like Alton Brown's recipe for Tenderloin roast.
Prime New York Strip Steak $15.99/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
The choice option is a ton cheaper here. You have to decide if the prime is really worth the additional $9/lb!
Whole New York Strip $5.49/lb
Get a whole NY strip and cut into steaks that you can make whatever thickness you like.
Prime Top Sirloin $7.99/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.
Choice Top Sirloin $4.99/lb
The choice option is $3.00/lb cheaper. This is probably one of the cheaper options for grilling.
Flank Steak $6.49/lb
I love to broil these things. They take a marinade better than any other cut of beef I know.
Top Round $4.19/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 $3.99/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 $3.99/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.

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 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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Comments for This Post

  1. Steve Collar October 3, 2013, 4:33 am

    Please remember that the prime meat you are buying at Costco is commodity beef. Commodity beef comes from factory farmed and raised steer that are grown as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. That means that the steer are administered antibiotics and growth hormones. You always get what you pay for. If you pay too little, your paying too much. Keep this in mind and support local ranchers who raise natural and all natural beef cattle.

    Stop supporting corporations who sell the bottom of the barrel quality just to get you into their store so they can sell you golf clubs and bigscreen TV’s.

  2. Jane Collier November 23, 2013, 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the info you posted with great, money saving alternatives.

    To the contributor with the “anti-commodity” comments, with all due respect more power to you for being able to pay top dollar for meat, for many don’t have that option or the ability to tether a steer for custom feeding in the back yard. You are free to patronize “designer butcher stores”, but you missed the author’s emphasis on the description of various cuts and ways to save money by using larger cuts. That information is applicable regardless of point of purchase.

  3. Jeff August 9, 2014, 8:24 pm

    Prices are $1 higher on all these cuts at the Costco in Richmond, CA.

  4. Timothy September 15, 2014, 6:26 pm

    I was hoping to get a price by pound but yiu just gave the difference in types you found.

  5. Eric Samuelson September 16, 2014, 5:54 am

    The prices are listed, must not be showing up on whatever device you are using. I am working on making the blog more mobile friendly.

  6. Ralonzo October 2, 2014, 10:39 pm

    Maybe a year late to the table, but you only get what Google gives you —

    Thank you Eric for a very informative post.

    Mr. Collar – Respectfully, I totally agree with what you are saying – but the reality of it is totally opposite. Sorry.

    I worked in the ranching business for many years (quit due to low pay). If you think for one minute your local ranchers and farmers do not use antibiotics, steroids, or other medicines on their cattle during their lifetimes, you are sadly mistaken. It is an annual maintenance ritual that happens either in spring or fall, usually during pregnancy checking (whole arm up the butt – tell me that’s natural!). Fly Dip or “pour-on” is sprayed or dumped on their backs while in the chute, which is absorbed into the skin to kill larvae and bots. Downer cows are not pampered, hugged, or kissed, unless they are the family pet and have a name. They are typically dragged by one leg to a trailer and hauled off to the butcher or meat factory in order to recoup as much money as possible before she dies. Sometimes drugs are given in an effort to help. At the meat plant, blood tests are not given on the spot. Questions are asked, but lies are spoken. FDA inspectors do not inspect as thoroughly as you think. I know personally that many cattle with broken legs, prolapsed uterus, cancerous facial growths, are still accepted in many butchering facilities with only a quick recording of the owner making the delivery. No mention of medicines administered – or if they do ask, lies are given. No scrutiny.

    Say what you will and pay 20x more, but it is all the same on damn near every farm or ranch. Anyone not doing it – my hats off to them, but I’m skeptical. Just be sure to cook any beef to medium-well at the very minimum, even “natural” or “all natural” beef (whatever the hell difference that is). There is a reason we’re supposed to cook food until no blood runs.

    Now, I absolutely support my neighboring ranchers / farmers. If I don’t have a cow to butcher, I buy from them first cause they can use the money as much as the grocery store can. But usually the deal will involve isolating the animal for a few weeks and treating her like a queen with the best feed ever. But you know what? That cow is still gonna taste the same, still gonna have the same steroids, and same antibiotics (at some point prior to the purchase) as the cow labeled “organic” or “grass-fed”. In case you are unaware, they have been spraying antibiotics on grass and crops for years, yet the cows who eat it are still “natural”.

    Yes, it makes me mad, sad, angry. I don’t like it any better than you or anyone else. Just keeping it real.

  7. Eric Samuelson October 3, 2014, 5:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.

  8. Helen October 25, 2014, 8:02 am

    I live in Oregon and its October 2014. Have you seen what has happened to BEEF prices lately? My rib eye steaks at Costco yesterday were $11.00 a pound for choice but that’s not what you show for some reason. A nice rib eye for two cost me $25 ( out of my budget). Anyway, a chuck roast on SALE was $5.99 a pound so if I want just a small 3 pound roast its almost $20.00!! Who can afford beef anymore unless they are rich? I have decided on the 88% lean ground beef for hamburger steak more often than my once weekly rib eye for 2 and tilapia, chicken, liver, etc.

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