Meat Prices Soar Nationwide, Surpassing USDA Analysts’ Expectations

Feb 20, 2013 No Comments by

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –, the largest source for grocery coupons and savings tips online, today offered insights into the national food crisis and how consumers can combat rising meat costs. While the USDA currently projects a 3-4 percent increase in meat prices for this year; The Grocery Game, which closely monitors prices on a daily basis, with an exclusive database of national grocery store prices and sales, has tracked even higher percent changes in the first six weeks of the New Year alone.

Boneless chicken breast, for example, has increased in price nationwide by an average of only 3.8 percent according to the USDA’s retail prices, yet local grocery stores list significant mark-ups. One such example is the price of boneless skinless chicken breast at Price Chopper stores in Missouri, where a price increase of 33.4 percent occurred between February 2012 and February 2013.

Research conducted by The Grocery Game provides additional examples of similarly increased markups in the last month alone:

  • At Albertson’s in Oregon, the sale price of Boneless Beef Chuck Roast rose by one dollar from the prior week—a 33 percent increase.
  • In California Vons stores, the sale price of 93 percent lean ground beef increased 15 percent in the last month.
  • ShopRite stores in the Northeast demonstrated a 10 percent increase on Boneless Beef Loin Shell Steak over the past week as the price grew by one dollar.

“In 2013, consumers will need to pay special attention to not only rising meat costs, but food prices in general,” explains Teri Gault, CEO and founder of The Grocery Game. “Families will also need to employ new savings strategies to find produce and healthy food products at an affordable price.”

Gault offers the following insights on how to keep meat on the menu without breaking the bank:

  1. Stock up on sales – Review the front page of store circulars for weekly specials—often as much as 50-67 percent off the original price. Instead of buying a variety of meats at full price, buy multiple cuts of one or two types of meat on sale and freeze for later use.
  2. Invest in a deep freezer – Store extra sale meats in a deep freezer, enabling a variety of choices – from chicken and pork to beef and ground turkey – the savings earned by purchasing meats and frozen products on sale will pay for the cost of the deep freezer within a few months or less.
  3. Switch to lower-priced meats – Chicken and turkey are the cheapest meats available, so incorporate more of them into meals by switching out higher priced beef or pork one to two times per week.
  4. Meatless Monday – Dedicate at least one day per week for a meatless meal. Incorporate new sources of protein through legumes such as beans and lentils.



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