The prices of ground beef can be pretty high with non-sale prices in some areas as high as $5.00 a pound. Good sales can be few and far between but if you are willing to put a little effort into saving on meat you can shave some of the cost on ground beef.
1. Invest in a meat grinder. You can find a hand cranked meat grinder for about $30 retail or if you have a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer you can purchase a very nice meat grinding attachment for about the same price. Also check thrift stores, consignment shops and eBay for a deal on used meat grinders.
2. Watch for rock bottom prices on whole cuts of meat. This week my local store had rump roasts for $1.99 a lb. which was much cheaper than the $3.99 for pre-ground beef.
3. Purchase whole cuts of beef in bulk as your budget allows. With the sale price of $1.99 I went ahead and bought 3 large roasts at around 5 pounds each.
4. Grind your meat and package for freezing. First cut your meat into chunks small enough to fit in the grinder and follow the manufacture instructions and grind it up. The instructions for the Kitchen-Aid attachment says to grind the meat twice. Then package your meat for future use. Use quality freezer bags, vacuum sealer bags, or freezer containers to freeze your raw hamburger meat. For easy meals you may wish to brown some ground beef and freeze crumbled unseasoned or seasoned (think taco meat) for meals. Additionally you can pre-make meatballs and meatloaf too and freeze it for easy meal preparation.
In all grinding and packaging your own beef only takes 20-30 minutes and can the cost of the meat grinder can easily be recouped after just a few pounds of grind at home beef!