Price-per-pound can be misleading because all cuts of meat will not yield the same number of servings per pound. This calculator, based on the information provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cooperative Extension (Buying Meat by the Serving), will help you to calculate and compare the cost per serving of up to five different cuts of various types of meat (110 selections overall). You can also use this calculator to determine how many pounds of a selected meat to buy based on the number of servings you need.
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Meat Your Responsibilities
There are a million different ways to eat meat. But as far as purchasing meat goes, there is only one way to buy meat when the savvy saver is concerned: the most cost effective way possible. When planning for your next big dinner party, neighborhood potluck, bulk poultry purchase or shopping trip to the frozen section, you will want to use this meat cost calculator as your first step in getting the best deal for your whole family when buying various cuts of meat. Because the variables are numerous – there are a seemingly infinite number of styles of meat cuts, a large quantity of kinds of animal protein, and a huge variation in the cost of these various meats per pound no matter where you purchase them – it is hard for a shopper to figure out where or how to cut costs without doing some computations.
When estimating the cost of meat in your household, consider first how you and your carnivorous family typically acquire and go through meat. Do you eat meaty meals out at fast food restaurants or grill burgers in your backyard with ground chuck from the store? Do you make it a habit to eat meat with nearly every meal, or do you eat chicken or beef only two or three times a week? Some households may choose to purchase part of an animal in bulk for the meat, that is, if they have plenty of freezer space to spare. Many small local farms may be able to offer discounts to families who are interested in getting ten or twenty people together to go in on the purchase of a whole cow or lamb. When ordering meat like this, have the butcher divide it and separate it into the cuts you like the most so that you can be sure to get those choice pieces. Some families, whether in an urban or rural environment, may even choose to raise their own backyard poultry, and will therefore have both eggs and chickens as a good and free source of lean animal protein.
How to Calculate the Cost of Meat
Once you've put your finger on your family's typical meat eating habits, it will be easier to calculate what percentage of your food budget the meat has precedence over. Simply enter into the calculator the top five meat cut choices that your family tends to make on a regular basis, as well as the number of servings usually needed to feed your hungry mouths and the price per pound of what you are paying for. You will be able to see just how many servings your meat will produce per pound, based on what sort of meat cut it is, and how much your carnivorous habit will cost you both per serving and per meal.
If planning for a special event where you may be serving 40 people, for example, you may calculate the cost of meat for your dinner party, the number of pounds you will need to purchase to make 40 servings, and the price per serving of the meat dish. Because of this feature, this calculator is an excellent tool for caterers who are estimating the per person cost of a meal cooked, and are hoping to save on bulk meat when they can.