Why You Should Think Twice About Buying Meat At A Grocery Store

The prices of meat are on the rise — even in the supermarkets — with over a $.60 increase on the average retail price of ground beef (per dollar per pound) since July 2020, according to the USDA Economic Research Service.

If you're on a tight budget, though, the thought of taking a trip to your local butcher is probably no less daunting. However, the debate still remains relevant; though supermarket prices tend to be cheaper than the butcher's — which has to account for artisan labor and expertise — is the lower price worth the potential sacrifice of quality? Even renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay have expressed their opinions on grocery store meat, noting its less-than-stellar quality and relating its taste to cardboard, according to the That Beefy Butcher podcast from Get Healthy 360.

While there are certainly pros and cons to purchasing meat from either establishment, you may want to reconsider your views on buying from a butcher if organic, higher quality meat is of importance to you.

Butchers offer a wider selection

While there is no doubt that you can save money by purchasing grocery store meat, there are definitely options to stretch your dollar at a local butcher, according to Pro Family Chef. You can choose to buy your meat in larger quantities and freeze the excess, provided that you vacuum-seal the cuts, or simply purchase less expensive cuts such as chicken, of which Pro Family Chef estimates about $3.50 per pound of savings compared to beef.

London butchers Parson's Nose ensures that customers will receive a much higher level of quality from a butcher, noting that butchers typically source their meat locally in order to guarantee freshness. Your butcher will also likely have a strong respect for the animal, buying grass-fed or free-range options, which can be significantly tastier and healthier. While the price tag on supermarket meat may be more appealing, bear in mind that the meat is likely factory-farmed and potentially less sustainable and healthy (per Pro Family Chef), the shipping process can be much longer, there will likely be less variety in cuts, and you'll probably have limited organic choices.