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Saving Money with Ground Turkey and Beef

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Over the past year, I've seen the price of beef skyrocket at my grocery store. A couple of years ago, I'd be able to get 93% lean ground beef for well less than $3 a pound at the local military commissary. It was the best price in town.

Lately, I've seen prices of over $4 a pound. The prices for even 80% lean ground beef is over well over $3 now.

As a result, I've steadily been opting for poultry such as skinless, boneless chicken breast that is usually priced at $1.99 or less. A great side-benefit of that is that recent guidelines advocate lean meat.

The only problem: It's hard to make burgers out of whole chicken breasts.

This past week, Aldi was having a sale on ground beef. The sale illustrates how high prices have risen. You could buy 5lbs of 73% lean beef in bulk at a price of $2.89. At the same time, I noticed something next to it... ground turkey at $2.79.

Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this. What if I mixed ground beef and ground turkey and froze the result?

A spreadsheet can help us look at the results:

 PoundsPrice/poundTotal PricePercent LeanLean Meat
Ground Beef5$2.89$14.4573%3.65
Ground Turkey2.4$2.79$6.7093%2.23
Sum7.4$2.86$21.1579%5.88

Focus on the bolded data above. The average price per pound of my Franken-meat is $2.86 and it is 79% lean. That's better than paying $3.29 for 80% lean. From a numbers perspective, I could have simply gone with all ground turkey and had 93% lean meat at $2.79 a pound.

Of course, food isn't all about the cost or the fat percentage. It is about taste too. I'm banking on the fact that by having twice as much beef as turkey, my burgers will still taste like beef burgers, not turkey burgers.

I had hoped to find someone on the internet that has done this before and reported on the taste. Maybe my searching skills have gone way down, but I couldn't find a single record on the internet. I did find some tips suggesting that I could grind my own ground beef and save money that way. That's interesting. If I'm going to grind meat, I might as well consider grinding chicken breast (at $1.99) or chicken thighs (even cheaper).

Maybe the right mix could get prices below $2 a pound, with good nutrition, and still taste good? If nothing else, it seems like a fun experiment.

I'll have to come back and update this article with the results of the taste test.

If this experiment comes out well this Sunmile 1HP Meat Grinder that I found on Amazon looks to be the way to go. At a sale price of $80 today, I'm tempted to jump on it.

Posted on February 20, 2015.

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5 Responses to “Saving Money with Ground Turkey and Beef”

  1. Big-D says:

    You have said we are twins, and once again, we both have done something as I have done this many times. The key to me is the seasoning. The fat helps make them juicy, the turkey adds bulk, and the beef adds flavor. I typically mix into the “mix” my home version on “montreal steak seasoning”. When I cook I usually put a little worcestershire sauce on it and maybe some garlic powder or cajun.

    Now you are making me hungry :(

  2. Lazy Man says:

    I’ve got all that around… and I hadn’t even thought that.

    You haven’t gotten into grinding have you?

  3. Mark Bell says:

    Get a grinder attachment for your Kitchenaid mixer. You do have a Kitchenaid mixer don’t you…?

  4. Lazy Man says:

    I saw that there was an attachment, but I don’t have a a KitchenAid mixe. I’ve heard they are great, though.

    I don’t do a lot of mixing. Actually, I don’t know if I do any mixing. Maybe if I had one, I would do more?

  5. […] on the other hand, has lost its battle to inflation. It's gotten so pricey that I resorted to mixing ground turkey and beef. By the way, that was a winning experiment… no one could tell the difference, it was healthier, […]

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