How Much Does a Pound of Ground Beef Cost? A Detailed Look at Prices and Buying Tips

Ground beef is one of the most versatile and commonly used meats. From burgers and meatballs to tacos and chili, it can be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes. But with prices fluctuating frequently, many shoppers wonder – how much does a pound of ground beef cost?

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of current ground beef prices per pound from different stores and sources. We’ll also offer tips on getting the best deal when buying ground beef.

Average Retail Prices for Ground Beef per Pound

According to January 2024 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price for a pound of ground beef in U.S. cities is:

  • Ground beef (100% beef): $4.959 per pound
  • Lean or extra lean ground beef: $6.427 per pound
  • All types of uncooked ground beef: $5.570 per pound

These are national average prices – actual costs in your area may be higher or lower depending on location, store, sales, etc.

In the Midwest region specifically, the average cost of a pound of 100% ground beef is $4.959. The average for all types of ground beef is $5.570 per pound in the Midwest.

Prices at Different Grocery Stores

Exact prices for ground beef can vary significantly from store to store. Here are some average costs at popular national grocery store chains:

  • Walmart: 85% lean ground beef costs $4.28 per pound. Higher leanness options range from $4.98-6.98 per pound.
  • Kroger: 85% lean ground beef starts at $3.99 per pound. 90% and 95% lean is $4.99-5.99 per pound.
  • Publix: Their lean ground beef (90% lean) costs $6.29 per pound. Fattier options are $4.99-5.49 per pound.
  • Safeway: Starts at $3.97 per pound for 85% lean ground beef. Leaner versions are $5.97-7.97 per pound.
  • Whole Foods: 85% lean ground beef costs $4.99-6.99 per pound. Leaner organic options are $6.99-9.99 per pound.

As you can see, fattier ground beef with only 85% lean beef costs $3.97-4.99 per pound at most mainstream grocers. Prices start increasing for 90-95% lean blends. Organic and other premium options cost even more per pound.

Prices at Warehouse Clubs

Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club often offer lower prices for buying large quantities of ground beef at once:

  • Costco: Ground beef patties (80% lean) cost $2.99 per pound when purchased in a 4-pound package ($11.96 total). Leaner 93% lean patties are $4.97 per pound.
  • Sam’s Club: 85% lean ground beef patties cost $2.98 per pound when bought in a 5-pound bulk package ($14.90 total). Leaner options run $3.98-4.98 per pound.

Buying in bulk can save significantly compared to regular per-pound prices. Just make sure you can use or freeze the larger quantity before it spoils.

Prices at Butcher Shops and Meat Markets

Local butcher shops and meat markets may have competitive pricing on fresh ground beef options:

  • Ground chuck or ground sirloin: $3.99-5.99 per pound
  • Organic ground beef: $6.99-8.99 per pound
  • Grass-fed ground beef: $7.99-9.99 per pound

Quality may be higher than standard grocery store ground beef, but so are prices, especially for premium types like organic and grass-fed.

Prices for Pre-Formed Patties

Pre-made ground beef patties do cost a little more than buying bulk ground beef. Here are some average per-patty prices:

  • Fast food: McDonald’s uses 100% ground beef patties that cost around $0.60-$0.70 each.
  • Grocery store: Pre-formed patties range from $0.89-$1.49 each for name brands like 85% lean Purdue or 93% lean Jennie-O.
  • Warehouse club: Costco sells 80% lean patties for $0.80 each when bought in bulk quantities.
  • Convenience store: Brands like Blue Ribbon start at $1.79 per patty at convenience and gas station locations.

You pay extra for the convenience of having them pre-formed, but patties do save time compared to shaping them yourself.

What Impacts the Price of Ground Beef?

Several factors can influence the retail price of ground beef on store shelves:

  • Type of cuts used: Fattier beef trimmings are cheaper than leaner cuts.
  • Leanness percentage: Higher fat content means lower cost. 85% lean is cheaper than 95% lean beef.
  • Demand and availability: When beef supplies are short, prices increase.
  • Feed costs: Drought and higher corn/grain prices increase cattle farming costs.
  • Dairy prices: Since dairy cattle are eventually used for beef, their economics impact the beef supply chain.
  • Transportation costs: Gasoline and diesel impact distribution expenses.
  • Packaging: Pre-formed patties and chubs cost more than buying loose ground beef.
  • Store pricing: Higher-end outlets charge more than discount grocers.

Understanding what goes into pricing can help explain why ground beef costs fluctuate frequently.

Getting the Best Deal on Ground Beef per Pound

Here are some tips to save money when buying ground beef:

  • Check weekly sales circulars – Buy larger quantities when on sale.
  • Stock up when prices drop – Freeze extra ground beef to use later.
  • Buy warehouse club packs – The cost per pound is lower when purchasing bulk packages.
  • Compare by lean percentage – You pay less for higher fat ground beef.
  • Watch expiration dates – Use soon after purchase or freeze immediately to avoid spoilage.
  • Make your own patties – Skip expensive pre-formed varieties.
  • Try alternative proteins – Chicken, turkey, beans, etc. can sub for higher beef costs.
  • Substitute other cuts – Stews can use cheaper chuck or round in place of ground beef.

With the right strategies, you can keep enjoying ground beef while sticking to your grocery budget. Follow sales, buy in bulk, adjust fat percentages, and use substitutes to find savings.

Ground Beef Prices Per Pound – The Bottom Line

So how much does a pound of ground beef cost? On average, you can expect to pay:

  • $3.97 to $4.99 per pound for 85% lean
  • $4.99 to $6.99 per pound for 90-95% lean
  • $2.98 to $4.28 per pound when purchased in bulk packages

But ultimately, ground beef prices depend on many factors like store, sales, region, etc. Shopping smart, buying on sale in bulk, and substituting cheaper cuts when possible can help keep costs down.

Knowing the current going rates for ground beef at your local retailers will let you snag a good bargain when you spot one. With the useful tips above, you can beef up your kitchen while staying within your grocery budget.

How much Protein in Beef cooked? (You’re probably not measuring correctly!)


What is the average price of a pound of ground beef?

Currently, the average price for a pound of ground beef in the United States is around $3.85 to $4.26, depending on the region and quality of the meat.

Is 1lb of ground beef enough for 2 people?

Try serving 3/4 of a pound per person to factor in the extra weight. If you’re dishing up some ground beef for taco night, ¼ of a pound per person should be sufficient. You might want to consider ¾ of a pound for those with heartier appetites. A half a pound might not be enough.

How many cups is 1lb of ground beef?

How Many Cups of Cooked Ground Beef Are in a Pound. If you’ve ever wondered how many cups of cooked ground beef you get from a pound of raw ground beef, you’re not alone. On average, one pound of raw ground beef produces about 2 to 2.5 cups of cooked ground beef.

Is 16 oz of ground beef 1 lb?

Grass-Fed Ground Beef, 85% Lean, 16 Oz (1 Lb)

Leave a Comment