Daily Archives: March 26, 2009

Does steak cost less delivered in bulk?

Earlier this week, Gather Little by Little ran an article about Omaha Steaks, and how expensive it was in comparison to the grocery store. His calculations had the meat coming in at anywhere from $38-44 per pound. Even for good steak, that’s pretty expensive.

Coincidentally, I purchased bulk steak from a competitor of Omaha, US Beef, a little more than a week earlier. This was a door-to-door sale—something I usually am able to turn away. But I’ve always wanted to try these delivered services anyway, and he was knocking huge amounts off the full price (the story was that he had leftovers from another delivery… I don’t really buy that, but it’s irrelevant) so I gave him a shot.

He was going to give us two packs for the price of one: $369. That was an easy “no.” The price kept dropping, though. $325… $300… eventually down to $250 for two packs. Even at that price, I still would have said “no” and gone on with my day, but it so happened that a friend was over at the house and offered to split it with me. That turned out to be $125 for a case of 61 pieces of meat (which isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds, as most are burgers, but stay with me). At that price, it was certainly worth considering.

Here’s what was included:

  • 5 – 12oz NY Strips
  • 8 – 6oz Filet Mignons wrapped in bacon
  • 8 – 7oz NY Strips
  • 8 – 4oz center cut sirloins
  • 8 – 4oz pepper steaks
  • 24 – 4oz sirloin burger patties

Doing the math, that’s 20.25 lbs of meat, for a cost per pound of $6.17. For steak, that’s not bad at all.

Comparing against a local grocery store, the NY Strips ($5.56/lb for the 12oz US Beef) came out over $3 cheaper per pound than the sale price at the store. Even the burgers (at $3.47/lb from US Beef) were $0.40 cheaper per pound in my order.

Spreadsheet for calculating costs

Spreadsheet for calculating costs

Now, of course, that’s with the discounted price I and my friend got. If I paid full price, would it have worked out as well?

Not so much.

At the full $369 per pack, the cost per pound works out to $18.22 – definitely more expensive than I would pay (but interestingly, way less than GLBL reports for Omaha, though there may be a quality difference). The maximum I’d be willing to pay for the pack I got is probably $175, which would work out to $8.64/lb overall.

Does it look like I got the math right? Do you have any experience with bulk food delivery to your house? Does it seem like a good deal to you? Leave a comment.