We head to the H-E-B just off Buffalo Speedway near the affluent West University Place. They tell us one of their most popular cuts of meat is a flank steak. The price for flank steak is $7.99 a pound. We also check out the price of boneless beef ribeye steak. It's $8.48 a pound.
Then we head to another H-E-B -- this one located in southwest Houston off Beechnut. The area and the store itself are not quite as fancy. This store doesn't even carry the top-cut flank steak! It does however carry skirt steak. It's a fattier meat, but much, much cheaper at $2.98 a pound. That's a difference of five bucks. The price of ribeye at the beechnut store is $7.98 a pound. It was $8.48 a pound at the other location. That's a savings of 50 cents.
Another difference we found -- at the higher end H-E-B, there is a full service meat department. At the store on Beechnut there's no meat counter, but there is a huge selection of value packs.
For example, we found 10 pounds of ground beef for $18. That averages out to $1.80 a pound. At the high end store, there's not a big selection of the value packs. We did find a five pound pack of beef for $10.50. Do the math and it's still a 30 cents difference per pound.
Bottom line -- location, location, location. It really does matter when it comes to price and selection. Some high-end locations didn't even sell the cheaper cuts of meat. They stick to the prime.
A couple of other tips to keep in mind. Shop for manager's specials -- some stores have clearance sections where you can find meat up to 75 percent off. And also, buy in bulk, and use that freezer. Steaks last anywhere from 4 to 12 months, ground beef three to four months.