Tips to Stretch Your Beef Dollars

The Baumhover Family

The Baumhover Family

by Michelle Baumhover
Director of Consumer Marketing
Iowa Beef Industry Council

Finally, spring temperatures have finally arrived!  Sunshine and warmer weather means more grilling opportunities for our family.

Our family includes two very active teenage boys, who are both very involved in sports and need high quality protein.  Both boys love beef, especially steak and burgers. Beef is a great source of protein, so it’s on our table several times a week.

Anyone who’s visited the meat counter lately has noticed rising prices. Drought has reduced cow herds in the west, plus the global demand for beef is strong. That’s why today I’m sharing with you a few tips

tips our family uses to stretch our beef dollar:

    • Try new cuts. The Flat Iron and the Chuck Eye Steak are two hidden values in the meat case.  Economical cuts of beef are sometimes less tender, however, with a little know-how you can create a great meal. Use a tenderizing marinade and grill to medium rare or medium doneness. Slicing across the grain will enhance tenderness, too.
      • The Flat Iron Steak is a hidden gem, says Michelle Baumhover with the Iowa Beef Council.  Today she’s sharing with us a link to one of her favorite recipes for Flat Iron Steak with Grilled Corn and Cumin Lime Butter.
      • She’s also sharing a recipe for Tangy Lime Grill Top Round Steak. Remember, Round Steak is a value cut so marinade makes it better.
    • Watch your grocery ads for beef features.  Buying beef on sale is an easy way to save money. If you’re not familiar with the cut that’s on sale, use our Interactive Butcher Counter to find preparation and cooking information along with recipes for all cuts of beef.
    • Buy in bulk.  Beef can be frozen in family-friendly sizes and stored in your freezer. Ground beef can be frozen up to 4 months and steaks up to a year. Purchase whole loins or ribeyes, and cut your own individual steaks.
    • Purchase lower lean ground beef.  If a lower lean ground beef is at significant cost savings, you can easily reduce the fat in ground beef.  When ground beef is on sale I purchase a few extra pounds.  I often brown multiple pounds of ground beef at a time, and then freeze 1 pound in individual freezer-safe bags. Other times I’ll buy a 10-pound tube of hamburger when it’s on sale, and then cut the fresh ground beef into smaller portions before freezing it.

homecoming13The beef checkoff has developed resources and tools to help you.  Our online brochure, Confident Cooking with Beefoffers great information on choosing, storing and preparing beef.  Utilize beef as an ingredient.  Add a protein punch of beef to sandwiches, salads, stir-fry and one-dish meals.  We have a large database of triple tested beef recipes.

Finally, remember that beef offers you great taste and nutrition.  Beef is a good to excellent source of 10 essential nutrients, and it provides nearly half of your daily protein needs for around 180 calories packed in 3-ounces of cooked beef.  Think of beef as a delicious nutrition powerhouse and calorie-saver!

Tangy Lime Grilled Top Round Steak



  • 1 beef Top Round Steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed



  1. Combine lime juice, sugar, oil, Worcestershire and garlic in small bowl. Place beef steak and lime mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight; turning occasionally.
  2. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 11 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, times remain the same) for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.)
  3. Carve steak into thin slices. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Test Kitchen Tips: To broil, place steak on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 12 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning once. (Do not overcook.)


Recipe & Photo are credited to "Beef It's What's For Dinner. The Original recipe and photo are located here.