Let them eat steak: Omaha Steaks carves up prices

CNBC points us to a recent Omaha Steaks promotion that features the mail-order butcher's flagship product for as little as $5 per juicy, marbled slab of meat. (That's for the bacon-wrapped sirloin, and you have to order a dozen of them to get the deal.) With everyone from department stores to automakers slashing prices these days, perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that Omaha's getting in on the act.

As the recession slogs on and money stays tight for many Americans, home cooks are gravitating to lower-priced cuts like flank steak. You can barely open a women's magazine these days without encountering yet another recipe for marinating this chewy cut into submission (hint: a tequila-lime combo works wonders).

As a result of our collective frugality, the top-shelf stuff goes begging; according to CNBC, steak prices are down by around 30% (I've seen special-occasion cuts for as little as $5 a pound at my neighborhood supermarkets). This creates a frustrating paradox: Those pricey portions may be more affordable than we've ever seen them, but we're in no position to splurge.