Let them eat steak: Omaha Steaks carves up prices

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
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.

If you need a justification, consider deals like Omaha Steaks' cut-to-the-bone discounts as an alternative to dining out in a fancy restaurant. Even if you throw in a baked potato and some of that yummy-but-artery-clogging creamed spinach, recreating the steakhouse experience at home will cost a fraction of the real deal. You won't have to leave a tip to a snooty waiter -- although you will be stuck with the dishes.

CNBC points out that steak isn't the only gourmet fare with a price fast approaching that of canned tuna. Lobster in coastal New England can be scarfed for less than many sandwich fillings at $5 to $7 per pound, and an Australian winemaker is selling its vino for less than you'd pay for one of those high-end bottled waters the celebrities tote around everywhere. The sad news that Hershey will stop peddling chocolate online at the end of this month is made a bit more palatable by the confectioner's 25%-off closeout sale.

I enjoy my bargain-basement beef as much as the next carnivore, and I have to confess that I'll miss paying hamburger prices for steak once the economy picks up steam again. My own "grill stimulus" is a lot easier to chew on than the government's version: I buy in bulk when prices hit truly unbelievable lows, wrap the meat carefully in family-sized portions using a vacuum sealer and freeze it. (Just don't forget to label the packages with the date and what's in them because all frozen plastic bags look the same after a while.)

One final suggestion, this time for the Omaha Steaks folks: Have you tried interesting local billionaire Warren Buffet in a few thousand pounds of T-bones?
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Large Numbers Of Horses Are Being Stuffed Into These Crates For A Despicable Reason Large Numbers Of Horses Are Being Stuffed Into These Crates For A Despicable Reason
15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them 15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them
Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going