How to buy cheap beef cuts wisely

Jul 29, 2020 05:01 AM EDT | By Wyn J. (


Beef is one of the best types of meat to buy and prepare for meals. However, not all beef meat is made the same. When you're doing your groceries, you might wonder: why are there expensive and cheap beef cuts? Here are some facts about beef cuts. 

Cheap beef cuts

When you go to the beef section in a grocery, you will hear the words steaks, chuck, flank, and blade. Those names are some of the cheapest cuts of beef meat. If you feel insecure about buying cheap beef cuts, don't be.  

Although those beef cuts are cheap, butchers and professional chefs can testify that it's not about how much you pay for the meat. In some cases, the less expensive beef cuts tend to be more flavorful compared to expensive ones. 

However, the downside of getting cheap beef cuts is it takes longer to cook. You will need hours of preparation for it; this is particularly true for the likes of shoulder and shin parts. Since such parts have the most used muscle, they would be the toughest part to cook. However, these parts are also the tastiest.

If you plan on doing your beef shopping anytime soon, here are some inexpensive beef cuts to get:

Chuck Steak

Chuck steak is one of the most accessible types of beef cuts in the supermarket. It is a famous 7-bone steak, and it can tear down expensive steaks in the world if cooked well. 

The chuck steak is cut from the shoulder, just a few inches near the ribeye. It has almost the same flavor as the ribeye as well. If you are looking for an affordable beef cut close to the ribeye, chuck steak is the best to get. 

Chuck Steak
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Chuck-Eye Steak

This is different from the chuck steak, despite the similarity of the name. Indeed, beef cuts cuts tend to be confusing due to similar names, so it helps to be familiar with the terms.  

This steak is close to the ribeye physically. In butcher's language, chuck-eye is considered to be the ribeye of a poor man. 

This beef cut comes from the same part of where the ribeye is cut, but it is thinner compared to it. Butchers cut it thinly so they can have an extra piece to sell. 

Tri-Tip Sirloin

This beef cut is not popular to many, but it is taken from the bottom part of the sirloin. Most people don't buy this cut because it does not look enticing as other beef cuts in the market. This cut also does not come in the same size. 

However, if you are one of those who love to try new things, a tri-tip sirloin is worth your money. It is a triangle-shaped muscle under the sirloin, and it offers a great flavor when cooked. 


Beef shank is one of the most popular beef cuts you can find. It is always available in supermarkets and groceries as well. People love braised beef, and beef shank provides the best flavor to any recipe. 

Beef Shank
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


This inexpensive beef cut is unique because it comes from the heel part of the cow. It is called merlot because it has a ruby red color. It has a robust flavor but offers the best meat texture. Merlot cuts are best to cook with fries. 

ALSO READ: What makes Wagyu beef expensive: facts and origin

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