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Beat high meat prices for your Fourth of July cookouts

As you make plans for this year’s Fourth of July cookout, you may want to take into consideration the fact that meat prices are higher than usual right now.

Marshall King reported in his Monday column in The Elkhart Truth that meat prices are up by anywhere from 30 cents to a dollar per pound, according to local restaurant owners and retailers.

If you’re looking to make your meat purchases local this year, there’s an abundance of local butchers and meat markets in the area. Check out the map below to find one near you.

King reports that higher prices stem from supply shortages, with causes ranging from disease for pig farmers, to droughts for western U.S. cattle farmers. And while chicken is experiencing no problems with supply, demand is up due to the shortages of other meats — which also raises prices.

Local butchers are coping by adjusting prices and portions, King reports, and generally making less profit per pound until the market recovers. Restaurants usually try to hold off adjusting menu prices as long as possible, though some, like Mike Miles of Miles Lab, choose to sell steaks at market price rather than setting a menu price at all.

To save some dough on the Fourth of July cookout, King recommends staying away from steaks and going instead for chicken, bratwursts and burgers. He also points out, “and it’s prime vegetable season. Grilling a bunch of vegetables alongside some meat is probably better for your health and pocketbook at the same time.”

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