Deal Breakdown: Omaha Steaks’ Grand Pack

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In my write-up of the 69 cent headphones, I mentioned OmahaSteaks.com and the reservations I had about ordering raw meat for delivery. It’s not just my fear that the package will get rerouted to some isolated FedEx warehouse and show up at my door a month later filled with rotten meat, it’s also the price. Omaha Steak’s “Private Reserve” Filet Mignon will run you $38 a pound (that’s marked down from $60 a pound) and even their boneless chicken breasts cost upwards of $20 a pound. That’s an awful lot of money to pay for frozen meat.

Still, the deal currently featured on the front page of OmahaSteaks.com caught my eye: the “Grand Pack,” featuring an assortment of steaks, gourmet hot dogs and other meats, for $80 (with free shipping). Tempting, but how much are you really saving here compared to what you would spend if you bought all this stuff a la carte? And more importantly, how does this deal stack up to the high-end meat you might buy at, say, your local Whole Foods?

First things first. Here is what you get in the Omaha Steaks package, along with the per-pound cost of each item if you were to purchase it separately.

Two (5 oz.) Filet Mignons ($30/pound separately [though you have to buy eight 4 oz. filets to get this price])
Two (6 oz.) Top Sirloins ($34.66/pound separately)
Eight (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks ($9.99 for a pack of 8)
Four (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops ($27 separately)
Four (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers ($14.67/pound separately)
Four (4 oz. approx.) Boneless Chicken Breasts ($24 separately)
Four (5.75 oz.) Stuffed Baked Potatoes ($13 for 8 potatoes separately)

Here’s where the math gets tricky (especially for someone like me, who finds all math pretty tricky): in many cases the actual quantity of meat contained in the package isn’t available separately. For instance, the package has two (6 oz.) top sirloins, but the closest quantity I could find on the site is four (6 oz.) top sirloins, which retail for $51.99. In these cases, I’ve just calculated the per-pound cost, and will use that to determine the actual value of each item.

When you add it all up, the total value of the merchandise is around $127, so you’re saving close to $50 by buying the Grand Pack. And it ships for free, since Omaha Steaks is currently offering free shipping on all orders over $79.

Still, $80 for just under six pounds of meat is a bit pricey. Does the deal still stack up when compared to other retailers? I headed down to the local Whole Foods to see how their meat was priced. Here’s what I found:

Filet mignon: $30/pound
Top sirloin: $9.99/pound
Pork chops: $8/pound
Franks: $5 for a pack of eight
Ground beef: $5/pound
Chicken breasts: $4.89/pound
Stuffed Potatoes: (Couldn’t find them)

Doing the math, I found that if I wanted to get the same amount of meat as is contained in the Omaha Steaks Grand Pack, it would cost me about $50 at Whole Foods. Even if you wind up spending $10 to make or buy a side like stuffed potatoes, you still save $20 by going to the grocery store instead of ordering from Omaha Steaks. Also, you’ll have a lot more flexibility with quantities.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Omaha Steaks is a rip-off. I’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying their beef, so it’s possible the quality is high enough to justify the difference in price. That said, it’s worth noting that the meat you’re getting from Whole Foods is fresh, not frozen, which some argue makes a big difference. Furthermore, Whole Foods emphasizes that their meat is 100% organic and that much of the meat is from grass-fed cattle; by contrast, I could find no such information about Omaha Steaks’ meat on their website, save for a satisfaction guarantee.

The Verdict: Unless you’re really into the idea of having a treasure chest full of meat delivered to your stoop (which I can appreciate on some level), you’re probably better off heading to your local grocery store or butcher and picking out your own steaks.

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