Grilling a steak or hamburger will cost you a lot more this spring and summer. A Bloomberg survey shows the supply of beef has been cut to a 63-year low, due in part to dry conditions across Texas.

With a higher demand, shoppers are seeing rising prices. The USDA recently announced that the retail value of choice-grade beef jumped to a record $5.28 a pound in February, up from $4.91 the same time a year ago.

Here are a few tips to make shopping for beef as budget-friendly as possible:

When you find a really good sale (at least 25 percent off) snatch it up and freeze what you can.

Keep an eye out for meat reduced for a quick sale. These products are safe to eat as long as you eat them that day or freeze them.

Look for value-sized packages. These tend to be cheaper by the pound. Divide the portions according to your need and freeze.

Build your menu around less expensive meat. Instead of a New York strip or rib-eye, choose sirloin. Marinating will add flavor and make the meat less tough.

Stretch ground beef with bread crumbs and add extra veggies to kabobs.

Consider using pork or turkey, usually about $1 less a pound, or meatless meals, using beans, quinoa or cheese for protein.

Tara McAlister

Charlotte Observer