If your budget says ‘bowl full of ramen’ but your tastes say ‘grilled ribeye’, consider that moving to a different zip code may mean you can indulge your carnivorous cravings more often. It turns out that grilling in certain United States cities is far less expensive than it is in others.
ApartmentGuide.com recently crunched some numbers to figure out the most affordable cities to grill in, based on the average prices of popular grilling goods such as steak, sausage, and beer, along with the cost of living for a one bedroom apartment.
The website ranked a total of 257 U.S. cities. Each of four food categories (steak, ground beef, sausage, and beer), received a score from 1-257 (1 being most affordable) based on the average price of that food in that city. The four scores were then tallied and average to determine a Grilling Affordability Score (GRS).
If you know anything about Texas you won’t be surprised that overall, the Lone Star state is most affordable for grillers (five Texas cities ranked in the top 10). Midwest cities in Michigan and Kansas also make a strong showing thanks to their affordable housing and their own cattle production, as well.
So where should you move if you want to maximize your grilling budget? Here are the top 10 most affordable cities to grill:
10. Nacogdoches, TX
The East Texas town, just over an hour from the Louisiana boarder, is all about barbecue when grilling out. If you could score the great deals on sausages and ground beef found in Nacogdoches, you’d grill every night, too.
9. Salina, KS
Salinas is one of America’s best meat-and-beer-towns. It’s strategic location at the junction between Interstates 70 and 135, as well as its status as a major hub along the Union Pacific Railroad’s Kansas Pacific Line, mean that fresh food and packaged foods are always flowing through the city, keeping costs down.
8. Meridian, MS
The Deep South city is an all around good deal for grillers. Sausages may be a little more pricey, but ground beef, steak, and beer are all highly affordable.
7. Peoria, IL
While the cost of meat isn’t staggeringly low, deals on beers in “Baby Chicago” aren’t hard to come by. At $7.98, Peoria boasts the eighth lowest price for a six-pack. Rent is also incredibly affordable. Pay just $647 for a one bedroom apartment.
6. Manhattan, KS
It’s hard to find a good deal on anything in Manhattan, “The Big Apple,” but move to Manhattan, Kansas and score an apartment for just $697 a month, and ridiculously low deals for grilling out.
5. Waco, TX
Halfway between Dallas and Austin along Interstate 35 is Waco, Texas. A modern, bustling city of arts, culture, parks, and is home to Baylor University. And the prices of grilling goods are so low, even college students can afford to grill.
4. Temple, TX
If you’re feeding a small army, head to Temple, Texas where the price of steaks, ground beef, and sausage are all some of the lowest in the country.
3. Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo might just be the most fun city name to say, but there are plenty of other reasons to move there. The town of 75,000 is located halfway between Detroit and Chicago, and is home of well-known craft breweries (including Bell’s, Bibb’s’, Brewing, Latitude 42, and Arcadia Brewing) and several distilleries.
2. McAllen, TX
McAllen, Texas can boast the cheapest steak in the nation. So either pack a cooler and stock up next time you’re passing through town, or move there — one-bedroom apartments run for just $779 per month.
1. Wichita Falls, TX
If grilling is your game, you should probably pack up and move to this north Texas town. Wichita Falls has the cheapest ground beef of anywhere in the nation and inexpensive sausage, too. And the average one bedroom apartments rents for just $704.
And the most expensive city to grill? Seattle, followed by Manhattan, New York; Juneau, AK; Mount Vernon, WA; and Queens, NY.
For the full list, read more at ApartmentGuide.com.