If you’re a bargain-hunting carnivore looking for a good deal on grilling meats and summer booze, you might want to re-think your zip code instead of curbing that expensive rib-eye habit. It turns out there are certain cities in these great United States that are far more cost-effective for grilling and BBQ than others, overall.
ApartmentGuide.com recently took a deep dive to find out the most affordable cities to grill in, based on the average price of popular grilling meats and BBQ staples like steak, ground beef, sausage, and beer along with the listed average price for a one bedroom apartment.
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The site ranked 257 U.S. cities in total. Each of the three food sub-categories (steak, ground beef, and sausage), as well as beer, received a ranking score from 1-257 based on the average price in that area, with 1 being the most affordable and 257 being the most expensive. All four numbers were then added up and divided by four to determine a final Grilling Affordability Score (or GRS).
Unsurprisingly, smaller urban areas and cities in big sprawling states like Texas and Missouri topped the list where housing is generally more affordable. A good many of these sprawling midwest states, like Kansas, are big cattle producers too, which keeps those beef costs down.
Here are the top 10 most affordable U.S. states in which to grill. See the report and full list of 50 most affordable grilling cities on ApartmentGuide.com.
10. Nacogdoches, TX
Sausage and ground beef prices are low and the average one-bedroom apartment is just $783 a month in this east Texas town.
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9. Salina, KS
KC style BBQ is popular in this small city in Kansas where the beef is cheap and the average one-bedroom apartment rental will run you just $525 per month.
8. Meridian, MS
This deep southern city in Mississippi is a transportation hub which keeps food costs low and the monthly average rent for a one-bedroom unit here is just $702.
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7. Peoria, IL
Sometimes referred to as “Baby Chicago,” you can snag a six-pack of beer for just $7.98 (def cheaper than Chi); that makes “Baby Chicago” a great grilling town and one-bedroom apartments go for a monthly average of $647.
6. Manhattan, KS
Okay, so maybe it’s not the Manhattan you were thinking of (sorry y’all) but “The Little Apple” is still a fine place to live and grill and is often ranked as one of the best small cities to retire and start a business by major magazines. And while steak prices are high, rent is cheap too, just $697 a month on average for a one-bedroom.
5. Waco, TX
Though beer isn’t much cheaper in this east Texas town, the prices for sausage and ground beef are some of the cheapest in the land. Word must be starting to get out on this sleeper city though because you have to drop an average of $875 a month for a one-bedroom rental.
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4. Temple, TX
Not far from Waco but about half the size, this Texas city has cheap meats all around. A one-bedroom in Temple runs about $826 a month.
3. Kalamazoo, MI
Besides being one of the scientifically proven most fun words to say, Kalamazoo actually means “boiling water,” but don’t boil your steak, please. Beer in this Missouri town is cheap at under 8 bucks for a six-pack and a few of their local breweries like Bell’s Brewery, Latitude 42, and Arcadia Brewing have broken through on a national scale. One-bedroom apartments go for $790 monthly on average.
2. McAllen, TX
This deep Texas town is on the primary migratory path between North and South America making it a premier destination for birding. Beyond that, it has the cheapest steak in the nation and a one-bedroom runs for just $779 on average per month.
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1. Wichita Falls, TX
Hungry for burgers? This north Texas town has the cheapest ground beef in the nation and awfully cheap sausage, too! What’s the catch? There doesn’t seem to be one with the 15th cheapest beer and an average one-bedroom apartment renting for just $704.
Okay, we’re moving. Bye.