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Filling up on fun and food at French park is a pricey predicament for the Stewart and Ferguson family. These days, they grill sausages and burgers instead of steak.

Both families say they are paying more for meat. You can blame the increased beef cost on a number of things.

Primarily that the Southwest drought has led to higher feed prices, which means cattle ranchers raise fewer cows.

And Ryan Cox , an Assistant Meat Science Professor with the University of Minnesota, says the forecast isn't pretty.

"We have seen ground prices go up as high as 15 percent," he said. "That trend is expected to likely continue to 2015. It is not a simple fix in the beef industry."

Beef has reached its highest level in almost three decades about $5.28 per pound.

But beef isn't the only meat getting more expensive. A virus that has killed millions of pigs has caused the price of pork to rise.

Cox says families can save by substituting expensive meat for other delicious cuts.

"What I recommend to consumers is looking at alternative cuts from the same species," he said. "A popular dish for example, if you are looking to make something like New York strip steak or Rib Eye steak, there are alternatives.

The sirloin steak is still among the lower price per unit. There are also things such as the flank iron steak.

"It is a very high quality steak that comes at a low price," Cox said.

The Ferguson family says their next trip to the grocery store could last longer. They will search for substitutes.

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