For a lot of us the sizzle of a steak on the grill and the smells that go along with that are one of the key components of any summertime celebration. Many people will be lighting the grill and cooking burgers, steaks, and ribs this summer. Chances are you've paid a little bit more for the privilege compared to last years barbeque feast.

Ross Pruitt is an economist with the LSU AgCenter and he says folks like you and I can expect to keep paying a little more for better cuts of beef over the Summer grilling season.

We're dealing with some tighter cattle supplies that we've dealt with the past couple of years.  So that's really causing some of these prices to keep going higher

Pruitt's comments were reported in a story published by the Louisiana Radio Network. In that story Pruitt said the price of ground beef was $4.20 a pound. That's up 14% compared to just one year ago.The good news is that while your burger may cost more, at least your beer is going to be a little cheaper. 

So what can you do to keep the grilling fires lit without burning out your budget? Pruitt says other cuts of meat are very economical for the cook who is willing to diversify. Chicken and pork prices have remained fairly steady and if you're looking to get more bang for your buck that might be the route to take.

Those two commodities may be relatively more cheap than what they have been compared to beef in the past couple of years in terms of a price differential.

Even as the seasonal increase in the supply of beef to the consumer market swells this Summer, don't expect the prices to drop that much. Most analyst say higher beef prices are here at least through the end of the year.