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Our family doesn’t eat a lot of meat. We tend to eat casseroles, soups, and pasta with sauce. These types of meals may contain meat, but in much smaller amounts than sitting down to a meal of steak and potatoes (although from time to time we do eat that too).
Besides reducing the amount of meat served per meal, I have also found one other way to cut our costs of meat 20% further.
How? By buying marked down meat at the grocery store. It isn’t always available but when it is I try to stock up. By stocking up I can usually plan our meals around what I have in the freezer, until I find mark downs again .
These pictures represent the finds from this week, minus a package of hamburger that was already cooking on the stove for lunch, when these pictures were taken.
All together this week I saved $5.58 buying marked down meat. I would say on average I do this about twice a month meaning I save around $11 a month, or $133 a year.
I wish I could afford organic meat, but it is just not in our price range right now. However, the extra $133 wiggle room buying marked down meat allows me to be able to afford more organic produce, and pound per pound my family eats way more fresh fruits and vegetables than meat.
A few words of advice, on the topic of marked down meats. First you must make sure you have the time to repackage up the meat when you get home that day, as it is near its spoil date.
I generally cook up the hamburger and stew meat right away, and then allow it too cool, before placing it in the freezer in meal size portions. This makes it quick to use later in dishes. Other cuts of meat I repackage raw into ziploc bags in family size portions and place in the freezer right away.
Second, try to make a note of when you saw the most markdowns. Stores tend to do their mark downs at the same time each week. So if you get to your store and see the meat department person actively marking down the meat, mark down what day and time it was, and return back at that time when you need meat again. This should guarantee your family a fairly reliable source of mark down meats (although the trick does sometime fail).
How about you? How does you family save money on meat?