How To Save Money On Meat
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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?
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Frugal work at home mom says
We do this all the time for ground beef and pork. Occassionally I will find steak that is marked down. Rarely ever poultry though I did get some turkey breast marked down last week.
Erika R says
We do look out for marked down meats, every time we go grocery shopping, but we also do meatless menus at least twice a week. Pastas, fancy salads, mashed potatoes loaded with cheese & chives, veggies spiced with Mrs. Dash, and different kinds of breads are all a part of the menu. I thought my kids would get serious withdrawal in the beginning of the change, but I think my husband & I had more difficulty adjusting than they did. It has really made a difference in our grocery bill & it’s healthier for us & the planet!
DJ rim says
I buy my meat fresh from a local butcher therefor I avoid the markup from the middle man and the meat is all hormone free and no additives.
Rob Wagner says
We buy our meat by sharing a cow or pig with friends or family. We have a freezer full of meat for the year. We plan our meals accordingly. We also have deer meat ground with two parts pork and packaged in one pound wraps. Use it where you would use hamburger. Canning you own meat in a pressure canner puts poultry and beef on the pantry shelf for fast prep meals. Canning vegatables bought in season or from your garden saves lot so $ and have no additives. Plan your use for a year and can that much. When we go to FL to visit, we take a cooler and fill it with fresh seafood to bring back home. We pack it in meal size portions in seal a meal airtight and freeze. That gives us most of our sea food for six months to a year. We can save 80% on seafood by buying the fish pieces for about half of the cooler full. Tip-if you fly, hand carry your cooler. Airlines can loose your supply of seafood and by the time you get it back, it may be spoiled. All these practices require pre planning, bulk purchases, storage and extra effort, but will cut your food cost in half over the first couple years. After that the savings will be greater, since you can reuse much of your canning equipment.
Thanks for adding such great tips!