One question we get asked frequently is “How can I save money on meat?”
Meat is one of the most expensive items we buy at the grocery store and coupons for meat are rare. But you can save money on meat and never pay full price for it again!
One suggestion I didn’t make here was to eat one VEGETARIAN meal a week. And we do that too! But this article is more specifically about how to save money on the MEAT you buy 😉
Here are some tips to help feed your family meat for less:
1. Stock Up When Meat Is Simply On Sale
This is no different than any other product. Meat goes on sale all the time. It has a clear “cycle” when it hits it’s lowest price. At that time you need to go ahead and stock up! Buy as much as your weekly budget will allow and put it in your freezer. Most meats will keep in the freezer for 6 months.
When you start paying attention to the prices of meats (or make a simple Price Guide for your family), you’ll notice that
2. Buy Holiday Meats
Ham at Easter, Hot Dogs for 4th of July, Turkey at Thanksgiving. Throughout the year certain meats go on sale around holidays.
At that time, buy extra and take advantage of the low prices. Who says you can’t bake a turkey in July? Turkey Sandwiches work any time of the year. You can also get multiple meals out of large pieces of meat like turkey and ham.
3. Ask the Meat Department Manager
Each grocery store varies on the day they receive shipments of meat.
They usually discount their in-stock meat the day before to clear out the space for the new stock coming in. Ask a meat manager what day they mark down their meat. One store near me marks down on Tuesdays while another marks down on Wednesday. Good to know!
4. Buy in Bulk
Warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club have cheap meat.
The best way to save is to watch prices on the meat your family buys and then watch for the lowest price per pound and stock up when you see it go to that low price (approximately every 6-8 weeks).
5. Add Bulk to Recipes
Mix in beans, rice or oatmeal to bulk up your meatloaf or burgers. Your family won’t taste the difference, and you’ll be packing in extra nutrients, too.
6. Use Meat as an Accent
Instead of meat being the star of the meal, make a pasta dish or salad and add the meat as a topping. Think spaghetti and meatballs, or make a veggie casserole and a starch, then meat is the “highlight” of the meal sharing the stage (or plate) with the veggie dishes.
7. Slice Thin (Like Super Thin)
Have the deli shave instead of slice your meats. When you stack it up (folding it first), it looks like more volume. Add lettuce, tomato onions, etc. to bulk up your sandwich. Again, you’ll be adding more veggies to your diet!
8. Buy Frozen Meats
Don’t forget the freezer case when shopping for meats! Did you know that most of the “fresh seafood” in the meat department is the same as in the freezer case? They simply open a bag and thaw it for you. You can save a lot of money by thawing your own seafood. Frozen bagged fish goes on sale almost every week. You can also get frozen chicken breasts and wings all the time on sale. Do your own defrosting and save your wallet!
9. Try Canned Meat
You might not like it straight out of the can, but canned meat is great in casseroles and other recipes. You can get chicken, tuna, clams, salmon and more. Plus, having canned meat on hand when you forget to thaw something out for dinner can save you the extra expense of ordering out. It is also a good product to have in your Emergency Kit in case a hurricane strikes.
10. Get Creative with Leftovers
Keep a resealable plastic bag in your freezer for leftover chicken, pork and beef. If you have a leftover piece of chicken, cut or shred it and add to the “chicken” bag. Do the same with leftover pork chops or steak. When the bag is full enough for a meal you can make a casserole, top a salad or add a sauce (like adding barbecue sauce to the pork) and have hearty sandwiches for a quick dinner. One thing I made that the kids LOVED was to take Pillsbury canned rolls, roll them flat, stuff them with cheese and the leftover meat. Then bake according to the roll directions and serve. No one ever new it was actually a “creative leftover”!
What creative ways do you save on Meat?
Comment below and let us know!
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