I ran into a massive sale on chicken and pork at my local Save-a-Lot yesterday, and I’m not ashamed to say that I was all sorts of excited! I’m talking boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.39 per pounds, huge pork loins for around $15, bacon for $1.49, and Italian rope sausage for less than a buck! I haven’t seen prices like this in forever, so I bought my limit of everything they had to offer. Chances are, I’ll probably end up heading back tomorrow and pray that there’s still some left.
We are a very carnivorous household and going meatless just isn’t in the card for us, even if it is just for one night a week. I think if I tried to institute a Meatless Monday at my house, there might be a cannibalistic uprising.
It wouldn’t be pretty.
To keep the little carnivores calm, I’m always looking to save money on meat. And with a few easy tips and tricks, you might find that it’s not altogether impossible to save money on meat without going vegetarian!
As you probably already know, some stores are more expensive than others. For instance, the Save-a-Lot in my area has the best meat prices by far, so it’s easier to save money on meat there. Do a little legwork and compare the prices of meat at your local stores. Not all meat prices will be advertised in the weekly fliers.
Check Sale Prices
Even the most expensive stores will put meat on sale from time to time. Some weeks you might find that the most expensive store in your area has an amazing deal on meat. Don’t forget to check those weekly ads!
Know Prices Per Pound
If you’re looking to save money on meat, it really helps to know the average price per pound on different cuts of meat. For instance, I rarely see boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 per pound, so I knew to snap up lots of it yesterday! Record prices per pound in a grocery price book, so you can refer to it and see if that meat sale really is a good deal.
Use Word of Mouth
One of the best ways to save money on meat in my town is through word of mouth. Not all sales are advertised in the weekly ads, so you may find some great deals just by asking your friends and family members to keep an eye out for you.
Ask About Markdowns
Many stores do mark down older meat to get rid of it quickly. This meat is still safe to eat or freeze, but to avoid spoilage, stores will offer it at a big discount. Ask the butcher or meat department employees if an when they mark down meat.
Buy in Bulk
Save money on meat by buying the biggest pack you can. Meat prices are almost always lower per pound the larger the package is. Many stores will also cut large roasts, loins, or other hunks of meat for free, and all you need to do is package it in freezer bags when you get home.
Stock Up On Deals
When you find an awesome deal on meat, don’t just buy a little. Buy as much as you can afford and your freezer will hold. (Just remember to leave some for other deal hunters!) We have a second freezer, so this makes stocking up on meat much easier!
Learn to Work Cheap Cuts
Cheaper cuts of meat are usually much cheaper than premium cuts. Unfortunately, they can also be tougher or more difficult to cook properly. By learning a few recipes or cooking methods for these cheaper cuts, you can save money on meat and expand your weekly menu!
Use Less in Meals
You don’t have to omit the meat from dishes completely to save money on meat. You can use less in a recipe and still save. For instance, everyone in my family is probably capable of eating an entire chicken breast for dinner, but that doesn’t mean they have to or should. You can also usually get away with making smaller burgers, using 3/4 of a pound of ground beef, and cutting large steaks in half.
Don’t let uneaten meat go to waste! If you’re really looking for ways to save on meat, make sure you use your leftover meat and poultry. Leftover chicken for chicken salad, leftover steak and roast for fajitas, leftover pork roast for Philly pork and cheese sandwiches – you name it, and I’ve probably done it! You can also save random meat scraps in the freezer and make a stew or casserole when you have enough.
What are some ways you save money on meat?