If you take a look at your grocery budget, one of the biggest expenses is often meat. It is just so pricey – but we need it (or really want it).
While in a perfect world we would just eliminate meat from our diets, that just isn’t possible for many. What are you to do when it comes to this costly food item? We’ve got SIX great tips below. Using these will help you lower your grocery bill.
1. Freeze It. When your store runs a special on chicken, pork or beef, buy more than you need and freeze it. One way to save more may mean that you purchase the products in a larger package.
Just break it out into more manageable sizes when you get home from the store and then freeze it. Not only will you pay less per pound, but your meat will be in the perfect size portions for your meals!
2. Watch What You Buy. Buy an entire chicken and cut it up yourself. It costs less than the prepared packages of cutlets or breasts. You pay more as you are paying for the butcher to prepare it for you. Buy purchasing an entire chicken, you will pay much less — just by doing the slicing yourself!
3. Extend the Life. With three young kids it is simple for me to do this. When we prepare chicken breasts for dinner, I will often have one for all three kids and then I eat only half of one myself. That leaves another half for my husband and then we fill up on the veggies and sides. Just by consuming less, we are able to stretch our budget for meat.
Another way we do this is to freeze or re-use left over meat. We make a roast on Sunday and then save the left overs and in a couple of days, we often have beef tips on rice. Save the broth from one meal and freeze it. You can use it later on.
4. Buy a pig or cow. We’ve purchased 1/2 of a beef in the past. It was a lot of money up front, but what was great is that we locked in the same price per pound. That same 1/2 lasted us more than two years! We had steaks, roasts, ground beef – right in the freezer. As we watched the news share the rising costs of beef, our family didn’t have to be concerned with that as we already had a nice stock pile in our freezer.
5. Skip the meat. If you serve more meals which do not include meat, you can actually reduce the amount you have to purchase each week. Start out by trying to swap one meal for one that does not include meat. Try to work up from there to at least twice week and you’ll notice some great savings at the store.
6. Know the price per pound. Smart savers watch prices. You can use a price book and track the price per pound at your favorite stores. You will start to learn when something is a deal, as well as the sales cycles (so you can stock up when you find that deal).
This may also allow you find better deals when you buy in bulk. Just freeze it (as mentioned in #1 above) so it does not go bad before your family has a chance to eat it!
BONUS TIP! I’ve got one final tip to share with you. Stick with stores such as Aldi and you may find that the price is much lower. Our family just recently started purchasing chicken breasts through them and not only are they less expensive – they are SO much more tender and juicy than our local grocery store!
When you make a change to your spending (and dining) routine, it can seem tough at first. However, taking small baby steps can make it manageable. Before you know it, your new way becomes normal and you will wonder why you were spending so much more then you ever needed to. If you are willing to embrace a change, it really can make a difference.