Learn how you can save money by cutting your meat bill, by applying a few simple tricks.
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?
Here are some simple tips to help you save money on meat — and lower your grocery bill!
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON MEAT
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
Another trick to save money is to buy a whole chicken, and then 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. Eat less
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. Instead of filling up on meat, we fill up on veggies and sides instead!
4. Get more out of one meal
Another way we save money on meat is to make multiple meals from it. We will have 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 for use later on.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Don’t buy ground beef
Hear me out. I am not saying not to buy it, but rather than buy it already ground, pick up a roast that is on sale! The butcher can grind it for you, and you can pay less per pound.
8. Shop early
Whenever there is meat still on the shelf from the day before, your grocery store will often discount it. They need to clear it out so they have room for the fresh cuts for that day.
Many stores will discount yesterday’s meat products early in the morning. If you time it right, you can still get quality meat – at a lower price!
9. Know the price per pound
This is probably the best trick to helping you save money on meat. Watch the price per pound!
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!
10. Shop at the right place
Check your local stores to learn who has the best deal. You may also want to consider shopping at Aldi instead – as you can often find better deals on beef and chicken.
One of my favorite resources for chicken for our family is Zaycon. It is a bit unconventional as you pick it up in your vehicle, but I get such great deals on our chicken breasts that it makes it so worth it! Read more about Zaycon and how to get this where you live.
11. Make it go further
One simple tip help you save money on meat is to make it go further. Instead of purchasing larger packages, pick up smaller, less expensive ones instead. Then, add a fillers, such as breadcrumbs or oatmeal to make it go further.
12. Use coupons
While rare, there are coupons for meat! You can find printable versions through some retailers such as Tyson, Hormel, etc. One of the best resources to find these coupons is the Coupon Database.
You can search through literally thousands of coupons to find the one you need. Enter the product or brand you need into the search and if there is a coupon available – you’ll quickly find it!
13. Stock up during the holidays
Each holiday season, stores will often put popular cuts and products on sale. For instance, when it is near Easter, may stores will offer great deals on ham.
Even if you don’t need the product at that time, stock up while the prices are low. The holidays to watch include: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th and Memorial Day.
14. Check apps
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 than you ever needed to. If you are willing to embrace a change, it really can make a difference.