How To Save Money On Meat At The Grocery Store
Having 4 kids, 3 of which were boys – our grocery bill was rather large before I figured out how to take charge of it instead of it running our lives.
The biggest portion of that cost went to meat, and even after I changed the way I shopped and saved, it pretty much meant I saved on other things so we could afford the cost of meat.
I have never been a beans and rice eater so cutting meat out of my diet, much less trying to take it from my kids wasn’t an option for our family. But, there are plenty of ways to save on meat, trust me.
When it comes to purchasing your weekly grocery needs, it’s important to have a budget so you don’t overspend. But if there’s one item on your list that can eat up your budget in a heartbeat, it would definitely be meat.
Even though meat can be expensive, it’s a vital part of every meal in most homes. This is why so many households are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption. The only solution to this would be a complete lifestyle change to cut this expense out of the budget or at least lower it.
Of course, this isn’t a feasible solution for everyone. After all, people have varying opinions on an entire lifestyle change and erasing meat from the entire family’s diet can be a controversial issue, to say the least.
That’s why I decided to share some tips on how you can save money when you’re buying meat.
Here are some tips on how to save money on meat:
Make The Most Out Of One Meal
One of the easiest ways you can save money on meat is to make sure that you consume every little bit and nothing goes to waste. This means that you need to eat the leftovers from previous meals you can even make them into another meal so no one realizes they are leftovers.
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Grind Your Own Meat
Instead of buying ground beef, you can get chuck roast and grind it at home if you have the right tools for this. Another option is to have your butcher grind it up for you at a cheaper price.
It’s even best if you can buy a chuck roast that’s on sale. Not only will you be able to save on cost, you also get to make sure that the ground beef does not include other ingredients like fillers.
Befriend The Butcher
Another way I would save on lunch meat was to grab a canned ham from the shelf and take it to the butcher and have it cut very thin as lunchmeat and it always turned out cheaper and lasted longer.
The butcher is your friend, you can have them give you ideas for how to cook a specific cut of meat and have them cut meat like I mentioned before to save you money.
Make good friends with them and they’ll even tell you when a sale is coming or when they regularly mark down items so you can stretch your dollar even further.
Stretch It Out
Not physically though. You can make your food go further by adding fillers to it. Of course, it’s important that you choose healthy fillers so you can have a nutritious meal.
Some ideas include breadcrumbs, oatmeal, carrots, or even potatoes. By adding these to your meat, you can make a filling dish without the need for too much meat. I know my kids loved Shepherd’s Pie and it was so filling they ate way less on those nights than others, so I kept it on the rotation. Plus, it’s a one dish meal which makes for easy clean-up.
Go For Cheaper Cuts Of Meat
Instead of picking out the pricier prime cuts, you can get more affordable options. You won’t taste the difference once they’re cooked. You just need to know how to marinate, tenderize, or even braise these so they taste as good or better than the premium options.
Shop During A Sale
Another way you can save when you’re buying meat is to buy when it’s are on sale. Make sure to use or freeze it before the date on the package so that you won’t end up throwing it out.
Have A Meatless Meal
Give yourself a challenge by coming up with a meatless meal. This will allow you to reduce the amount of meat you need to purchase each week. And when you’ve gotten the hang of it, maybe you can go meatless twice a week. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save by doing this.
Make Sure To Shop Early
Most grocery stores offer a discount on unsold meat from the previous days. They do this to make sure that the meat they sell is fresh when it’s sold. To make room for the new meat, they sell the previous stock at a discount.
Get The Ends
Did you know that people typically avoid buying the end cuts of meat? That’s because these have an odd shape compared to the other cuts. But if you want to save on meat and you’re not too particular about how they look, you can buy the ends.
Trim It Yourself
Another way grocery stores make money is to pre-trim certain cuts of meat. Then they can cahrge more – it’s kinda like when they cut up onions or celery and charge you a higher price for doing the work.
If you need meat to be cut into tenderloin or to have something butterflied, you can do it yourself. It’s a simple way to save money for just a few extra minutes of your time.
It may seem challenging, but there’s a YouTube video for everything. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be an expert in no time!
Buy During The Holidays
During the holiday season, grocery stores often price meat at their lowest. This is the perfect time to fill up your freezer with turkey and ham. You can even wait a week after the holiday so you can buy these items at an even cheaper price.
Don’t Forget To Explore
It’s important that you do your research when you’re shopping for meat. Since butcher shops, meat markets, or farmers have different prices on these, you’ll have to make sure that you choose the best option for your family.
Best Place To Buy Meat
I have been asked several times over the years: Where is the best place to buy meat? I think it depends on your area and situation. Check with local meat markets and do the math on 1/2 a cow or a pig. Talk to friends and see if they’d like to go in with you on the cost.
A lot of people would love to do it, but they don’t need that much themselves, however if a few families got together and split the cost and the meat, it could work out well.
But you don’t have to use a meat market, if you know the best days and times to purchase at your local grocery store – then you can find great buys regularly.
We always buy from the “cheap meat section” at our store – we know what days and times they fill that area up and we make sure to drop by as close to that time and day as we can and we stock up.
Depending on your area and your needs – the best place to buy meat could be the meat market or your local grocery store. Do the math and figure out which works best for you.
One of the best ways to save on meat and make the most of your grocery budget is to have a plan and to stick with it. Over time you’ll see a big reduction in the time, effort, cost, and stress of meals.
Above all else I cannot stress enough how important a meal plan is. It’s even helpful to have it where the whole family can see it and know what’s up.. Then you don’t have to answer the same question six times a day – “What’s for dinner?”.
Remember to keep your options open when you’re shopping for meat. This is the best way you can save on the costs involved.