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Beat High Grocery Prices: Tips to Save Money on Meat

By (view all posts by FrugalForMyFriends)
at 3:52PM Friday September 24, 2010
under Shop Smarter

So, this is a question I've been researching for months. I don't have all the answers, but I have figured out some things. One important thing I've learned is to remember to plan your meals around your meat, not the other way around. Buy what is on sale and then use it. This will save you a ton of money instead of planning out your meals for the week and then buying what you need.
  1. Eat actual portion sizes of meat! Don't roll your eyes at this one, it is true! Stop "supersizing" your portion sizes--it will save you money and save your waistline. 

  2. Buy in bulk, if the deal is good. Always take a calculator with you to the grocery store to divide out the cost per ounce or per portion.  After a while, you'll be able to spot a good deal. If you can buy ground beef, steak or roast in bulk and break it down when you get home, a lot of times that will save you a good amount of money.

  3. Take advantage of a GOOD sale. Just because the store calls it a sale, doesn't mean it is. This is once again where it is good to keep a price book and have a calculator handy. A lot of times the grocery stores put out discount meat once a week. Find out when your local store does and stock up then. Meat can freeze well for upwards of six months when stored properly, so don't be afraid to stock up. But, only stock up on something you know will get used.

  4. Only buy lunch meat when it is on sale. Deli meat and lunch meat is a rip-off at full price! Take advantage of sales, coupons, and discounts and then freeze it if you don't need it right away. I thought we always needed to have lunch meat in the fridge, but the past four months I've gotten rid of that idea and some how I always manage to have a lunch packed for Eric. I thought sandwiches were a cheap and easy go-to lunch or dinner when time was short, but that is not true. When you add bread, cheese, meat, condiments and the chips that go along with it, having sandwiches for a meal adds up fast!

  5. Don't use that whole pound of meat! Think about the meals you make without using a recipe, do they all require a pound of meat? Can something else be substituted like more veggies, beans, pasta, breadcrumbs or oatmeal? I've found that it was easiest to just cook the whole pound because that is how it was packaged, but by splitting up a pound of meat between two meals you can save a lot of money!

  6. My money-saving quest has encouraged our family to do something I've always wanted to do and that is meatless Fridays! It is a great way to sacrifice something like during Lent--and it saves money too! Some of my go-to meatless meals have become pancakes and eggs, quesadillas, pasta bake, baked potato bar, tuna casserole, creamy tortellini, grilled cheese and soup, mac and cheese, nachos and pizza. That being said, some of those meals can be just as pricey so we only have those when the ingredients are on sale!

  7. Watch for sales on ham and turkey around the holidays. Before and after holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas those get down to rock-bottom prices. Buy a couple and freeze them!

Those are a few tips I've picked up along the way to help save on meat and in so doing, cut down my grocery shopping bills. Do you have any trick to help save money on meat?

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