With a family of five, which includes three kids who eat around the clock, grocery bills can be gigantic. We literally pay more each month in groceries than we do on our house payment, which means we are always looking for ways to save money when it comes to groceries. The price of meat keeps going up and buying meat takes up the majority of my grocery bill each week. Even with meat being so high there are ways to save money when it comes to buying meat. Here are some great ideas to help you save.
Or Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, or Thursdays, pick a day of the week and plan a meal without meat. Cutting out the meat from one meal a month can save you $30 to $40 each month, which can save you as much as $360 or more annually. My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy so planning a meal for him each week that doesn’t contain meat is a challenge. If you are a meat lover you can still eat meatless once a month. For inspiration on meatless meals for meat lovers check out 6 Meatless Meals for Meat Lovers from Fox News, 12 Meatless Dishes for Meat-lovers from The Atlantic, or 8 Meatless Dishes for Meat-n-Taters Lovers from Wise Bread.
Buy On Sale Meat
Stocking up on meat when it is on sale is the best way to save money on meats. I bring home the meats that are on sale, package them up into meal sized portions, and then plan my weekly menu around the meat that I already have in my freezer. By buying meat when it is on sale and planning my menu around it I can save as much as $1 to $2 per pound on meat. In early May before the beginning of grilling season you will find steaks and ground beef at their lowest prices of the year. In August you can take advantage of sales on winter meats like pork chops and roasts. Right around the Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect time to stock up on turkey, and never underestimate the power of having a turkey or two in your freezer. If something comes up and times get hard you can feed your entire family for a week off of just one turkey.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
While cheaper cuts of meats may be tougher you can make them fall apart tender by marinating it, or cooking it all day in a slow cooker. I like to buy whole Chuck Roasts, and slice them against the grain for use in fajitas, beef stew meat, or as beef tips. This has saved me as much as $2 per pound on beef stews meat.
Use Less Meat
I am not talking about using less meat in general but using less meat than a recipe calls for. For example, if a recipe calls for two pounds of ground beef, try using only a pound and a half. Another way to use less meat in recipes is to replace a portion of it with something else. You can use extra beans in chili or burritos, use black beans in hamburgers, or lentils in taco meat.
Give Meat a Supporting Role
Meat does not have to be the star attraction of your meal. Plan meals where meat is a welcome addition to your meal but not the main event. You can do this by making soups, casseroles, or other dishes where meat is added into the meal and not the main ingredient.
Cut Your Own Meats
Purchase larger cuts of meat like whole chickens or pork loins and cut the meat yourself. By purchasing them as a whole and uncut you can get them at a lower price.
Don’t Waste Leftovers
This sounds simple but leftovers can often go to waste because they go into the refrigerator after a meal only to get thrown away a week later. Don’t let this happen. You can make sure leftovers are used by eating them for lunch the next day, having a leftover night once a week, or using them in other recipes. This week we had some extra Bolognese sauce leftover, I used it to make lasagna and chili so that it did not get wasted. If you have just one serving or two of roast beef over it can be used in a beef stew.