Saving Time and Money on Meat
1. Find out what the cost of meat is in your area.
You may buy meat based on need rather than price. Then you probably are not paying attention to what the average price of meat is. I used to do this before I started watching prices and using coupons. If I needed say, hamburger, I did not pay attention to the cost per pound at all. Prices vary greatly depending on the area you live in, as do a number of other factors. It might be a good idea to keep track of the prices of meat in your area. That way you know if you are saving money or not.
2. Watch for Sales.
Once you start to know the going price for each meat (per pound) you can start watching for those sales and huge markdowns occasionally. When the price is low stock up and freeze meat. For example when hamburger is $1.99 a pound I know that is a good price around here to get it for. Generally in our area Wegman’s has on an every day basis, the cheapest meat prices. I personally have not checked into the local farmer’s market stores for prices of meat, but I have heard they are low too. When Meat is at a great price I buy a bunch of it, potion it, date it, and freeze it.
3. Different Cuts of Meat.
If you are really looking to save you may need to look into different cuts of meat to help cut cost. Steaks are usually 3 to 4 times the cost of less expensive cuts of meat like ground beef and roasts. Just like chicken thighs are cheaper than breasts, and roasts are cheaper than steaks.
4. Make your own Ground Meat.
Watch for low prices on roasts, ground pork, turkey, chicken, and other lean large pieces of meat invest in a meat grinder or Kitchen-Aid attachment and grind your own. I think you can even ask your butcher to grind it into hamburger for you.
5. Be on the look out for Markdowns.
Many grocery stores will have a small section in the meat department for meat markdowns. This is meat that’s getting close to it’s “use by” date. If that does not bother you, they are still perfectly fine and safe to eat. Make sure that the price of this marked down meat is a good enough price, because sometimes you can do better when it is on sale. If you are like me, and are not going to eat the meat within the next day or two, then portion it up and put it in the freezer for later use.
6. Know your Butcher.
Making friends with you butcher can really net you some good insider tips and deals on meat I am sure. I have not personally done this, but have known of others who have. (I’m too shy lol 🙂 ) I have also heard that some meat departments offer coupons!
7. Buy Whole or Half.
You may want to look into buying and freezing a whole or half of an animal. I personally have not done this, but I have heard that you can do this.
8. Buy in Season.
Produce is seasonal, but did you know meat is too? In the warmer weather you should be looking for deals on meats such as hamburger, ribs, chops and steaks. While in the cooler weather there will be better deals on roasts and larger cuts of meat that are perfect for those long cold days. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas look for deals on whole turkeys and hams. Lamb is cheaper in the spring. Chicken prices seem to go up and down throughout the year.
9. Use Coupons and Rebates.
Did you know there are coupons for meat out there? Meat coupons are rare, but they do exist! Be on the look out for these through out your stores. Often many brands issue coupons for you to save on meat-beef-poultry-seafood when you buy their brand. For example you may find a coupon for “Save $1.00 on meat when you buy A1 Steak Sauce”. I personally have one now! 🙂 I would wait until that brand is on sale and then use a coupon on the brand name item, and then you can then get that savings on your meat. Another way you can save money on meat is to use catalina coupons that are good off your next order. Last but not least, don’t forget mail in rebates! There are a lot of them offered by the wine and beer companies through out the year. In many states they do not require you to purchase the wine or beer! How sweet is that? I do these all year, and get back a lot of money! You can find these in your local supermarkets sometimes (if you are lucky) near the beer aisles.
10. Hunt and Fish.
Even if you are not a hunter you may know someone who is or can find someone local who is selling meat from hunting at a reasonable price. I’m sure saving money on meat during deer season is awesome! 😉