These insanely easy ways to save money on meat purchases will totally revamp your grocery budget. If your family happens to be meat eaters, it can really be tough to manage staying in budget. These tips will help you to not only keep feeding them hearty meals they love, but will keep you from spending all of your money just on meat and not being able to buy other ingredients.
7 Insanely Easy Ways To Save Money On Meat Purchases
Buy direct from the farm. If you have heard people mention buying a side of beef, then you understand what this means. Find a local farm that raises beef, pork, or chickens and you may be able to purchase in bulk or even smaller pieces for a lower per pound rate than you can in-store. If you can’t afford or don’t think you can use a large amount quickly enough, you can easily split with a local friend or family member. Instead of paying a higher rate for specific cuts, you pay one flat rate per pound and can split that meat up into ground beef, steaks, ribs, roasts, and more.
Stock up during seasonal sales. Many people forget to watch for great deals on meats during seasonal sales. Invest in a food saver to make the meat last longer safely in the freezer. Watch for the best deals on hamburger, chicken, and steaks from May through September during prime grilling season. Whole turkeys, turkey breasts, and lamb from October through December. Hams and lamb are at their best prices in March and April. You can easily save money on meat just by stocking up during the season.
Use cheaper cuts of meat in the appropriate recipes. There are so many ways to save money on meat simply by changing the type of meat you buy. Instead of using boneless skinless chicken breasts, use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Instead of buying cut apart bone-in chicken, buy the fryer and cut it up yourself. For roasts and tougher cuts of meat, slow cook them to tenderize then shred for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, and more. Lower end cuts of steak can be just as tender when you marinade, pound them out and tenderize before cooking.
Bulk up recipes with beans, vegetables, and grains instead of meats. The easiest way to save money on meat purchases is to not eat as much meat, but how can you do that without having a ton of complaints at the dinner table? One great way to do that is to add things like beans, vegetables, or grains to stretch a meal farther. Favorite ways to do this are to add refried beans to ground meat for tacos. Add half your usual amount of ground meat to chili and replace the other half with 2-3 cups cooked pinto or kidney beans. Soups, stews, and even spaghetti can all find bulk with extra vegetables like squash and zucchini, or even a bit of rice.
Raise your own. Those that live in a suburban or rural area that allows you to do so, raising chickens is a great way to provide your family with both eggs and chicken for the table. If you have enough property you can easily raise a calf to butcher, or a pig. If your children have a 4H club at school, this can also be great high school credits for them to assist you with.
Buy managers specials. My favorite way to save money on meat is through the manager’s specials! There is always an area near the grocery store butcher with marked down meat. These items typically have a sell-by date that is that day or the next. There will often be great cuts of meat at amazing prices in this area. You need not fear it is spoiled, but it should be used rather fast. When you find these deals, bring them home and immediately prepare them. You can cook the meat, cool it and freeze it for use later. A pound of ground meat can be sautéed, drained and frozen then added to a batch of spaghetti or tacos a week later. While you can add these straight to the freezer, it is easier to simply cook in advance.
Buy in bulk from Zaycon. This one is something that I recently learned of and totally fell in love with for one specific item. Zaycon Foods is a program that allows you to buy many varieties of meat products in bulk. They carry ground meat, steaks, pork, sausages, bacon, hot dogs, and my favorite boneless skinless chicken breasts. Their average price on these antibiotic and hormone-free chicken breasts is around $1.89 per pound. This is easily $2-$3 cheaper than the local grocery store. You have to buy in 40-pound boxes, so you would need to separate and store in the freezer or batch cook all in one day. If you are uncertain about buying that large a quantity, you can easily go in with friends or family and split a case. Most of their meats are a decently cheaper price than chain grocers and many local butchers.
These insanely easy ways to save money on meat purchases are what keep our family well-fed on a limited budget. Just because you have a family of meat-eaters doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars a month to satisfy their food cravings.