Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Savings: Meat

I live with three "meat and potatoes" guys. They can tear into steaks like nobody's business. Unfortunately, I don't have a steak budget. Here are a few things I do to save money in the meat department and feed my hungry men.

Mix Ground Beef with Turkey. If you really want to stretch your budget, buy ground chuck on sale and combine it with twice as much ground turkey. When browning I typically add in onion soup mix to enhance the flavor. If you combine 2 pounds of chuck with 4 pounds of turkey, you have 6 pounds of meat for spaghetti sauces, tacos, chili, sloppy joes, nachos, whatever. Usually for less than $6.00.

Take advantage of Bulk Meat Sales. Our grocery store has mega meat sales about twice a year. Even though some of the meats are sold in larger packages than I would normally buy, I bring everything and repackage it to sizes that are more appropriate for our family.

Don't forget eggs as a protein! Sometimes when we are thinking about adding protein to our meals we forget eggs. Boiling eggs to chop on top of your salad or simply snack on can be a great way to get protein on days that you are going "meatless".

Ask about "cheap meat" days. Ask your meat manager when their "markdown" days are for your grocery store. At our local Wal-Mart, Monday is the day to find meat on sale.

Know your deli cut off time. Every deli has a markdown time. Ask your deli and see what they do. At our local deli, everything in the hot case is 50% off after 7:00.

Meat Free Night. Try having a meat free night every week. I didn't even mention to my three guys that I was going to do this. I just started it. Our meat free night is usually something simple: pasta, salad, soup and grilled cheese.

Make your sales flyer work for you. This past week hamburger was on sale. I used my almost my entire meat budget to stock up on hamburger. Now my freezer is loaded with spaghetti sauces, taco meat, tater tot casserole and many others. I try cooking around the sales which means on Wednesdays when the flyers come out, I plan my meals. On Thursdays, I shop.

Special Deals. One of our grocery stores offers a 5 for $19.99 special on meat. This is a mix and match on all types of meat which is great. I keep track of what they have available through this special.

Next Day Sandwiches. Just about any meat we have for supper is fair game for sandwiches the next day. I don't think any sandwich shop will ever top some of the interesting and delicious sandwiches we have created with leftover supper meat.

Ham. Ham is always on sale around the holidays. Buy a really large one, cook it and then divide it into family portions.

When Looking for Meat:
Chicken: Cut up your own, it's easy, and you can use every part, including the neck, giblets and fat for soup stock.
Pork: Use less expensive cuts; sirloin chops are a good value and tender, pork steak has a trillion uses, you can even learn how to roll your own pork roast.
Beef: Buy the tube hamburger instead of the store ground. Tube hamburger is produced in ultra sanitary conditions, has better flavor, and it's cheaper.
Tip #1: Don't buy 'thin cut' , 'tenderized', 'butterfly' or other such refined cutting methods, they charge 30 cents or more to process what you can do yourself.
Tip #2: Want a great steak cheap? Find 'Chuck Eye Steak' at your grocer. This is a cut next to the ribeye. It doesn't look at pretty, but it is just as good, very tender, and great on the grill!
Now your turn! Tell me how you save money on your meat purchases!


Melissa B. said...

Good morning, Friend! Thanks for the tips. I've got a Bloggy Award for you over at my place. Please stop by!

The Ainsworth Family said...

i read your blog through suzanne barnett. thanks for the tips on meat. we eat lots of ground turkey and that is so expensive. i will have to try your tips. thanks, again. alison ainsworth

Deanna said...

Melissa - Thanks! Be by soon!

Alison - Welcome! Hope you will feel welcome anytime. There is always sweet tea in the fridge!

Deanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Veggie Mom said...

The Wild One went on a "vegetarian" kick for 4 months last year, and Hubs and I played along. Not only did we feel better, but we lost weight and saved money, too! Since then, I make sure to prepare a "meat-free" meal at least 2x a week!

Buzzard Roost Babe said...

I buy the 93% lean hamburger meat from Walmart. I by it in the tube too. It saves a little money! I had not thought of trying the ground turkey. That is much better for you. I will mix them together next time I purchase. I by on sale too. 3 sons to feed.

We eat 3 full meals a week and have left over Friday's and Breakfast Wednesdays at night. My boys are in school during the day and I usually cut coupons for my husbands lunches for work.

Buzzard Roost Babe said...

Thanks for the info. I will pay more attention to when I by now. I am a coupon Junkie. If you have a Freds in your town. They have double coupon Saturdays. You get up to a buck to double. I have bought many things like washing detergent,shampoo, tylenol , and other thing for 10 cents and sometimes free! This store is not as crazy as Walmart on a Saturday! We have a fixed buget so you have helped me a lot. Thanks

Conservative Belle said...

These are great ideas! Thanks.

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

I always look for meat sales... but thanks for the turkey idea... great information

Carrie said...

The Chuck-eye is intriguing, as I am a Rib-eye ONLY sort of girl!! Thanks!!

* TONYA * said...

I try doing meat free nights occasionally, just b/c I do love some vegetarian dishes. My boys kinda push the fork through there food and look at me as if to say, umm, where's the rest of it LOL.

I really need to look into other places to purchase meat in bulk. I purchase a lot of our meat at the military commissary b/c it's cheaper but I know there must be another way.