One question we get asked frequently is “How can I save money on meat?”
Meat is one of the most expensive items we buy at the grocery store and coupons for meat are rare. But you can save money on meat and never pay full price for it again!
Because saving doesn’t happen by itself.
I think of saving on meat like a treasure hunt. What deal can I find? And what meal can I make out of it?
That’s one way I make grocery shopping fun because we all know it can be a little a bore at times. And stressful the rest of the time.
And if I haven’t had enough coffee my budget better watch out! So let’s save more on meat so we can caffeinate to think through saving more on meat! It’s just a win-win cycle of caffeinating, thinking and then saving!
One suggestion I didn’t make here was to eat one VEGETARIAN meal a week. And we do that too! But this is more specifically about how to save money on the MEAT you buy. 😉
Here are some tips to help feed your family meat for less!
1. Stock Up When Meat Is Simply On Sale
This is no different than any other product. Meat goes on sale all the time so it’s easy to save money on meat. It has a clear “cycle” when it hits the lowest price. At that time you need to go ahead and stock up! Buy as much as your weekly budget will allow and put it in your freezer. Most meats will keep in the freezer for 6 months so it’s a great way to save money on meat.
When you start paying attention to the prices of meats (or make a simple Price Guide for your family), you’ll notice that.
2. Buy Holiday Meats
Ham at Easter, Hot Dogs for 4th of July, Turkey at Thanksgiving. Throughout the year certain meats go on sale around holidays.
At that time, buy extra and take advantage of the low prices to save money on meat. Who says you can’t bake a turkey in July? Turkey Sandwiches work at any time of the year. You can also get multiple meals out of large pieces of meat like turkey and ham which is a great way to save money on meat.
3. Ask the Meat Department Manager
Each grocery store varies on the day they receive shipments of meat.
They usually discount their in-stock meat the day before to clear out space for the new stock coming in. Ask a meat manager what day they mark down their meat. One store near me marks down on Tuesdays while another marks down on Wednesday. Good to know when you want to save money on meat!
Don’t need a huge pack but that’s all that left in the case? The meat department is there to help, just ask so you can save money on meat. Plus your local Publix meat cutter can cut up a roast repackage any meat you need to your specifications. Just ask!
4. Buy in Bulk
Warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club have cheap meat.
The best way to save money on meat is to watch prices on the meat your family buys and then watch for the lowest price per pound and stock up when you see it go to that low price (approximately every 6-8 weeks).
5. Add Bulk to Recipes
A great way to save money on meat is to mix in beans, rice or oatmeal to bulk up your meatloaf or burgers. Your family won’t taste the difference, and you’ll be packing in extra nutrients, too.
6. Use Meat as an Accent
Instead of meat being the star of the meal, make a pasta dish or salad and add the meat as a topping. Think spaghetti and meatballs, or make a veggie casserole and starch, then the meat is the “highlight” of the meal sharing the stage (or plate) with the veggie dishes. This is a huge way to save money on meat because you won’t be using as much of it.
7. Slice Thin (Like Super Thin)
A great way to save money on meat is to have the deli shave instead of slice your meats. When you stack it up (folding it first), it looks like more volume. Add lettuce, tomato onions, etc. to bulk up your sandwich. Again, you’ll be adding more veggies to your diet and saving more on meat!
8. Buy Frozen Meats
Don’t forget the freezer case when shopping for meats! Did you know that most of the “fresh seafood” in the meat department is the same as in the freezer case? They simply open a bag and thaw it for you. You can save money on meat by thawing your own seafood. Frozen bagged fish goes on sale almost every week. You can also get frozen chicken breasts and wings all the time on sale. Do your own defrosting and save your wallet!
Don’t forget to use coupons! Check the database for coupons to match sales and deals!
9. Try Canned Meat
You might not like it straight out of the can, but canned meat is great in casseroles and other recipes and is one great way to save money on meat. You can get chicken, tuna, clams, salmon and more. Plus, having canned meat on hand when you forget to thaw something out for dinner can save you the extra expense of ordering out. It is also a good product to have in your Emergency Kit in case a hurricane strikes.
Find out the other items to Stockpile for an Emergency!
10. Get Creative with Leftovers
Keep a resealable plastic bag in your freezer for leftover chicken, pork and beef. If you have a leftover piece of chicken, cut or shred it and add to the “chicken” bag. Do the same with leftover pork chops or steak. When the bag is full enough for a meal you can make a casserole, top a salad or add a sauce (like adding barbecue sauce to the pork) and have hearty sandwiches for a quick dinner. One thing I made that the kids LOVED was to take Pillsbury canned rolls, roll them flat, stuff them with cheese and the leftover meat. Then bake according to the roll directions and serve. No one ever knew it was actually a “creative leftover”!
So as you can see there are many ways to save money on meat. I keep a lookout at my local stores for the meat I buy so I can stock up on my favorite meats. And since I save money on meat, I can caffeinate more to focus in on those good meat deals, because those deals are not going to find themselves!