Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Q& A

This kid is known as a "MEATatrian" at our house!

I have been getting so many emails, calls, texts or conversations about saving money...beyond couponing. While I feel that couponing is a great way to get free items, I also know that it is not the ONLY way to save money. So I am going to answer a question from my friend Tiffany about meat.

Her question, "How doI know if I am getting a good price on meat? How can I save money on meat?'

 Having 5 kids who have huge appetites, not to mention my husband who is a steak & potato kind of a guy, I have dealt with this issue! This is a big question that a lot of people have. So here are a few things that might help...

1.) The front of your store ads, have what are called "loss leaders". This means that they mark these way down, to get you in the store. They are willing to take a hit on certain items to get you in, knowing that while you are there, you will probably buy a lot of other things to make up the difference. Don't do it. Just get what you came for.

2) Buy a cheaper cut of meat. I know, I know. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are healthiest for you. But 1)they tend to be a bit drier than other cuts. Our family uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs. These ar much cheaper and the meat always turns out well. Tougher cuts of meat (roasts, steaks etc) can become tender and juicy when cooked low and slow in a crock pot!

3.) I know for a fact that Tiffany's husband is a big meat eater, and so he might not like this idea a couple of nights a week that are meat free. You could have pancakes (or other breakfast foods), you could make an omelet full of vegi's and have hashbrowns on the side, bean burritos, salads...there are tons of options. Soup and roll night. Pasta w/sauce...

last years very inexpensive Easter ham
Love me some 50% off stickers! Because that is a "store price" you can still use coupns on them!
4)  Plan, plan, plan your menu. Lets say you do all of your food shopping on Monday. Plan your meals accordingly. Then only buy what you will need for those meals. Don't buy 4 pkgs of chicken every week becaus that is what you always do. Maybe you only have 2 chicken meals planned for the week. Can you get by with only 2 pkgs?

5) Check the meat dept. for items that are discounted. I buy a lot of our meat when it is 50% off. Take it home and cook it immediatley, or freeze. Your freezer can be your best me I have 2 of them!

6) Remember to serve meals that can be stretched by cutting the meat up! Slice beef and/or chicken to use in fajitas, cut up pieces of chicken into stir fry, or on top of a salad.

7)During the holidays, hams & turkeys are on huge discounts. Buy as much as your freezer can hold. Cook it right away or freeze right away.

8) Can you get away with using a canned product? Tuna noodle casserole is cheap. So are tuna melts. Or you could use cans of chicken in casseroles.

9) Eggs. My husband loves eggs. You can add bits of meat to them if you want (ham, sausage, bacon etc) but the meat doesn't have to go as far. We make frittatas, omelets, scrambled eggs...

10) Coupons on fresh meat aren't always plentiful but they are there. Just keep your eye out. And if you are consistently saving money at the store...than splurge every once in a while!! Get that nice juicy steak or prime rib!

My rule of thumb when I buy meat
*buy loss leaders
*include cheaper meats in my menu for the week (sandwiches, or hot dogs..)
* only buy what you need for the week unless you find a killer sale
*In case of a killer sale, buy as much as your freezer and grocery budget will allow!
*I try never to pay more than $2 a lb for meat.
*If all else fails, buy just what you need at a warehouse club and divide as necessary.

What about you? How do you save money on meat?
Do you have any questions about how to save money at the grocery store? I would love to hear it and see how I can help! You can leave me a comment or email me at

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