Friday, March 30, 2007
Frugal Fridays: Save Money on Meat
It's Frugal Friday! Here's my tip:
As I've mentioned before, my husband is a meat guy. Not your typical meat and potatoes guy, just meat. And so, around here, a meatless meal is not appreciated much. But those of you who make it your aim to be frugal with the money the Lord has given you (a Biblical concept, stewardship, 1 Corinithians 4:2) know that meat is the most expensive part of your meals. It eats up a lot of our grocery budget, actually. So how can you please the meat-loving hubby and still retain some resemblance of a budget? Here's some tips for fellow meat-lovers:
Buy whole chickens and boil/crockpot them until done, de-bone the meat, and freeze in meal-sized portions in freezer bags. Shredded chicken is great for Mexican dishes, BBQ chicken sandwiches, casseroles, soups, chicken salad, and lots more. And it's very economical, at usually $.63 - $.79 a pound!
Buy in bulk when there is a good sale going on. For instance, Price Chopper is having a 4 day sale (ending Sunday) with boneless skinless chicken breasts and tenders at $1.33 a pound! This is an amazing price! If you have the freezer space, stock up. Potentially you could get enough to last you until the next sale, and then you won't have to spend the upwards of $2-$4/lb that you normally would.
Shop for manager's specials on meat that needs to be eaten soon or frozen. Two stores that mark down meat frequently are Dillons and Sam's Club. Dillons places orange stickers on the packages, and frequently the prices are 50% reduced or more! I have most often found these when I've shopped early in the morning (before 9 am) or after 9 pm. Sam's Club also uses orange stickers that read, "Reduced for Quick Sale." I have a business membership, so I typically shop at 9:30 am (regular hours start at 10 am). They always have lots of marked down meat when I'm there, so I'm sure there would still be some if you got there right when they open.
Process your meat when you get home from the grocery store. This tip has helped me a ton! Since I buy in bulk, my freezer is frequently so full I can barely shut it! :) When I get home from buying a lot of ground hamburger, whole chickens, etc...I usually put it all in crockpots (say, 5-6 lbs of hamburger/pot) and let it process on low all day. After you wash and drain it, divide into meal-sized portions. These usually take up less space in the freezer and are easier to stack. Plus, it gives me a head start on making dinner! I usually put a little less than a lb of hamburger in a freezer bag for our family of 4. This stretches the meat a little further, and we never notice the difference.
So these are my tips. What are yours?