If you’re looking to stretch your budget by saving money at the grocery store, there are many things you can do. With sales and couponing, it is possible to save a lot on many items you frequently purchase off the shelves. If you’ve tried to cut back your grocery budget, you’ve probably found that the hardest places to save are on perishables like fruits, vegetables and meat. There are often coupons for cereal or chips, but hardly any for these healthy and essential foods. Buying meat is probably where you spend the most for any one meal, so it’s a great idea to try to reduce your spending there if possible. Do you have to go vegetarian? No! It is possible to save on your meat, and here are some suggestions to help you do so.
The best ways to save money on meat require you to have some extra freezer space. If you’re going to start making an effort to greatly reduce what you spend on meat, it might be a good idea to buy an extra freezer to store it. Freezers are relatively inexpensive, and it won’t take long before your savings add up and cover the cost, anyway. Get an extra freezer so that you have room to take advantage of deals when you find them. Here is a list of what food you can freeze.
Look for Markdowns
One of the easiest saving tips is to buy meat once it has been marked down at the grocery store. Most stores will mark down the price of their meats when they are close to their sell-by dates. Simply ask the butcher when the meat is marked down. It might be the same day every week, so do your shopping then. Look for marked-down prices, and stock up. Just immediately freeze the meat, and you don’t have to worry about it going bad for many months. The reason you can get such good deals on marked down meat is that if no one buys it before it goes bad, the store will lose money, so they try to lower prices to clear their shelves.
Try out different cuts of meat that are less expensive than the ones you usually buy. You just might like them. Tenderize chuck-eye steaks yourself, for example. Try a picnic (shoulder) ham. Look up recipes online, and there are many ways you can cook different cuts to make them just as delicious as what you’d normally buy.
Cut It Yourself
If you’re willing to cut your own meats, you can save a lot. For example, buy a pork loin roast, then simply cut it in slices for your own pork chops. Separate into different bags and freeze. You can grind a chuck roast to make your own ground beef. You can even ask a butcher to do the cutting for you.
Buy in Bulk
If you buy larger packages of meat, you will pay less per pound. If you don’t need to use the entire package right away or with a few days, just cut or divide it up into smaller portions, bag, label, and freeze for next time.
A great way to save money on meat is to never waste any! If you cook something for dinner and have leftovers, see if you can repurpose it for another dinner or lunch. For example, use leftovers to make stews or salads. If you can stretch the number of meals you get out of your meat, you will be getting an even better value. There are many ways to waste your money so avoid them at all costs.
If instead of grocery shopping your approach to eating is dining out you can learn about savings while dining out as an alternative to cooking at home, often for a single person or a couple it makes the most sense to eat out in lieu of stocking up since most cuts of meat are designed to feed at least four people.