If you eat meat, you’ve probably noticed the price per pound creeping up over the past few years. As meat prices continue to increase, trying to save on meat prices becomes essential. Otherwise, your grocery budget will go through the roof!
Here are five tried and true strategies for saving money when buying meat.
1. Eat Less Meat
Compared to vegetables, grains, and other sources of nutrients, meat has a high price point per pound. Reducing your meat consumption is an excellent way to keep your costs down.
Throw a Meatless Monday into your meal plan. Come up with some lunch options that use beans for protein instead of meat.
Even cutting your meat for just a couple of meals a week will save you money.
2. Don’t Use Meat as the Star
Serving everyone a large piece of meat is more expensive than using meat inside of dishes. With just a couple of chicken breasts sliced thinly you can make a meaty casserole to serve the entire family. That’ll take less meat than serving everyone a whole chicken breast.
Stop serving meat as the star of your meal. Use it instead as just an ingredient. Tuck it into casseroles, soups, and salads. The flavor will infuse throughout the whole dish and the other ingredients will help fill empty bellies.
3. Buy in Bulk
Per pound costs drop dramatically on meat when you buy in bulk. If you have the freezer space, consider buying a half or whole cow or pig directly from a farmer. You’ll cut out the middle man, and purchase your meat for a flat rate per pound. That means your steaks will cost the same as your hamburger.
If you can’t buy that much meat at once, still buy in bulk. A ten-pound pack of hamburger costs less per pound than a single pound. Buy large packages when you can, and break them down into appropriate sized portions.
4. Embrace Inexpensive Cuts
Inexpensive cuts of meat can cook up deliciously, though are usually less tender. They often require a long, slow cook, making them ideal for the Crockpot on busy days. Here are some beef cuts that are usually less expensive than others:
- Chuck steak
- Beef tongue (don’t get grossed out, it’s so good slow cooked and shredded for tacos!)
- Eye round steak
- Shoulder roast
If you learn how to cook these well, you’ll keep your meat bill lower than if you insist on using the premium cuts that everyone knows.
When it comes to poultry, use bone-in chicken instead of shelling out extra for boneless. Or save even more and purchase a whole chicken. For a little extra work, you can have all the meat plus the bones to make a delicious broth.
5. Use Canned Meat
Canned meat is an inexpensive alternative to fresh. The best part is, you can occasionally find coupons for canned meat, helping you to save even more.
You can make delicious salmon patties using canned salmon. Canned tuna can be turned into tuna salad, tuna casserole, or a homemade tuna helper style meal.
Share Your Favorite Inexpensive Meat Recipes
Meat doesn’t have to consume your entire grocery budget. With a little creativity and planning, you can save money. If you have a favorite recipe using an inexpensive cut of meat, or no meat at all, please share it with our readers over on the iRazoo Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!