Meat is probably the single most expensive grocery item we buy. It can take a huge bite out our grocery budget.
If you attended any of our coupon classes you know we talk about how to save on meat. Yesterday I scored a great price on chicken breast tenders and it reminded me that we hadn't posted our meat buying tips in awhile.
Here's some things to remember when buying meat:
1. No matter which store you shop, by law, meat has be sold by a certain date after being put out for sale. When meat gets close to it's “sale by date” you'll find red “reduced for quick sale” stickers on the packs. That's the first thing I look for when I'm in the meat department. Even if the date on the pack is the day I'm there, I know that I can pop it in the freezer for use at a later date. Today I scored a $5.99 pack of chicken breast tenders for only $2.99!
2. Buy in bulk if you can. Typically the bigger the pack, the cheaper the price per pound. Take it home and divide it up into smaller bags and freeze.
3. Switch to a less expensive variety of meat. I just recently switched to ground turkey for all of my typically ground beef recipes. It's a lot less expensive and it's healthier. If you don't think you could completely switch over, do like CQ (Melissa) does and go 50-50. She buys ground beef along with ground turkey and mixes the two together. Not as cheap as going all turkey but less expensive and healthier than all beef.
4. Watch for after holiday sales – typically we will see great sales on meat such as tenderloins, ham, and turkey around holidays. Also, you'll get great prices after holidays when stores are trying to clearance out their overstocked meat. For example, after Thanksgiving, turkeys are rock bottom in price. Buy whole turkeys at pennies per pound, take them home and either freeze or cook, debone and then freeze.
5. Get the scoop at your store's meat department – do they have special days or times during the day that they slash prices on their meat. Will they cut larger (cheaper) pieces of meat in to portions for you – most places will cut it and wrap it for FREE! That'll not only save you money but time. You can take the pre-cut portions home and pop them in the freezer – how easy it that!