Let’s face it: Meat is the biggest expense in most Americans’ grocery budget. Try these simple ways to slash the meat portion of your bill without depriving your family!
16 Ways to Save Money On Meat
- Try using 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 the amount of meat in your dishes. Most of the time it doesn’t change the taste and you save money on meat.
- Cook twice as much meat for dinner. Freeze half and then when you need a quick meal just remove from the freezer and use.
- Stock up on meat when it is on sale. If you don’t have enough money to stock up, try making a double batch (like lasagna) when you cook the next meal, then freeze it for later. Use that frozen meal for a quick dinner instead of eating out when you’re too tired to cook. Take the $30.00 savings and stock up on meat the next time it is on sale.
- Buy Meat on clearance. The clearance stickers on meat in the store don’t mean the meat is bad. It means the meat needs to be SOLD by that date. Then you still have 3-4 days the meat is good after that date to cook it at home. You can just put it straight in the freezer and cook laster.
- Add beans or lentils to meat to help stretch. This works especially well with recipes like tacos.
- Check your prices. A lot of time you will get the tip to buy 1/2 or 1/4 of whole beef and then freeze. In some places this “might” be cheaper but in some places like here in Colorado it’s luxury and it is MUCH more expensive than buying it from the store.
- To store your meat long term in the freezer vacuum seal it.
- Make recipes like chili that have the “feeling” of a lot of meat but don’t use a lot. You can use 1/2 pound of hamburger for chili for 6-8 people and no one will know if you bulk it up with beans, onions and peppers.
- When cutting meat for recipes like stew make the pieces small so they will go further.
- Buy meat after major holidays. I can usually find marked down meat for a great deal like hamburger and ribs after Memorial Day or Labor Day. Turkeys on clearance after Thanksgiving. All meat on sale the day after Christmas.
- Some butchers will cut turkey’s in half. Then just cook like a chicken but for 1/4 of the price!
- Use liquid smoke in place of bacon grease or salt pork in recipes. The liquid smoke saves time and money if you don’t have any bacon grease on hand.
- Save the plastic liner bags from empty cereal boxes. Next time you need to pound steak, chicken breasts, nuts or crackers, pop them inside to eliminate the mess. Also, use plastic liner bags to shake coatings such as flour or bread crumbs on meats. Just throw away after using it. Store in a file folder.
- Use leftover gravy in soups. It adds great flavor!
- When making meatloaf, mix the ingredients and fill a muffin tin with the meat. Each mini loaf is one serving. Also very easy to freeze!
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