31 Ways to Save in 2011: Saving on meat


One of the most common questions I get asked by people who read my blog is – how do you save on meat?? If you read my Menu Planning Monday posts, you’ll see that we really do eat meat  So, the answer is ~ I stockpile meat, too! A few years ago for Christmas, I told my husband that all I wanted was a second freezer for my garage, and Santa came through. So, we have a freezer that is basically full of meat and I ONLY but meat when I get an awesome deal on it, so if there is a great deal on meat one week, I might put the bulk of my grocery budget for that week toward meat and the basics (milk, bread).

Here are a few tips for saving on meat:
*Look for markdowns – Every grocery store I have ever been to has a section for marked down meat. Sometimes they do these markdowns early in the morning and other stores will do them late at night. Over time, I have managed to figure out when my stores do these markdowns which kind of gives me “first dibs” at the newly marked down items. It never hurts to ask at your store about when they do the markdowns so you have a heads up.  From my experience, marked down meat is typically 30-50% off the original price.

*Use your OYNO catalinas – When I post the grocery deals and match-ups, I typically also post any good catalina deals that are going on. I use the “OYNO” (on your next offer or on your next purchase) catalinas to help offset the cost of things like meat because there aren’t coupons for those items very often. Sometimes there are also wine tag coupons for meat and every now and then, I get personalized customer loyalty card coupons for a certain dollar amount off of a meat purchase.

*Look for good sales and stock up when meat is on sale – I pretty much only buy meat if I can find a good deal. Here are some examples of what I consider good stock up prices for meat:

Beef roasts – $.99/lb-$1.99/lb (yes, you can really get it for that cheap on sale – I’ve got several roasts in my freezer right now to prove it)

Beef round steak – $.99/lb

Ground beef – we ONLY use the 93/7 lean beef, so $1.99/lb is a “stock up” price on this for me

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $.99-$1.69/lb (it’s hard to find it for $.99/lb these days although it does happen every now and then…so, I consider $1.69 to be my “stock up” price when I’m getting low) – I know that “bone in” chicken or whole chickens are much cheaper but this is much more convenient for me, so I’m willing to pay more

Pork chops (again I buy boneless) – $$.99-$1.39/lb

Pork spare ribs – $.77/lb-$.99/lb

Pork roasts – $.99/lb

Ground turkey – $1.99/lb (again we buy the 93/7)

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  1. Frugal Fargo Mommy says:

    I am loving your 31 days of savings articles Melissa!!

    I'm sure this took you a ton of time but it is great. I was just asking about the stock up price of ground beef. You should also list that buying cow or pig in bulk is cheaper if you can.


  2. Brittany – thanks for mentioning buying a pig or cow – I would have never thought about that!!

  3. Tech Mama says:

    Thanks for the tip, though I wanted to take a second and point out something that I've been noticing more and more. When I was younger, browning meat didn't result in a pool of liquid in the bottom of my pan. Over the last few years, however, I've noticed more and more often that when I'm cooking, the meat releases so much water that I have to boil it off before I can brown it. Manufacturers are adding a significant amount of water to our meat products and then charging us for this "enhanced" meat. They're supposed to label with how much water has been added, but even when the label doesn't state the water is in there, still it seems like I'm "pre-boiling" meat whenever there's a "really good sale". It's why I've finally decided to stop buying meat at w-mart altogether. Even if you're not buying meat on sale, it's worth keeping track of, because who wants to pay meat prices for saltwater?