One of the most common questions I get asked by people who read my blog is – where’s the meat? If you read my Menu Planning Monday posts, you’ll see that we really do eat meat, but if you see my Saturday shopping posts, there isn’t meat pictured a lot, so I can understand the confusion!
The answer is ~ I stockpile meat, too! Last year 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 $40 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. From my experience, marked down meat is typically 30-50% off the original price. For example, on Saturday, I found a package of pork chops that had been marked down to $3 and a package of round steak that had been marked down to $4.
*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” catalinas to help offset the cost of things like meat because there aren’t coupons for those items very often. For example, with the meat I bought on Saturday, I had two $1 off meat catalina coupons that I used, so I ended up paying $5 for meat for two meals this week. 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 (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) – $1.39/lb
Pork spare ribs – $.77/lb
Pork roasts – $.99/lb
Ground turkey – $1.99/lb (again we buy the 93/7)