Money Saving Monday: How to Save on Meat

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Meat can take up a huge chunk of the grocery bill, so saving on meat is a great way to save money! How do you save money on meat the grocery store? Here’s a few tips that I use to stay on budget:

  • Buy meat in bulk: Some of the best meat deals are sold in family-sized packs of 3/lbs or more. However, you can easily freeze meat and use it for your next dinner or three. This is a great way to save money and not worry about future dinners either.
  • Buy meat on sale (and know a good sale price): The cost of meat can vary greatly week to week and it’s best to buy meat when it’s on sale. (You are going to freeze your meat in bulk anyways, so you don’t have to worry about buying on a non-sale week and paying full-price.) However, not all meat sales are created equal. Know what is and isn’t a good sale price on meat by paying attention to prices. For example, chicken breasts are on sale often at $1.99/lb (or less) as well as Buy 1, Get 1 Free deals. The non-sale price of chicken breast at my store is around $5.99/lb. The B1G1 isn’t a good deal because it calculates to more than $1.99/lb which is more than my $1.99 max for chicken breast.
  • Write it down, and take a peek around anyway: I always browse the sales ad before I head to the store and write down my meat purchases. At my store sometimes the meat isn’t advertised well and I will forget about the deal or I have to search for it. Writing it down is a great reminder of the deal. If I don’t see any meat deals that peak my interest that week, I always look anyways. (I can always freeze it!) I once found ground beef at $2.49/lb when it wasn’t on sale and wasn’t a markdown or a special price. Sometimes it pays to pay attention and peek around to see if something is a great deal (since you know what is a good sale price).
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat: Buying a cheaper cut of meat is an easy way to save on meat. Yes, the thin-cut chicken or chicken tenderloins may be more convenient, but they are much more expensive than chicken breasts or other cuts of chicken. I often will cut a chicken breast in half (easy when they are still a little frozen) and get thin-cut chicken breasts for half the price.
  • Stretch meat in recipes: I am a very uncreative chef in the kitchen, however, one thing I do not do is follow the exact meat portion in recipes. Usually recipes will call for 4 chicken breasts, which seem really unnecessary for two, so I will usually just cook one or two. I usually always have extra ground beef for tacos, so sometimes I will use less or use the leftover meat/veggies for pizza toppings for the next dinner.
  • Buy reduced meat: My favorite store has a little section for reduced/clearance meat that is severely marked down; however, sometimes reduced meat will also be mixed in the regular section as well. Look for meat coupons on the package to save on the meat as well as manager specials. My best meat deals have come from the clearance section. My best meat deal was a pound of chicken breasts for .04! It was marked down to .99/lb and then a coupon stickers on top of that. The best buy date is typically coming up soon on these meat deals; however, you just need to eat it soon or freeze it to make sure it doesn’t go bad.
  • Shop around for the best prices: Meat prices can vary greatly and it is important to know a good price. Shop at different stores to figure out what stores may or may not have the best meat deals. You may want to try an international shop or even a big wholesale club to figure out if prices are better there than at your nearest grocery store. Shop around and pay attention to find your best bet for meat purchases.
  • Add a meatless meal per week: The most obvious way to save on meat is to buy less meat. Throw in a meatless meal a week to help save money.

Do you have any tips to help save money on meat at the grocery store?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.