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We all know that buying meat in bulk is cheaper. I used to bring it home, divide it up into servings and re-wrap each serving. It cost me time and money for re-wrapping materials like plastic wrap or bags. Not anymore!
Now I just slice open the top and peel it down carefully, then pre-cut the servings while it's still in it's packaging, replace the plastic wrap and place the whole thing in a sealed bag (usually a bread bag that I save and reuse for this purpose.)
When I need one or more servings, I take it out of the freezer and can usually get the serving separated with one or two good whacks on the counter edge. No defrosting to remove just a pound of the package for a meal.
I placed 3 knives into the three pound slices I made in this ground beef to show you what I mean. You could slice them into individual hamburger patties even for easy suppers where anyone could pull out one or more hamburger 'slices' for a quick dinner!
Lots shorter time to prep and less material waste since I don't individually bag each serving anymore!
This can be done with other cuts of meats like chicken breast too! I hope it makes your mealtimes easier and more efficient.
To use these, thaw quickly under running warm water or on counter, cook to taste. The freezing changes the cell structure and the beans cook up really fast after being par-cooked and frozen.
Also, when I make tacos, enchiladas, or other Mexican food, I always add beans to the filling, using less meat.
Don't forget eggs as a protein source! Try this when they are on sale next time: In greased muffin tins, break one whole egg into each hole. Add 1/2 slice of day old bread, broken into small pieces, to the top of each egg and cover the bread with milk as full as you can. Salt/pepper/butter and bake for about 35 mins at 325 degrees F. Test doneness with fork. Serve with salmon patties, green beans and maybe a salad! But, by themselves, these sometimes are plenty!
I find that these packages are great bargains for me. Once I even managed to get over $15 worth of meat for about $5.50. As I have a freezer, I freeze all my meat for future use and thus extend the expiration date of the meat. By watching for these manager specials, I not only save money, but am also able to get a variety of fresh meat.
I've noticed that Mondays are a great day to find reduced meat at Wal-Mart. I asked the butcher about it and he agreed, that's when they do their markdowns. At least thats how it is where I live.
I work in the deli of a local market on weekends. At 7:00 p.m, our hot side sells meals at half price. At 7:30, everything in the hot case is half price. On the cold side (deli meats), we close at 9:00 p.m, so at 8:30 anything that is already sliced and in the case is half price. Ask at your local store and see what they do. I know that at a rival store, they just wrap their meat and sell it the next day.
By Ms April
By Darijavan from Grant, MI
We wait until Ground Beef (called Mince Meat in Australia) is on sale then freeze in meal size lots. Another way is to make a Mince meat stew to which we add lots of different veggies and usually cook two meals worth of potatoes. We then have the vegetables in the stew and make a shepherds pie with the remainder, putting in and oven dish and covering with the remaining half of the potatoes. Run a fork over the top of the casserole and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Bake in medium oven until cheese is browned and melted.
I save so much money this way. We also have incorporated many vegetarian meals which we think is healthier. We don't need meat every night. Our grandson so far, at one year old, won't touch meat so there is some savings there!
On stew beef: I'd rather buy a chuck roast and cut it up myself, removing any gristles and such. It's cheaper, and I get it the way I want it. Also, I haven't seen this in a while but I used to buy boxes of bacon ends and pieces really cheaply. Seems like the supermarket had 4-lb boxes for three bucks or so. Some of the pieces were too thick to fry for breakfast but they worked great to season beans, soups, stews and such. The thinner pieces were fine to fry, and the fat could be ground up with beef chuck or deer meat. No waste!
When I find round steaks on sale, I will purchase a full one and divide it into cubes for vegetable beef soup as well as cubes for beef stew. I cut the cubes for soup uniformly into small pieces but cut the meat for beef stew into larger pieces. If the round steak is large enough, I also slice the meat for beef stroganoff. Generally, I can get at least three meals from one full round steak by utilizing smaller pieces of meat instead of using the more traditional larger cubes.
By Ronsan from Southern Missouri
We have 3 grocery stores in our area that offer 5 family packages of meat for $20. I pick out the 5 biggest packages, take home and divide them up and freeze. This usually feeds my family (of 3) for almost 2 weeks. I get creative with different ways to prepare the meats so we don't get burned out on them. And for the veggies, and sides I shop at Aldi discount grocery, or the dollar store. This helps out greatly on our grocery budget.
By jmz2005 from illinois
Pork: Use less expensive cuts; sirloin chops are a good value and tender, pork steak has a trillion uses, you can even learn how to roll your own pork roast.
Beef: Use the tube hamburger vs. store ground. It is produced in ultra sanitary conditions, has better flavor, and it's cheaper. I've seen it produced in packing plants, it is excellent!
Don't buy 'thin cut' , 'tenderized', 'butterfly' or other such refined cutting methods, they charge 30 cents or more to process what you can do yourself.
Want a great steak cheap? Find 'Chuck Eye Steak' at your grocer, or at many WalMarts. This is a cut next to the ribeye. Less attractive but equally as good, very tender, great on the grill!
I was a meat cutter for 30 years, glad to answer any questions - just email me!
To save money, I take leftover meatballs and chop the meat to use for sloppy joes. That way you don't have to buy or use more hamburger.
By Pam from OH
I buy boneless/skinless breasts of chicken when on sale. Freeze each breast separately for a recipe for 2, or 2 breasts for 4 people.
Take the out chicken to thaw and when partially thawed I filet those thick breasts straight across, creating large plentiful servings sometimes they are so large you can cut them horizontally. WOW!
Great savings, Great food. Enjoy!
By Patricia Vrooman from Peoria, AZ
To save money on red meat, we use venison exclusively. With lots of hunters in the family, they kill the deer and we pay for the processing. We buy 5-7 deer a year and it feeds 7 of us for a whole year for about $400. Try doing that with red meat of any kind. I only buy fish and chicken once in a while and the venison is 3% fat so it is just as lean as can be.
By Kay Mathias from South Fulton, TN
I love saving money, as I'm sure most of you do. You buy in bulk at the market when specials are on. Well, I look at what's on sale, make a menu, then have the butcher cut my meat up to my specs.
Just a reminder, when meat goes on sale, ask if the butcher if they will cut and pack the portions separately for you. I did and got four individually packed pieces for future meals.
When buying ground hamburger for my family, I have found that buying in bulk and freezing is a great way to save us money. I have learned that if you buy a package of hamburger that is about 6 pounds, you can separate the meat into quart size ziplock bags (a pound a piece).
We buy briskets on sale and cut them into roasts and steaks. You may wish to marinate the steaks before cooking.
When I can ad match hamburger for around $1.38 I buy the 5 lb containers, then bring it home and cook one package at a time in my crock pot on high for about 5-6 hours, while I'm doing other things around the house.
I rarely purchase lunch meat at the deli. Instead, I buy whole turkeys or hams and ask my butcher if they can cut them into half, thirds or even fourths!
If you use a lot of bread and/or meat, it's a good idea to ask the butcher and baker what time they put out discounted items.
When shopping in the meat section, I only look at the loss-leader meat featured that week, and then only that which has been marked down due to discoloration.
Whole hams are on sale for only .99c a lb.! So now is the time to stock up a little bit and have the butcher quarter your whole ham.
Save money on chicken by buying them whole and cutting them yourselves. It's easy to learn how to quarter your own chicken. All the leftover bones make great soup stock.
Check out your butcher's specials--sometimes you can get a better deal than their advertised special. I always ask the butcher if I can get a better deal if I buy a larger quantity.
When buying meat, always calculate how many meals you think you can get out of the purchase. From past experience you should have a pretty good idea of how much meat your family consumes in a meal, divide the number of meals you can make from the cost on the package.
Look at meat package date. If the expired date is the day you're in the store, ask the manager for a discount. They usually will mark it down, otherwise, they have to throw the package away & pay for the loss.
If you live in a community around some restaurants, you might want to check with them for any leftover meats or other foods they might have leftover that they might not want to reheat and sell the next day...
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This is a guide about shopping for meat by the seasons. You can save money on the meat portion of your grocery budget by shopping holiday meat specials, such as ham around Easter.
This is a guide about saving money on steak. Steak can be quite expensive, but there are ways to save money and still serve steak.
Two things help you save money on meat:
Our local restaurant supply store has specials on meat. We get Angus beef for less that $2.20 a pound. The catch is you need to cut your own steaks. We take the slab home, cut the steaks to our liking and then kryovac one or two steaks per package. We do the same thing with their chicken breasts. The breasts come as a frozen block. We thaw enough to pull apart, then kryovac them. Another way is when your local store has a mind blowing special on roasts, have them grind up some of it and cut the rest into steaks. Best burgers in town!
By Donald from Caldwell, ID
This is a guide about freezing ground beef. When ground beef goes on sale it is a great time to buy extra and freeze some for later use.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Buy large quantities of meat (hamburger or chicken). It is usually cheaper this way. Then separate it out into 1 lb amounts or however much your family eats and label and freeze it.
By Nicole from Eden Prairie, MN
I cook up 10 pounds of ground beef at a time and then I divide it up into one pound packages (our family's size) and just freeze it. Then when I get home from work, all the hard stuff is done and I can make tacos, casseroles or whatever fast.
I also add onion and green pepper when I cook the meat. (05/19/2009)