One way I have found to save money is to buy a pork roast and you or have your butcher cut it into individual pork chop sizes, I package them 2 to a bag in Ziplock freezer bags and get 6 to 7 meals out of 1 pork roast and you can prepare them any way you like. I also do the same thing when stores have the boneless skinless chicken breast or any other cut of chicken you like and put it into individual serving portions for your family and freeze it until you are ready to use. I used to think you needed to have a big freezer to store food in this way but it works fine in my refrigerator with my top mounted freezer.
I have been living the Frugal life for several years now due to the economy and inflation. With the cost of everything skyrocketing, it can make it very difficult to make ends meet and I try to recycle or reuse as much sustainably material as I can.
pattral from Houston, TX
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My Frugal Life
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When ground beef is on sale, we brown it with onion, salt, pepper (or whatever you like) and freeze it in smaller bags. We always have a ready supply for making meat sauce for pasta, tacos, casseroles, etc.
You can also, freeze slices of ham when you have some left over. If you freeze chunks, you have the makings for soup or bean dishes handy.
ONE THING ABOUT ASKING THE BUTCHER TO DO THIS: They already have done this and sell the portion as a chop rather than the roast. That is about $.10 per pound difference.
My son is a manager of a medium sized grocery, also does meat cutting. He does not mind helping downsize packages of meat for requests. I often have my whole hams quartered. Thing is, this is about 15 minutes extra work as they use special equipment to do this, that must be cleaned after each kind of meat. MEAT SAWS. Not the deli type meat cutter.
When you want special things done like this, call ahead if you can, and it will be ready when you arrive. If they are in the middle of beef and you want pork, and you are standing there waiting, your wait may get longer. I often go to the meat center when getting to the store, do my special cut order, then shop and come back to that section.
I can make chicken, pork, beef, etc. filets at home by buying the bulk piece and I saran wrap then freezer bag it and label. I just got a large pork roast to cut into smaller portions to cut soup. Found I can use pork in exchange for beef soup just fine, my needs are cut down and labeled for intent on the bag in the freezer. Remember the smaller you cut the portion, the faster it will have freezer burn/damage.
I don't buy freezer paper or freezer bags anymore.
When I re-pack meat packages for my freezer, I first wrap the pieces in plastic wrap. Then I second wrap it in several layers of (free) newspaper. Tape shut and write on the outside with a heavy marker. Hardly any cost.
I've always done that with my meats. I was just raised that way from watching my mom do it. Plus, since there is only two in my house, it doesn't make a lot of sense to cook the 6 chicken breasts that came in the Family Pack. A couple of things that I do as well:
When I divide my chicken breasts (2 per bag), I squirt a bit of marinade into the bag with the chicken and put it into the freezer. When I take it out to cook it, the chicken will marinade as it traws. My favorite is Ken's Steakhouse Lite Ceasar dressing. It's too strong to put on a salad for my taste. But it makes for great chicken. I have also rolled the chicken in breadcrumbs before freezing it, for baked "fried" chicken. And pretty much anything you do with chicken you can do to pork or beef.
I follow the same practice with fresh fish. If the price is right, I will buy a whole fillet of salmon or several pieces of talapia (or any fish, those are just the ones I like). Divide up the fish into smaller portions for one person and wrap in either a foil or parchment paper pouch. You can add seasonings, or even go so far as to add veggies into the pouch before you fold it up and freeze it. When you want to cook it, just take out the pouch and toss into the oven.
Buy yourself a small kitchen scale. Most of the time, ground beef comes in a pack of several pounds. But most of the recipes call for just one pound. Divide up the meat and weight it into one pound potions. You can also just eyeball it using the net weight on the package. I use to, but then I found that I overestimate what a pound actually is. When you put it into freezer bags, flatten it out as much as possible. The bags will stack nicely in your freezer and thaw more quickly and evenly. And if you want to be really REALLY frugal about things, don't put a whole pound in each bag. Short each bag to 3/4 of a pound or so. You'll never miss it and you'll get another meal out of.
As a side note about pork. My grocery store (Woodman's) carries Pork tenderloin ENDS. These are the front and back of the tenderloin that they cut off so they can charge $12/pound. My store sells the ends for $1.49 a pound. Sweet! These are really sizable pieces of meat that they package them in packs of about 7 or 8 pounds, so again you'll want to divide them up. There is a bit of fat on them (much more than on a tenderloin or a chop), but even when you trim off the fat you're not loosing much. Cook these anyway you like. I divided up a pack just the other day and cut up a few pieces into smaller bites and added an orange/bourbon sauce to the bag before I froze it. Tossed a few pieces into my crock pot and made some of the best pulled pork I've ever had. All for $1.49/pound.
Anyway, just my ways of saving time and money.
Many of us are going to be cutting corners we didn't even realize we had! My sister used to throw away extra food from camping trips just because she didn't want to haul it home. Since her husband was laid off she doesn't get to go on camping trips any more and wishes she had the food back!
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