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If you are like our family, meat can get rather costly especially when you have several mouths to feed. Meat can be a huge cost to your grocery bill. For us, we need to double the “normal” portion in most recipes, OUCH! I went on the hunt for ways to lower our grocery bill and Fortunately, there are ways to cut your meat prices in half with these easy ways to save money!
Switch Up Your Dinner Meals
Instead of making your main course meat with some sides, switch up your dinner meals. Make things like Chicken salad, spaghetti, and tacos to limit the amount of meat you are eating at dinner. Though meat is a part of the pyramid, eating only the recommended 2-3 ounces of meat is not only healthier but cost effective.
Buy your Meat in Bulk
It can be challenging to come up with so much money at one time, but buying your meat in bulk is going to save you in the long run. Shop at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club to find great deals on bulk packages of meat. You can usually get at least 2 meals from each package. Buying larger packages is going to give you a certain amount off per pound that you can use for more meat.
One of my favorite ways to buy meat in bulk with is Zaycon Foods. I can get ground turkey (which I use to replace ground beef) for under $2 a pound and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.49 a pound and sometimes even less than that.
Look for Local Meat Markets
When you shop for meat at local meat markets, you take out the middle man. Meat markets that sell only meat, a nearby butcher, or a local farm supply meat for a fraction of the price you can find in grocery stores. Do some research and look for local meat markets in your area.
Learn to Tenderize your Meat
There are expensive cuts of meat, and there are inexpensive cuts of meat. The expensive cuts tend to be a little more tender and easier to cook, however, learning to tenderize your meat means you can buy the inexpensive cut. Soak your meat in marinades, juices, and tenderizing flavorings. You can even soak it up and throw it in the freezer for a better taste. Use your resources wisely and do a little extra work for the lower grade cuts of meat. If you get it right, no one will know the difference.
Also, cooking these cuts in the slow cooker will make a huge difference as well. Check out our huge list of slow cooker recipes.
Shop the Sales and Don't Buy Popular Cuts
I highly recommend having a deep freezer to stock up on meat sales. I shared how I got 16 meals for $25 this way. I watch the local sales papers and stock up when there is a good deal. Like a grocery store, I didn't normally shop at had chicken leg quarters for 49¢. Let me put that into perspective 10lbs only cost us $4.90 we bought 20 pounds the first round. That gave us 7 meals for us under $10 which came out to $1.40 a meal. After we separated the chicken into Ziploc bags and froze is we saw we had more room and went back and got ANOTHER 20 pounds. The same store did
The same store did another sale a few weeks later of chicken drumsticks for 59¢ a pound. 20 pounds of chicken drumsticks gave us 9 meals for around $1.30 a meal.
You can cook both the leg quarters and drumsticks in the crock pot and shred the meat and use them in any chicken recipe you have. One of our favorites though is our Oven-Fried Drumsticks.
Go Meatless Once or Twice a Week
Cut meat out of your diet a few nights a week. We have one meatless night a week where we go spaghetti, mac, and cheese, chili with beans, bean tacos, etc. We also do breakfast for dinner night which will normally not have any meat. See below 😉
Breakfast for Dinner
Let's face it breakfast is cheaper than dinner. A dozen eggs and some cheese cost less than a pound of mean in many cases. So we do a breakfast for dinner meal once a week. Most times we don't include meat, but we do splurge with some bacon here and there. A family favorite is sausage gravy and biscuits with eggs, and that requires meat too. I put together a huge list of 40 Breakfast for Dinner Ideas.
Raise Your Own
Though this may not be possible if you are a city dweller, but country life can be a huge benefit on your grocery bill. In many cities, you can now, even, raise your own chickens. So not only can you gain some eggs, but helps cut down your chicken meat costs as well! Look into the laws in your area and see if you can raise some of your meat instead of buying it. This will save on your meat bill.
I also like to get discounted gift cards at Gift Card Granny (it's free) for the store I shop at to save even more money.
What other ways have you found to cut your meat prices in half? Share your thrifty meat tips in the comments below!