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While couponing can save us a ton off of our grocery bills, the truth is that there are rarely coupons for meat. And unless you’re vegetarian, meat is likely an ingredient in most of the recipes you’re wanting to prepare. The good news is that you can still save on meat! You can save a lot simply by knowing which cuts are cheaper than others, how to prepare them, and how to get the most use out of your meat.
Here are some tips on how to save on and maximize your cuts of meat.
Beef. Look for cheaper cuts of beef, like chuck roast, round steak, and brisket instead of more expensive cuts like NY strip and filet. The cheaper cuts are generally tougher, but they are often the ones that are the best for slow cooking (stews, soups, etc.). Plus, you can tenderize (by pounding with a tenderizer) and marinate those cuts to make them more tender and flavorful. Tip: If you’re wanting stew beef, buy chuck roast or round steak. You can cut it into chunks yourself (stew meat is generally the leftover trimmings from the day’s cuts, but still tends to be pricey).
Chicken. Instead of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, buy thighs, bone in chicken, and whole chickens. They’re a lot cheaper and they have a ton more flavor. Plus, the bones can be used to make stock.
Pork. If you’re wanting boneless pork chops, try buying a boneless pork loin roast and slicing it yourself instead. It’s usually a few dollars cheaper per pound that way.
More Meat Saving Tips:
-Want a steak? Make kabobs instead of having a full steak. You’ll still get your protein and flavor and you’ll get some veggies, too.
-If you want smaller cuts of a meat (like stew beef, pork chops, ground meat, etc.), buy a larger, more inexpensive cut and cut or grind it yourself.
-If you have a meat processing plant in your area, check and see if they sell to the public. Many plants will have certain days of the week that the public can come and buy cases of meat for a lot cheaper than in the grocery store.
-When you buy meat in bulk, make sure to freeze it into your desired serving sizes. It’ll make it easier to simply grab a bag out at a time to thaw. If you’re buying ground beef, another option is go ahead and brown the beef ahead of time and freeze it. It’ll be super easy to make spaghetti, tacos, soups and other recipes calling for cooked ground beef.
-Stretch your meats: make casseroles and pasta dishes that require a small amount of meat and add tons of veggies. One of my favorite tricks is to stretch my ground beef when we’re having tacos: mix half ground beef and half refried beans. We’ll use half the meat and still get lots of protein.
-Talk to your butcher at either your local butcher shop or at the supermarket. They’ll be able to help you through your questions and give you suggestions. And if you want a specific cut, they’ll usually be able to handle your request.
To see more information on meat frugality, you can check out my video on how to save on meat.
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