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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Couponing is fun and all, but many times the things that you really need you never have a coupon for.  The biggest of those items can be meat and produce.  When you watch “lovely” TV shows about couponing you’ll notice they never buy meat, it brings down your total savings and that’s just not fun…  in reality though it’s something that we all need (if you don’t eat meat you still buy protein substitutes that rarely have coupons).

How do you save on meat?
I recently sat down and answered that in the following video.

A few extra notes:

Try looking into places that allow you to buy meat in bulk.  You don’t have to go as large as buying a cow.   If you can’t afford the larger packages quite yet, go in with a friend and split it up.

  • Check out Zaycon foods, they sell chicken, bacon, and beef in bulk boxes.   You just take it home and package it up for freezing.
  • Call nearby processing plants.  Many Tyson plants have a market you can buy directly from and get great prices.

Have an idea of the price per pound you want to pay, basically a buy price for each type of meat.  If you are unsure of prices, you can use the weekly best deals list to see the average price for various cuts of meat.

Lastly, if you like game, call local animal processors towards the end of hunting seasons.  Most will gladly sell you processed deer, turkey etc. that was never paid for.  They have been storing it and would love to see the processing fee covered rather than lose money.  You get a great price on meat, and didn’t have to do any of the hunting!

    • So glad you mentioned the animal processors.  That’s one of my tricks, that saves a bundle whenever the guys have some leftover, which is almost Always at the end of deer season.  We’ve got a while to wait since it starts this weekend though :/

      • Commongroundchm

        My husband is a hunter and it’s so nice to only have to buy side dishes!

        • Hildawins

          venison chili is a favorite of mine…

      • Hildawins

        It starts this weekend?  I am in Middle Ga and about 3 weeks ago out trail riding my horse I heard so many shots fired, and we passed over a bunch of shell casings.  I liked this trail as it had a service road  next to the freeway that was cleared so we could ride w/o fear of being shot!  Where are you at? 

        • Jacq

          Each state has its own regulations on hunting.  If you were trail riding on a public trail, there is probably a station somewhere around.  Check in for all the regulations.  Sporting stores (like Bass Pro Shops and locally owned also) usually also publish all the seasons. 

      • KBB

        Holy cow! That is LATE! Where are you located? Our season (Charleston) started  on August 15-Jan 1.

    • abby

      funny this was posted – I was just looking into purchasing a half a cow from a local producer.  Has anyone found this to be cheaper than buying at the store with sale prices?

      • Ima1977

        We’re planning on doing this next spring since we need to get another freezer. Not sure if it’s cheaper but I like knowing I’m supporting a local farmer. Also, it will be nice to have a large variety to choose from.

        • Kemccarthy

          I am interested in this too. How do we find out how much it would cost. Any thoughts of who to call?

      • Lisa

        For me it’s cheaper. ASK around. The processor is the ticket. We have done this numerous times and the last time was awful. The processor didn’t follow our instructions.

      • Mashiop

        I’ve been buying a half cow (split with friend from church) lat two years.  It comes about final cost(cow and processing fee) of $3.00/lb. for any kind of cut; sirloin, ground, roast, t-bone etc. etc.  Our meat is grass fed (though some say it taste better if grain fed) and the meat taste nothing like the store bought.  The cow we buy is usually slaughtered shortly before they turn 1 year old.  Half cow can last about a year for our family of 6 (2 children under 3yrs old); we also eat chicken, pork and seafood.   Depending on the butcher, you can request cetain kind of cuts etc.  If it’s a tougher part of meat, you might as well as them to make ground beef.
        Hope this will help.

    • Julie

      One trick I have found (at least at Harris Teeter, but I have seen this at other stores) is to know when they are restocking meat and produce.  They want to move out the older items so they will will add $2 and $3 off stickers to meat that the sell by date is within the next week.  Many times the morning they are starting a new sales ad is the best time so I get the store coupon on the meat and that meat is coming on sale (hence why they want to move some out) so I get a sale price as well.  And remember, meat freezes, so a date a couple days away is no big deal.  Same thing for produce.  Today I also got two giant bunches on bananas for $1 since they need to make room for the new supply.  They have a cart on the side where they put the mark downs and they are perfectly good (no dings, but even those would be great if I wanted to make banana bread).  But my best advice is make friends with the produce manager and the butcher in your preferred store (my store has really nice fellas in those roles).  Smile and say hello every time you see them and over time they will tell you about good deals and when they are coming.  I got first pick of Kale from the back today just for saying “Hi” to the produce manager, which made it easy to smile.

    • Jenni P.

      Thanks for this!

    • Hillboys3

      I guess this is the same deal as Julie posted earlier, but I’ve been going to Ingles’ meat department. The butcher said that they mark down the meat first thing every morning. I’ve been going for the past 3 wks. and stocking up on meat for the wk and also getting me turkey points!

      • Audioskill

        I shop for meat at Ingles , too. I always find really good prices on meat when I go there.

    • Jennm517

      I’ve learned what mornings to shop for meat at my local Ingles.  I’ve also scored a few markdowns at Kroger, but my timing was just right as I managed to get stuff before the meat cutter put them out for the public.  I’d stopped to ask him a question and he had a cart full of stuff he’d just put “reduced” stickers on, so I scooped up a bunch of packages and saved him the trouble of staging them :)  I used to do this at Bi-Lo too but our Bi-Lo closed down some years ago.  I sure do miss that store!

      • Hildawins

        I have found that there are certain days to go in early to get the mark-downs from the night before.  Just ask the meat man.  I asked about the fish at Kroger, they discount it once it has been defrosted and displayed for one day.  Nothing wrong with it, just cook that night or refreeze, or cook and freeze.

      • Ampis1st

        My husband watches WInn Dixie’s meats like a hawk. They reduce the price when it’s been wrapped for 24-48 hours. He watches closely for a “natural bloom”. The best day is the day the new flyer comes out. If they overcut the day before, they want to get rid of it before the flyer-watchers come in. Our cardiologist recommended no more than 4 oz of meat per meal per person. We stick to that.

    • M_dixon24

      I don’t like what they portray on the extreme couponing show…it makes a lot of those people look like hoarders…and there is another show for that…most of the items they purchase is junk food..

      • Guest

        Yeah, like the show where the woman was supposedly buying for a friend of hers that was down on her luck.  She ended up buying something like $900 worth of items for $60 and she was so happy to present it all to her friend, but the stuff she bought was like floss, razors, air fresheners, etc.  I kept thinking of the poor friend that was going to have to fork over $60 for a bunch of junk that she probably didn’t want/need anyway.  She didn’t look all that happy when the woman showed her what she had bought and the woman made a big deal of the fact that she had spent hours at the grocery store and had to rent a trailer to haul it all home.

        • Cheryl Baer

          And if I remember correctly, over $200. worth of the stuff was Tic-Tacs. Who needs over 200 packs of Tic Tacs?  lol

      • Cheryl Baer

        And when they say they’ve bought a month’s worth of groceries for $24., I’d like to see me offering my family of four what they have bought, for a month… haha!! My family would think I’d lost my mind. What… Tic-Tacs and Gatorade again???

    • guest

      I thought the idea of getting meat at the end of hunting season was a great idea,,until I mentioned it to my huband who freaked out. His point were that you don’t know where the hunter got the meat from. Also they may have carried it around in their truck for hours/days before taking it to a processer.

      I still think it’s a good idea, but I guess we won’t be doing that.

      I buy reduced meat at Walmart and Bilo. Also there’s a butcher shop in Clinton that has deals where you can buy certain specials of meat for cheap. The deal I always got was the Workman’s Special it cost $109.00 and consisted of 5lbs of premade hamburger patties, 16 ribeye steaks, 5 packs of pork chops with 5 chops per package, and 5 packs of boneless chicken breast with 5 breasts per package. It usually lasts my family of 4 1-1.5 months.

      • Hildawins

        OMG – and what if it was a road-kill from alongside the road.  Your hubby is right, I will not try that after all!  Glad you posted.

        As for raising your own beef- the cost of feed and processing makes it way too expensive –  you really have to know someone who will give you a discount or barter the butchering.  We got a real butcher here now, and I have to go and visit.  As a kid you could see the butchers really working in the back of the grocery stores, now it seems they just open boxes.

      • KBB

        I see your husband’s point, but also think about the fact that a processor has to live up to a certain level of cleanliness in their facility. The processor my husband and father use would not accept/process an animal that wasn’t fresh. I’m sure there are some that might, but I feel that if there is a very reputable processor in your area, it would be a pretty safe route to take.

      • Missy

        Maybe you should inform your husband that when you purchase beef from the store they have sprayed it with carbon monoxide, and often times they will just change out the sticker of the “sale by date” so really  your meat was already bad.  I have purchased beef from harvey’s split it up thinking it was fine only to find out during cooking that it was spoiled.

        • Anonymous

          Hey, and who remembers the food lion meat scandal years ago? I think it was being rinsed with a bleach solution to extend the sell by date…

          • Guest-atl

            Dateline did a big story several years ago about re-dated meat and such and every grocery failed EXCEPT Publix.  They had one package discovered at one store (out of something like 7 checked) and when it was reported to Corporate the Meat Manager at that location was fired on the spot.  LOVE Publix.

            • Sherryl

              I buy almost all of my meat at Publix. Their store-brand chicken and pork have no added “solutions” in them – whatever that is, it triggers my migraines. I did stop eating pork for a long time and was buying Perdue chicken, which I still sometimes buy, but when I started really getting into couponing and shopping at Publix for their sales, I found out about their chicken and pork. Their market fresh ground beef is really good too and a good price. I buy steaks wherever I find them on sale. Food Lion use to have them on sale a lot, but not much lately. Kroger has had some good deals on whole ribeyes and whole new york strips lately.

          • Razlmz

            I remember the Food Lion incident!  I have told friends about it but no one seems to remember except me…and now you! :)  As I recall, they were soaking it in bleach.  I was just a kid but I remember being super grossed out!

      • happy couponer

        r u from SC?

      • Ajunecoupons

        Well you cant get much more organic than a deer and a hunter is not going to take spoiled meat to be processed. Thats a waste of a lot of money. Hunters like myself appreciate and take pride in the bounty from the animal and take care of it properly. Those who dont saw the antlers off and leave the carcus in the woods.

    • Mapj27

      Look at your local meat market. My local privately owned meat market has meat boxes you can purchase thats 40lbs of meat and 10 lbs of vegs for 119 .00, it includes 10lbs of roast, 10lbs of pork chops, 10lbs of chicken, 10lbs of freshly ground hamburger meat and of course fresh frozen vegs. Not a bad deal for montly budgeting.

    • I have never bought a cow. but my parents bought a pig a few times while I was growing up and it was SUPER AWESOME. The bacon was just mouthwatering, the ham to die for, the pork chops the best we ever ate. I almost did this last Christmas but the guy selling them wasnt butchering them. And I saw the cute little things running around. Sort of ruins your appetite. I dont recommend hand selecting an animal to end up in your freezer!

    • Mzhsteach2

      Your meat video is wonderful….It will get lots of hits…. Thanks sooo much. Still learning…

    • cindy p

      We have raised pigs this year, will be processing in Dec. Have bartered for angus cow to have slaughtered in April (trading some honeybees to get price to $250, plus processing fee} and hunt deer for the meat, and grind up majority for burger. Thinking of getting chickens to raise, but I find them to be frightening litttle boogers…lol

      • Hildawins

        If I could catch one our hatched Roosters I would cook it.  Any secrets how to catch one that sleeps in the barn rafters? 

        • Irishpan

          hook the end of a metal coat hanger or similar wire into a crook shape wide enough for the roosters legs but not feet.  Hook around leg, pull the rooster in and grab it by the feet, holding it upside down until it passes out.  Watch out for the spurs.

        • Coupons090

           the really smart,troublesome ones who avoid being captured for a long period  should be granted some sort of clemency.

        • climb up in the barn (that is what I do)

    • JoR

      Love the scratch and dent cow remark! I may look into buying half a cow.

    • Deer season around my house is like this, deer hunters go hunting and bring the dead deer to my house.  My husband then takes it to the slaughter house and we end up with so much meat we are giving it away.  Then there is deer jerky of every flavor to have to deal with. (funny thing is, we don’t hunt but have plenty of free meat)

      • Anonymous

        I wish I lived near you…my family would LOVE some deer jerky.

    • Jenny Hardin

      Zaycon is doing an event in my area tomorrow. I normally pay $1.99/lb for chicken (on sale) and they are selling for $1.49/lb. I thought about getting one and saving $20 on a 40/lb box. But then I thought about the cost of the gas to pick it up and the freezer bags and the savings dwindled to $10. This was not worth the work to divide and freeze it all. But thanks for the tip! As my family grows this may become a better deal for me if I need 2-3 boxes.

    • great to know! thanks!

    • Savn2gether

      Thank you!

    • Mamacita40

      I have a way to buy meat in my house, and a little tip, I have a container, with put all of our changes of money, for almost a month, and changed in the coinstar machine and exchanged my deposit from my bottles and can, and buy the smallest packaged or the one on sale, and we have meat for the month, i try to do  soup, chillis, pasta, tacos, tortillas, plus make rice and salad, to fll in  my crew……

    • Elamor_2005

      Thank goodness my boss gives my family a half a cow every year. I have to pay the processing fees but free meat is free meat. The butcher in oxford,fl is great. They always pack the meat the way that we ask. Half a cow will last my family of 4 for more than a year and a half. Then i just buy pork and chicken on sale. The deals are out thei you just have to look for them.

    • zacknzoeysmom

      like a few others on here, i know when one of my local stores marks down the meat that needs to be out by the next day so we snag a few good deals that way. my other tip is lately i’ve tried to use 1 pk of meat for 2 meals for my family of 4. for example 1 lb pack of ground beef could be browned and half used for soup one night and the other half for speghetti the next night. we havent missed using the other half lb so its working for us. :)

      • Jbush27

        We do that too.  I always just use a half lb of meat for spaghetti.  For things like chicken stirfry I use 2 breasts for the four of us.  Because really, we, as Americans eat larger portions of meat than we need to.

      • Cheryl Baer

        I always buy my meats at Food Lion…they mark them down where I can get a lot for a little. I have never gotten bad meat there. I, too, “stretch” our meats. I buy huge packs of ground beef to save money… cook half of it with dices onions in it, and freeze it in bags to use for spagetti, stuffed peppers, h’burger casserole, etc. The other half I make into meat loaves, usually 4 at a time, then freeze them, too. As for chicken, I get more meals out of breast strips than chicken breasts, and they work just as well. I can make several chicken meals out of a large pack of breast strips….

        • Cheryl Baer

          diced onions, not dices onions…. duh.

    • Missy

      What about if you eat organic meat? 

      • Cortney

        Good Luck is all I got to say……. $6 for a pound of chicken…. no thank you!

        • Cheryl Baer

          Me too!!

    • Sosorozo

      Have you folks ever tried shopping at an Asian grocery store? I mean a big one with a seafood counter and so on and so forth. Prices at Asian grocery stores are always so much lower than regular stores. Of course, I get the question…but is it fresh? Trust me, Asian people are so picky about freshness. The one to go to in Charlotte is Super G mart on Independence and Grand Asian Market in Stallings. Plus, one feels like they have taken an exotic trip without paying the airfare!

      • Lonestar9

        Oh yes…I really like the H-Mart’s in the Atlanta area, just wish there was something like that here in the Greenville area..boo…hehe.

        • Sosorozo

          Greenville, SC?

    • I shop the “manager’s markdown” at Food Lion. (This is the ONLY think I buy at FL.) About every 3 months I spend $60-$70 on meat. I bring it home, separate it using my food saver, then freeze. There’s nothing wrong with the meat. It’s not out of date. As long as I freeze it right away, there’s no problem. 

      One time, I ended up with so much steak, that we were actually tired of eating steak. It’s a nice problem to have, right?!? Not having to buy meat every pay period keeps my grocery budget low.

      • Cheryl Baer

        I buy all my meats at Food Lion on mark-down, too. I do most of my shopping at Publix, but never buy meats there. They are too high!!

    • Anonymous

      Auburn University Meat Lab (scary name, I know but they teach butchering and processing, not experiments) is awesome! They have fresh, local meat and sales support the program. They have better products at much lower prices. They will even take custom orders and have it ready for you that afternoon! If you are in the area, check them out. If not, it might be worth looking into your local university to see if they have such a program.

      • Jacq

        Berry College also sales meat from their Meats Lab.  I think they have changed their methods since I was a student there so I don’t know what they have or prices anymore but they will do custom cuts too!

    • Suzy

      The Tyson Food plant in Cumming, Ga does something that most people dont know about and I got the info from word of mouth.   So they have a chicken sell at the Cumming plant.  Mon-Thr from 8am-5pm. This sell is to the public.  Its in the brown building in the parking lot of the plant.  They ONLY take cash.  And you ever know what they are going to have.  The chicken is sold in 20 pond boxes.  When I went they has tenders $25, Boneless skinless breast $31, and skinless legs $15.  I ended up buying 40 lbs for $56 which is $1.40 per pond.  This is where I get my chicken from now on. :) 

      • Lorrose57

        Cumming is almost 2 hours from me.. does the Gainesville plant do the same?

    • belaglik

      No Zaycon foods in my city! :(

      • Cortney

        I checked it out and go figure they were in my area today!!!!  How frustrating.

    • Anonymous

      While I was in college, my best friend’s father works at Tyson plant in Wikesboro, NC and they had a family store for its employees. I remember getting a whole fryer chicken around $1 to $2. I think that store is for family of employees.

    • Loni

      We have a small family owned market nearby and they will run specials on meat all the time.  When it’s in bulk, it’s even better.  They had boneless skinless chicken breasts last week for 1.69/lb…not bad, BUT, if you bought a 40lb box, it was 1.25/lb…that was AWESOME.  It’s annoying to repackage for freezing but definitely worth the savings!  We’re only a family of 4  that doesn’t eat red meat or port but it will still last us a good long while :)

    • Kelleyharold

      I literally laughed out loud on the “scratch and dent” comment!  Good tips; thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous

      I have a question concerning buying products that make you money.  For instance, I purchased dog treats yesterday that cost $1.69, and I had a coupon for $1.00 that doubled. So, basically, I could make 31 cents off of that. I understand the concept.. I just want to know what grocery stores allow this because I read that Harris Teeter will only allow the price of the product, not give you that credit towards something else.  I only have Harris Teeter, Food Lion, and Lowe’s Foods in my area.

      • Anonymous

        None of those stores will give you overage. They will double the coupon up to the amount of the selling price.

    • Erkelly

      This topic is hard for me, as I was a vegetarian for 12 years (started eating meat a couple years ago, but still don’t eat much). I was buying our meat from Piggly Wiggly when they would sell family packs of ground beef for only $1.89/lb. Then I read that Publix’s meat is two levels fresher and better cuts than Pig’s meat, and I started trying to only buy Publix meat, which is much more expensive. I have thought about buying half a cow. My sister and brother-in-law have a grass fed cattle farm, and I have thought about trying to buy one of their cows. But it’s been too personal for me to actually go through with it. Although they only profit $27 off each cow (which isn’t anything when you only have a couple hundred cows). They used to have a chicken farm (which they sold to go into cows). I wish they still had the chickens, that would be a lot easier for me to buy their chickens!

      • Shaz

        how did you find out the levels for meat?I have been looking for this.

    • Jodi J.

      Thanks for the great hints.  I always assumed that a local butcher/smaller shop would be more expensive, but now I’m going to check this out. 

    • sheryl

      We use a local meat market and usually get this pack:

      Month Supply for 4 people
      4 lbs Sirloin Strip Steaks
      4 lbs Top Club Steaks
      3 lbs Pork Chops (Center Cut)
      4 lbs Beef Roast
      2 lbs Stew Meat (Lean)
      8 lbs Ground Beef (Round)
      6 lbs Country Style Ribs for BBQ
      10 lbs Chicken
      2 lbs Bacon
      2 lbs Breakfast Sausage
      It runs $166.  The only thing I should have to fill in with during the month is possible ground meat.