While I work away on our ways to save money series I have been thinking of ways we save money every day. Then it was time to pull out something for dinner. Reaching into the freezer I was hit with inspiration. We feed a family of 6 for about $400 a month and that is not an easy task. The biggest chunk of our expenses is produce followed by MEAT. The coast of meat is insanely high these days. I truly miss the days of 99 cent pounds of ground beef I used to buy. Sadly inflation happens and our budgets don’t grow nearly as much. Cheap meat with a few staples every home should have can make a frugal meal.
How to serve meat on a budget
1) Buy meat on sale. Stores like Kroger, Dillions, and Winn-Dixie often have a buy one get one free sale on meat. I look for two packs at the exact same price (or a penny or two difference.) If buying more then two packs on one meat keep in mind the lowest priced ones are the ones that will be free so try to keep them all about the same price. Split and package as soon as you get home so none goes to waste from being forgotten in the fridge.
2) Buy in bulk. The larger packs of meat usually have a lower cost per pound making for a great way to have meat on a budget. Just take out the calculator on your cell phone and divide the price by the number of pounds in the package. Example. A ten-pound pack of ground beef is $16.97. Divide $16.97 by 10 and you get the price per pound = Each pound of meat is $1.70. Buying in bulk is a great way to save on food for your family.
3) Buy half a cow or pig. If you eat a lot of meat in your family try buying half a cow each year to provide your family with meat. A deep freezer is a must for this way of buying meat. A vacuum sealer can protect it from freezer burn and make it last longer.
Meat is a great source of protein and iron for your family
4) Look for clearance and manager special discounted meats. These meats need to be cooked same day or frozen right when you get home. Some days on a trip to Walmart I can walk out with a freezer full of meat all discounted. The steak pictured about was discounted from the beginning of the month and frozen right away. That was hubby’s supper last night. He said it was perfect.
Marty the clearance chicken here is a prime example of how buying clearance meat can save you money. He was less than 80 cents a pound and so fat I had to squish him to close the freezer bag.
5) Make meat go further by reducing the amount served in meals. Pasta, sandwiches, soups, and casseroles are a great way to make stretch so you can get more bang for your buck. This three-bean chili is a great way to use even low-quality ground beef with all the flavor of the best cuts. We have meat on a budget by using simple tricks like adding oatmeal to our tocos. You would never know it’s there.