Quick: Name the most expensive part of your grocery budget. If you said “ice cream,” you’re wrong (or you’ve got a serious addiction to Rocky Road). If you said “meat,” you’re absolutely correct!
So how can you trim the fat from your meat budget? You can marry a butcher or, if no single butchers are available in your area, you can try any or all of the following tips.
ONLY BUY MEAT ON SALE – This is a no-brainer, but the easiest way to overspend on meat is by buying it at full price. Instead, watch the sales and when steak, chicken, pork and other meats hit rock bottom, stock up. While you’re at it, stock up on freezer bags and clear out some space in your deep freezer.
BUY IN BULK – Every deal hunter knows that buying in bulk saves big bucks, and that rule also applies to meat. You still have some of those freezer bags left over from that sale on boneless chicken breast, right?
SHOP IN THE MORNING – Here’s what happens on most mornings in your local grocery store: The butcher arrives and does a survey of the store’s on-shelf meat supply. Any meat with a “sell by” date on that day will be marked down 30-50 percent. Ask your butcher when those deals are mostly likely to be found.
STEP AWAY FROM THE FILET MIGNON – Expensive cuts of beef are, well, expensive. And while New York Strip steak is definitely delicious, you can save a lot of money by opting for cheaper cuts and then marinating, tenderizing, and slow-cooking them to perfection.
BECOME A VEGETARIAN – Well, not a full-time vegetarian, but becoming a “vegetarian” one day a week is an easy way to cut your meat budget by 14 percent. Which day you choose is up to you, but you might consider Monday. “Meatless Monday” is an international movement that encourages people to give up meat for just one day a week. You can join the protein-free party or bump your savings up to 28 percent by adding a second day to the calendar!