One of the major culprits of out-of-control grocery budgets is meat. It’s downright expensive and often overpriced. Follow these tips to help you save BIG!

This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of KalynBrooke.com

 One of the major culprits of out-of-control grocery budgets is meat. It’s downright expensive, often overpriced, and yet we still continue to buy large quantities of it. Probably because men like my husband would throw an absolute fit if we didn’t!

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The solution isn’t to get rid of meat all-together, but there are a few easy ways to help reduce the economic impact of this fridge and freezer staple. Practice all of these tips, and I guarantee you will see results within just a few weeks!

1. Eat Less Meat

It might seem a little obvious, but it’s true. Eating less meat will boost the bottom line, and give you an excuse to try new recipes outside chicken casseroles and sloppy-joes. Just implementing 2-3 meatless meals a week will reduce your need to buy it all the time, which will leave a little more wiggle room in your grocery budget. For fresh meal ideas, check out Ruth’s meatless meal section!

2. Know Your Price Per Pound

You can save a huge chunk of money just by knowing how much meat typically costs. Keep a grocery price book and write down the price per pound after every purchase. Pretty soon, you will start seeing a trend, and won’t need to reference your price book as often.

Bulk packages often have a lower price per pound, but are not always found in regular grocery stores. It might be worth it to consider paying for a membership at bulk food store, and see what they can offer. Don’t forget to record those prices in your price book too!

3. Freeze As Much As Possible

After each grocery store run, make it a habit to repackage all meat into smaller, plastic freezer bags as soon as possible. Then label, stack, and store in the freezer until it’s time to pull out for a lunch or dinner recipe.

Leaving meat in the fridge for more than a few days can cause it to spoil fast, and I would hate for you to waste all that money! Establish a rule that unless you will be using the meat that day, it goes straight into the freezer.

4. Don’t Buy Specialty Meat

It seems obvious that to save money on meat, you wouldn’t go out and buy a New York Strip Steak. Instead it’s more reasonable to stick to basic chicken breasts and ground beef.

However, you still have to watch what you’re buying. Boneless or thinly sliced chicken breasts cost much more than drumsticks or whole chickens, because you’re letting the butcher do all the work for you. I don’t know about you, but even though I hate touching raw meat, I’d much rather pay less and cut up the chicken myself!

How to Save on Meat | Remember that certain cuts of meat cost way more! A boneless chicken breast will set you back more than chicken thighs or drumsticks.

5. Stretch the Life of Meat

I never pay much attention to meat portions in recipes, and if you’re trying to save money, you probably shouldn’t either. When the ingredients call for 4 chicken breasts, I use only two and cut them in half. I do the same with ground beef. A recipe might tell me to use whole pound, but I’ll use only half and just make the casserole less meaty. No one has ever noticed!

With a whole chicken, there is always a ton of meat left over. Freeze the extras for use in casseroles, and boil the bones for broth. I used to be so intimidated by this, but it is really easy! I still have jars of chicken broth in the freezer from months ago, and they are absolutely perfect for soups, stews, and to use with pasta dishes.

6. Buy a Portion of a Cow….or Pig

If you live in a farming area, definitely look into buying a whole animal or even half. This is best if you have a deep freezer to store it in, since I’m pretty sure they would never fit in my little kitchen one!

It might seem like a huge cost up front, but if you know your price per pound {point #2}, then it could potentially be a cheaper option in the long run.

7. Shop Unconventional Grocery Stores

Don’t be afraid to visit smaller international stores to see what their prices are on meat. We have found a gem of a store here in Southwest Florida that is mostly Hispanic, but has the best prices we’ve found on meat and produce.

Stores like Aldi or Save-A-Lot also have excellent prices on meat, not to mention a lower grocery bill all around for additional items. Shop around, compare prices, and plan your trips accordingly!

At first, it can seem impossible to lower your grocery budget any more than it already is, but once you start thinking of ways to scrimp and save, it becomes a little bit easier each time.

Avoid trying to save on everything all at once, and instead, focus on one portion of the grocery bill at a time. Take one month to focus on meat, one on produce, one on pantry items, and so on. By the time the year is over, you’ll be a pro at saving on everything!

One of the major culprits of out-of-control grocery budgets is meat. It’s downright expensive and often overpriced. Follow these tips to help you save BIG!

Kalyn Brooke is a life management expert for busy women who crave a simpler and more organized life. Through her recognizable, down-to-earth approach, she provides a daily dose of inspiration and guidance, whether you’re looking for smart money tips, time saving routines, or anything in-between. When she’s not experimenting with ways to do even the most mundane tasks more efficiently, you can find her crafting detailed to-do lists in her bullet journal, or indulging in—yet another—personal development book. Meet Kalyn and learn how stay on top of it all at KalynBrooke.com.

Ruth Soukup

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