Every Day

Saving On Meat

We have heard many ways to save on meat. They run the gamut from buy on sale to buy at reduced price to buy in bulk when you see a rock bottom price.

But I have other ways to save on meat by just buying less. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat here.  But none of us need more than a 3-4 oz. portion of meat at a meal. That gives us enough protein along with the cheese or vegetables that may be in or with a meal.

Some days we get those protein portions by making meatless meals. We love beans and rice or omelets. Breakfast for dinner is on our menu at least once a month.  Hubby will make scrambled eggs, omelets or scrambled egg burritos. We have a side of fruit or vegetables with those meals. 

I save a fortune in one year’s time by using beef crumbles. I cook up a large amount ground beef at a time. I use this meat masher to mash it into the smallest crumbles. Then I freeze it in half pound portions using my food saver. When I am making a skillet dish or casserole for us, I pull out one bag for it. Many times when we have lots of pasta, rice and or vegetables in that skillet dish it will last us two nights. 

Another way that I have learned to save is to dice meat into smaller dices. One time when we were visiting my son and his family, I noticed that my smart daughter- in – law diced her chicken into smaller pieces than I did for stir fry. I thought to my myself that is a great way to make the meat stretch further. I always chunked my meat much bigger than hers. Now I dice it smaller.  

I do the same with dicing pepperoni, ham, and turkey for salads or pasta dishes. You can dice your beef smaller for beef stew. Mine were always too big. 

Another thing I do is grind my own meat. My Top’s has sirloin tip steaks on sale for $ 3.99 a pound this week. It is the only grocery purchase that I am making this week. So when I went to the market this morning, there was only 1 in the case. I asked at the butcher shop and they said they would cut me 6 more steaks fresh. So I purchased about 5.57 lbs. of steak which was 7 steaks total. I paid a total of $22.23 for all of them. They are pictured up top.

We don’t like sirloin tip steak grilled so I grind it into ground sirloin. Today the ground sirloin is on sale for $ 4.99 a lb. so I only saved $1.00 a lb. But most of the time it is priced closer to $5.99 – $ 6.99 in my stores. I made all of the bags for my food saver from on sale cheap rolls that I had stockpiled. But I would repackage the meat even if I had purchased the $4.99 lb. ground sirloin. $1.00 a pound savings on ground sirloin is well worth my time. Those dollars add up over a year into many dollars.

Hubby helped with the grinding, using our Kitchen Aid grinder attachment while I cut up the steaks and trimmed the little bit of grizzle that was on them. I left a very little bit of fat on them to flavor the meat.  I think it tastes better especially for hamburgers.

I didn’t have time today to cook up the ground meat so I used the food saver to package it raw into the portions I wanted to freeze.

But first I weighed them on my kitchen scale after zeroing out the bowl that I put the ground meat in. 

Then I used the food saver to package them up. I ended up with seven 1/2 lb. packages for skillet or casserole dishes. One 2 lb. package because Hubby wants to make chili soon. One 3/4 lb. package for mini cupcake meatloaves. And lastly a one pound package wrapped in saran wrap that I stuck in my fridge for tomorrow night’s hamburger dinner. We grill 4 hamburgers outside. Any that don’t get eaten get crumbled up into the next night’s spaghetti sauce.

Yes if you do the math, we ended up with 7.25 lbs. of ground sirloin even though the meat price stickers showed 5.57 lbs. that I was charged for. The butcher obviously gave me extra because he didn’t trim them as well as he might of if they were individually packaged in the meat case. I took a tiny bit of grizzle off of them. Yes I used a bit of fat but not much. There is no way that those trimmings came to a 1/4 of a lb. So I ended up paying $ 22.23 for 7 lbs. of ground meat or $3.18 a pound. This happens a lot when I have the butcher cut something for me. So in the end, I saved $ 1.81 a pound!
Any time I need ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork, I look at the ground prices and all the other cuts of meat to see what is cheaper. I have ground sirloin tip steaks and roasts, chuck steak and roasts, round steaks, chicken thighs or breasts, whole chickens, the dark meat from turkeys, and turkey breasts so many times over the years. Besides saving money, the other advantage that is important to me is the fact that I know my equipment for grinding is super clean and so are my hands.

I realize that not everyone has a Kitchen Aid with a grinder attachment. But I have seen many hand grinders in thrift stores for a couple of dollars. They look like my Grandma’s old fashioned one that she used to attach to a chair and hold a bowl under it.

I would love to know your tips on saving on meat for your family’s meals. Please leave a comment and share with all of us.  

7 replies on “Saving On Meat”

When my children were young, I would cook a stew/soup dish with all sorts of vegetables and soup meat. The meat was expensive. Little did I realize it was ends of meat. Anyway, one day as I looked for the soup meat I thought I bought, I found none in the refrigerator. So, I took out the ground sirloin and used it, crumbling it in the pot like I was making spaghetti. For some reason my kids hate the meat no matter how much I cut it up for them. However, the loved the stew with the ground meat. Never again did I spend the money on more expensive meat.

I would like to grind my own meat, that way, I could control the amount of fat and gristle in the ground meat.

My opinion–butchers like people using their services for extra things, so they are more than generous with meat.

My kids were all avid meat eaters, so the stew meat puzzled me. It was a texture thing and inability to swallow it. They even ate calf liver and onions my mother cooked when we told them it was stead. They would have fought over it, but there were always leftovers because I brought lots to her house.

Thanks for the meat ideas I already do some that you mentioned. But never thought of making crumbles of the hamburg. I do love my kitchen aid grinder best thing I ever bought besides my foodsaver. Joyce

Hi Liz, this is Chris. Thanks for doing this post. I thought some of your ideas were really outside the box and new to me, even though some of them I do also. I have never ground meat, but will look for meat grinders at my thrift stores and pick one up if I can find one to try to grind my own meats. I also wanted to mention looking for and buying meat that is marked down to help save. Also things like how yesterday I took the carcasses from the 2 turkey breasts hubby smoked on Sunday and making broth. I picked the meat off the carcasses last night and today making turkey-barley soup in the crock pot for supper with the home made broth.

Hi Chris,

You are very welcome! I wish I was going to be at your dinner table tonight. Yummy! I have made turkey rice soup the same way but never turkey barley. I will have to try that next time. We love barley in beef barley soup.I

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