Every Day

How I Save on Protein, etc.

Last Friday, I happened to be near Top’s while running an errand. Somehow when I looked at the weekly ad, I missed the fact that they had top round, sirloin tip, eye round and bottom round roasts on sale for $ 2.99 a lb. This is a rock bottom price in my area. So I purchased a 5 and 1/2 lb. top round roast for $15.85. The top round roast was the more tender of the roasts that they were offering at that price.

We had a lot of beef in our freezer but I had no stew beef. Buying stew beef costs $6.99 a lb. at my store. So saving $4.00 a lb. was a no brainer. I trimmed the roast and ended up with 6 ziplocs of stew beef which will feed us two meals each. It only took a few minutes to cut it up and bag it. Knowing that I will use it up over the winter, I used the less expensive ziplocs rather than the food saver bags to package it up to put in the freezer.

By the time you add veggies to your stew meat and a gravy or sauce, these bags will be the perfect size for two dinners for us. Those dinners will cost us approximately $ 1.32 a meal or $.66 for each of us.

This is just one example of how I save on the protein we eat. Besides buying at rock bottom prices, I always ask myself “How can I do this cheaper?”.  

We try to eat one or two meatless meals a week where we get our protein from a different source like eggs, cheese, greens, or beans. We are eating more eggs on my diet than beans right now though.

I learned an important lesson from an old friend who I worked with when I was first married. That friend, ended up living down the street from me while we were raising our children. Sis, you know who I am referencing.

We would go shopping at the market together sometimes. Or I would be at her house getting the milk out of her fridge to put in my coffee and I would notice that she would have about 4 dozen eggs in there all of the time. Whenever we shopped together, she would buy eggs. She would pick up meat too but never more than a package or two.

I remember wondering why she bought so many eggs. She and I had the same size families. I knew that she didn’t bake a lot. I would never have more than a dozen or so eggs in my fridge. I was going to ask her but then it occurred to me that maybe they were having financial problems. So I left well enough alone. Eggs were really cheap back then.

Finally a few years later, as I kept noticing the eggs, I finally said to her: ” Have you taken up baking or do you make eggs for breakfast every morning for your family?  I have noticed that you buy a lot of eggs.”
She said, “Eggs are one of the cheapest proteins that I can buy for my family. We eat eggs for dinner at least 3 nights a week. Buying meat is so expensive so we only have that 4 times a week. I will make omelets or frittatas loaded with vegetables for dinner and my family loves them. By making those I also use up all of the fresh vegetables and don’t waste them. I will also make pancakes or waffles once in a while.”

All of our kids played soccer during those years and while I was wondering those mornings what to thaw that I could quickly make for dinner when we got home, she knew she would make eggs because it was cheap and easy. 

While I didn’t cook eggs regularly for dinner, it got me thinking about cooking meatless meals that had protein besides meat. Today I do cook eggs almost every morning for breakfast. However, if you had a small budget, you can easily make eggs for dinner today and save a bundle. Eggs are still cheap compared to meat. 

My friend could pinch a penny better than anyone I have ever known. I learned a number of things from her. 

Since I am on the subject of eggs, I have to tell you what I did this morning. I cooked 9 eggs in my pressure cooker. Kay was nice enough to tell me that you could do this in a comment last week. Thanks so much Kay. 

I measured the inside of my pressure cooker and purchased a rack to hold the eggs at Amazon

Sunday morning, I put a cup and half of water in and 9 eggs on the rack. I pressure cooked them on low pressure for 8 minutes. They were so perfect and so easy! And just like Kay told me, they peel really easy. I will never go back to waiting for water to boil on the stove and doing it that way. See, I do pay attention to your comments and I do learn something from people who read here all of the time. You never stop learning!  

Here is my breakfast and the reason I did the hard boiled eggs. I couldn’t wait to take the picture until after I tried some egg; so two pieces have already been devoured. 

Always feel free to leave a comment so that we can learn from each other. 

8 replies on “How I Save on Protein, etc.”

I need protein to help control blood sugar, so I keep eggs boiled so I can eat one easily. If my pressure cooker had not been stolen, I could use it to boil eggs. Where did you get that rack, what is it called, and will any pressure cooker work?

I got the rack from Amazon as it shows on the link. Click on it. It is a 6 inch diameter rack so you would have to measure your instant pot to see if it would fit as I did.

I'm so glad I inspired you to try the eggs in the pressure cooker. If you ever want to do more, you can stack the eggs. I've only done 1 dozen at the most but others I've read have done up to 18 with no issues in a 6-qt. My family has always enjoyed Breakfast for Supper and now Farmer & I have it on Tuesdays. If I ask him, he'll always say he wants waffles & either sausage or bacon. I'm in the middle of doing a Whole 30 round so I would have to attempt an egg "waffle" or to keep from having stuck-on eggs in my iron, I'll make scrambled on the stove. We alternate the eggs-meat-hash browns with pancakes/waffles/french toast and meat and then occasionally have biscuits & gravy. All the above sided with fruit. I've done frittata but we like omelets better.

Hi AD, this is Chris. We save on protein the same way you do. I also wanted to mention if any of your readers had access to getting 1/4-1/2 cow or pig like we do, that would be a savings also, and would be worth researching.

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