Every Day

Monday: Let’s Talk About Protein Today

What is the most expensive foods we buy these days? If you said meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, you would be right. Proteins are so necessary for the Keto diet so that is why I am always looking for them on a great sale or at a reduced price.

I told you a couple of days ago that I organized my kitchen freezer drawers. They had gotten out of control. Something had gotten stuck in the bottom one so I had to empty the top one to be able to take some things out of the bottom to be able to open it.

The top drawer is above. I have a lot of steak, roasts, and a big bag of meatballs on the left hand side. The right side is full of hamburger, pepperoni, ground turkey, and many pork products: cooked ham packets, pork chops, a pork tenderloin, and sausages, both ground and links. There is also a small container of leftover glaze for the ham pieces. The steaks get eaten just as they are. The roasts get used for pot roast meals that I make in the crock pot or ground for hamburger. I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the grinder attachment. When I can get roasts or a brisket cheaper than hamburger, that is when I grind my own. The meatballs get used in a myriad of ways: for spaghetti, for lasagna, or just eaten with some kind of sauce, etc. The meat in my kitchen freezer drawers gets eaten first before I dig into the chest freezer. There is only one exception and that is my turkeys. They are in the chest freezer and I will take one out when we are craving turkey. That will happen later this week. When the kitchen drawers start to get empty, I move a few weeks of proteins from the chest freezer to them. We always eat from these drawers first so I don’t have to worry about freezer burn.

This is the bottom drawer. On the left are a lot of frozen vegetables and 1 large bag of strawberries for desserts, and a lone bag of tortellini which will get used up soon in soup. On the right side is more ground turkey, some reduced price seasoned steak burgers and ground turkey(overflow from the first drawer so they don’t get stuck again), chicken breasts, a large bag of blueberries that need to get used in muffins, pancakes, or waffles, many packages of haddock, and an ice pack.

I have been shopping for so many years now that I pretty much know when some kind of protein is at a rock bottom price. Eggs haven’t been at rock bottom for about a year. The only thing I have been able to do on those is look for the best price when I shop and then I buy in quantity. I used to buy the 60 count at Walmart but I haven’t seen a good price in months. I also freeze eggs. Matter of fact, when I was cleaning out these drawers, I found a bunch of frozen ones. I have many in the chest freezer so I have decided to use these up. They are now thawed and will be eaten with the bacon I cooked yesterday for breakfasts this week. I don’t like to keep eggs frozen more than 3 months so I am always replacing the ones in both freezers.

January is always a good month to buy chicken. They go on sale because everyone is on diets. The same goes for fish. I have seen chicken breasts this month for $ 1.99 a lb., chicken thighs and whole chickens for $ .99 a lb., and chicken drumsticks for $ .79 a lb. When I am low on chicken, I have been known to buy 80-100 lbs. at these prices. Right now, I have plenty of chicken. Both shrimp and fish is also down in price. I have plenty of haddock from the last sale and I have been picking up shrimp here and there the last couple of months since the price went down.

The next month that you will see a good sale on steaks may be for Valentine’s Day. If you can find a great sale on a whole ribeye roast or a whole tenderloin that is the time to buy it and cut your own steaks. St. Patrick’s Day will bring a sale on corned beef. Pork is usually the cheapest from February to April but I have seen cheap prices for pork almost all of 2022. Easter will be hams and possibly turkey breasts. Then for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day you will see hamburgers and hot dogs on a great sale along with steaks. Lastly, you will see great prices for turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The best prices you will get will be these times so stock up when that happens. That way you always have the cheapest meat and you won’t have to buy it until it goes on sale again.

I took some of the pork chops out of the freezer drawers to cook in the crock pot today. These pork chops were on sale a few months ago so I bought a bunch. They were tough when we cooked them in the toaster oven or air fryer. So cooking them in the crock pot with some kind of sauce will tenderize them and make them edible.

Many of you are able to get reduced price meat that is coming up to it’s sell buy date. I rarely am able to find any which makes me wonder if my stores are repackaging it. That is a scary thought! But for those of you with Kroger stores or other stores that do this, it is a great way to save money. If you use it or freeze it right away, it should be just fine. I have only once gotten bad meat on reduced price.

I saved the best for last. Use your proteins in proper portions. That will save you the most amount of money for a meal.

How do you save on buying meat, poultry, fish, and eggs these days? We would all love to see your tips in the comments.