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This One Simple Trick Will Save You A Fortune On Groceries

saving on meat

Pretty much everything at the grocery store goes on sale at one point or another. But not all sales are created equal, and paying $0.50 less for a box of cereal probably isn’t going to make much of a difference in the long run!

Related: These Are The Highest Grocery Store Markups

If you want to rack up significant savings, you need to take advantage of the deepest discounts. And in my experience, these can almost always be found in the meat department!

saving on meat

The Simple Shopping Choice That Will Save You A Fortune

Simply by choosing to only buy meat when it’s on sale, you can easily start saving upwards of $100 per month on groceries! If you’re interested in giving this a try for yourself, here are a few tips that will help!

4 Helpful Tips For Only Buying Meat When It’s On Sale

saving on meat

Tip #1: Know Your Prices

Your grocery store’s weekly sale prices are published in their circular, so it’s not hard to find them. What can be tricky, however, is determining how much of a discount you’re actually getting with those prices.

So it’s a good idea to get a feel for the standard non-sale prices your grocery store charges for whatever meat products you use most often. This can be as simple as going to the store and jotting down those prices in a notebook so you can reference them later.

There are also apps and online services that can help you determine how good of a deal you’re getting, but these often require a membership to use. I’ve used Deals to Meals in the past and would definitely recommend it!

saving on meat

Tip #2: Be Flexible

It’s important to know up front that this method will require a bit of flexibility when it comes to meal planning. If you only buy meat that’s on sale, you’ll have to spend some time deciding how you’ll use the pork chops you picked up (or whichever meat item happened to be on sale that week.)

It requires a bit of extra time and effort, but the savings will be well worth it! And who knows, you might even find that you enjoy the creative challenge of planning your weekly menu around fluctuating sale prices!

saving on meat

Tip #3: Stock Up

You can stretch your dollar even further when you buy meat by stocking up! If you come across a truly incredible sale on ground beef, why not pick up a few extra pounds of beef to stick in your freezer for later?

By stocking up when prices are low, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run! You also give yourself more flexibility in your meal planning, because you’ll have a stock of different meats ready to go in your freezer.

saving on meat

Tip #4: Use A Vacuum Sealer

If you’re going to be stocking up on meats, I highly recommend investing in a vacuum sealer! Vacuum sealed meat will stay fresh for months in your freezer, and you won’t have to worry about freezer burn.

When you buy meat and bring it home from the store, just divvy it up into reasonable portions (like 1 pound of ground beef, for instance) and seal it up. Label and date the bag so you don’t forget what’s in there or when you bought it, then stick it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Easy!

For much more about how a vacuum sealer can help you save money on food, check out this post!

saving on meat

What’s your best tip or advice for saving money on groceries?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • To save on groceries but especially to save / improve health, I don’t grocery shop very often! I try to buy “farm to table.” We live in small town Minnesota, so are blessed with lakes, good soil-but short growing season-and wild game. We have 4 chickens for eggs. Chicken are cheap; they eat our table scraps as well as weeds like creeping charlie. We move the coop every few weeks. It’s good fertilizer. I make bread. Yesterday bread flour was $5.63 for 10 pounds. I save beef fat and bones for tallow and bone broth. We fish and freeze catches, my family hunts and may have ducks, turkeys or deer, or can buy it from luckier hunters. I buy 1/8 of a cow at a time. It feeds our small family for 6-12 months, depending on our catches. People can buy 1/8-a whole cow at a times and you tell the butcher how to process. Last time hamburger was $2.90 / pound this way and $6 / pound at the store; bigger gap for steak and roast. Plus it’s better. People can buy pork and lamb like this; I don’t use enough so I buy what’s needed. I also buy chicken, cheese, honey and maple syrup from the source. I started tapping maple trees, screwed up the sap this year but know people who sell it. If f you don’t have maple trees in your area you can tap other trees. We planted raspberries, rhubarb, an apple tree, plum tree and veggies; I can what deer don’t get, which isn’t much. Instead, I buy produce in bulk when it’s in season, or take piles of tomatoes and apples and berries people offer for free in August, get wild berries from the woods, and freeze or can it or make jams, jellies, marina, salsa and pie filling. People think they can’t do this because they live in the city, don’t have equipment or expertise or don’t love cooking. I am no expert and don’t like baking or cooking, but it’s easy. Base canning equipment is inexpensive, you reuse the cans, many things take less time than going to the store, and you can even use an instant pot. Maple syrup hoses were $10. Make deals. A friend in an apartment gardens at a nearby house, taps their maple trees and gives owners part of the yield. All states have farms. It’s an easy look up on the internet. If you can’t find one contact the Department of Agriculture. A lot can be found within 30 miles of most large cities. Some farmers will ship anywhere in the country; but there are shipping costs, but there are farmer’s markets everywhere, including cities. Space is the biggest issue for many; we needed to get an extra freezer and put a canning cabinet in the garage.

  • I have a vacuum sealer; however really only use this for when I buy large pieces of Parmesan and break them up into smaller pieces or if I buy nuts in bulk. I have found that PressNSeal does a fabulous job. I wrap my meat in plastic wrap first and then in PressNSeal as I don’t like the sticky wrap being on my food. This totally prevents freezer burn and is lot less expensive than the vacuum sealer.

  • I always, always check the discounted meat section. Meat there is 30-50% off. If the package of meat was on sale, you get the percentage off the sale price. I can often buy beef and pork for less than $2.50 a pound. In my store, they sometimes mark items down the day before the sell-by date. The sell-by date still allows for the meat to be frozen or used in the next day or two. Also, because of my location, my primary store has to be Safeway. You can redeem 4 of their rewards points for $7 off a $7 or more meat purchase so sometimes my meat purchases are free. With Safeway’s many promotions such as 3 reward points for spending $75 or $90, I rarely have to spend $400 to get 4 reward points.

  • I’ve been shopping this way for years! Although I don’t have a vacuum sealer, I do buy ziplock freezer bags and have good results. Over the years I’ve not seen the prime cuts go on sale to where they are affordable for me so I make due with cheaper cuts and having a freezer is worth it’s cost. I don’t particularly like round steak but when it goes on sale I’ll buy it and have it ground up. I do the same for some other types of meat. I do have one picky eater who only likes white meat chicken, so when the breast goes on sale I stock up.
    I find shopping for only the sale items let’s me splurge once in a while on things that never go on sale.
    Thanks for all the great tips….

  • We save a lot on meat by purchasing offals (no pun), which are organ meats. Organ meats were once considered a delicacy. Beef heart can be as tender as sirloin if cut into chunks and cooked in a slow cooker. I have a solar oven where I cook for 4-6 hours at a time.

    People can grind their own hamburger with a beef heart base, although I have not done this.

    • I agree with everything except that beef heart. ROFL, when we were first married, over 60 years ago, I bought a beef heart, on the advice of a friend. I pressure cooked it for four hours, and it was so tough we could not eat it, thus, we had scrambled eggs that night. 

    • Both the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have been trying to get us to radically reduce our red meat consumption for decades now. Eating meat is one of the leading causes of cancer and heart disease in this country. So I have to join Gloria’s camp on this one. In my home, we eat chicken once a week and red meat about once every 2-3 months. Our primary sources of protein on a daily basis are legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, fish. This keeps us lean and healthy.

      • OMG!! I would lose my marbles if I only got red-meat every few months! I get it but I am amazed that my grandmother loved to 99 and I have an aunt who is now 103 and they were raised on bacon fat and a huge meal of meat and potatoes every single day. I hate to use this analogy but bear with me. My late father smoked all his life, started at age 12! When the doctor told him he must stop at age 67 he really became different. At 75, he pulled me aside and said, “you know…I think and dream of smoking every day and night. Why can’t I just live my life happy while I’m here? I’m already old, so that doctor is not saving my life! Why extend my life if I’m not living like I want to?” His point…he just wanted to be happy while he was living. Sometimes I just feel like we deprive ourselves of certain things in life only to live a life feeling deprived!

      • I can’t speak for others, but lost weight after trying different diets for 10 years when we started buying part of a cow at a time and boosted our red meat intake to where we eat farm grass fed beef 4 plus days/week, and use the bones and fat for bone broth and tallow. My parents did the same, and both lowered cholesterol. It is all about the natural food for us; whole milk, creams, yogurts, eggs, and red meat. I threw away the food pyramid, threw away processed food, and started eating like my grandparents did, eating the food that God made for us.

  • I use my vacuum sealer, often and with great results. I cut the store label off the plastic wrap when I buy meat and stick it on top of the cut inside the vacuum sealer bag. It has a lot of information on what’s actually in the bag. when I separate a family size package into smaller portions of meat, I use my scale and mark how much is in the bag which really helps for meal planning.

    I also wash out and reuse vac sealer bags that did not have chicken in them, even tho the manufacturer advises against it.sometimes the bags do develop tiny holes which prevent a used bag from resealing properly – then it’s trash.

  • When I used to buy grocery-store meat I’d find that leaner ground beef (90% or greater) was quite a bit more expensive than standard ground chuck or ground round, so if a tough beef roast like rump or round roast cost less per pound than lean ground beef I’d simply buy a roast and have the butcher grind it up for me, for free. I also once purchased 1/3 of a processed whole animal, splitting it with two other families for an average cost of $2.50/lb. We happened to have a chest freezer to store the meat (which came vacuum-sealed in portions), and between just my husband and myself I didn’t buy beef for the next few years.

    To save money on chicken I buy whole birds (especially when they’re marked down) and cut them up myself, rather than buy breasts, thighs, wings etc. separately. There are video tutorials online for how to do this. The bones and neck can then be used to make broth (which also helps the grocery budget), which can be frozen in ice cube trays or pressure-canned for storage at room temperature.

    Also ditto on the flexibility…I would just add that meat can be stretched even farther if it’s used as an ingredient rather than the main attraction – e.g, a stir-fry, soups, fajitas, pizza, etc., as opposed to the standard “meat+2” that’s common at least here in the South. Most of us don’t need a 6oz. chicken breast or 8oz. cut of beef in one sitting, and with eggs or beans/lentils to stand in for the protein or just bacon as a garnish, a meal or two per week can even be meatless or nearly so. We still have a whole roast chicken (which I looove) or meatloaf/steak occasionally, but since investing in local, pasture-raised meats I try to use them judiciously.

    • Terry-I only buy meat direct from the farmer; buy part of a cow. It’s always been less that $3/pound, even in 2023. I found a farmer that sells me 1/8, also have a chest freezer, but if you tell a farmer you only need x amount, they will often find people to split an animal with you. I do this with pork. I know people who like hunting but don’t have the space to keep it or they didn’t want to deal/didn’t have time to get it processed. They have either: given part of it for free in exchange for “renting” part of the person’s freezer, sold it for cheap, or given a substantial amount if the person paid for processing/did the processing themselves. We have land in Northern MN with an old airstream on it, and live on a lake. People often use our boat, and/or stay on our land. They’ve almost always given us part of their catch.

  • At my grocery store the price of any ground meat still in the meat case on the morning of the last day of “sell by date” is reduced by 25%! Gotta arrive early to snap up this bargain.

    • If anyone has an Aldi’s Market in your area, shop there for meat and veggies. Most of their products are from local farmers. Their prices are low for great whole chicken, chicken pieces, pork chops, both boneless and with bone-in chops, hamburger, and they do carry the 90% lean hamburger. They usually sell just their own products although I have found the already mashed potatoes by Bob Evans on sale there on occasion. They carry wonderful chicken and beef broth, for cooking or just to heat and drink. My husband and I love Dannon Yogurt, especially the blueberry yogurt, and I usually have to go to Market 32/Price Chopper for those items.
      However, you would be surprised how much you can save at Aldi’s, so I shop there first and then head to Price Chopper for anything we want that is not carried by Aldi’s.

      • Carla, I am so happy I saw your comment! I just found out that a brand new Aldi’s is going in about 2 miles from me. I never knew that much of their stuff is actually local and I love that! We really need to try to buy as local as we can, don’t we? That would certainly help keep our economy afloat. God bless! :-) Also, I don’t know where you are, but I am in Iowa and when all of our local Dahl’s stores closed, they were replaced by Price Chopper’s and Cash Saver’s. Don’t know where Price Choppers is, but think I will check it out.

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