[00:00:00] All right. Let’s talk about meat. So meat is one of the most expensive areas of grocery shopping because it just costs more than a lot of other things. And most people eat meat with a majority of their meals. So we’re going to talk about some ways to really save on meat that’s gonna really help make a huge difference in how much you’re spending each month on groceries.
[00:00:27] So. My first talk about some tips on purchasing meat, so you can buy meat at the butcher block, like when you go to the butcher inside of a grocery store. I like going to the more expensive stores because you’re going to have better deals on meat because they’ll typically have at least one type of meat.
[00:00:48] That’s a really good deal, and if you’re okay just choosing whatever meat that is, it’s on sale and going for that, it’ll really help save you money. And then you just stock up when you [00:01:00] have a meat that you use a lot. So ask the butcher if it is something that is at the butcher part, like you can get chicken and steak at all kinds of different things and you can ask them to individually wrap the portions of meat that you want.
[00:01:14] So that way you don’t have to go home and unpack a bunch of raw chicken and put them into freezer bags that are smaller sizes. So that’s one way to really save you a ton of time and you don’t have to pay for freezer bags. And I mean, not many people love just touching raw meat and organizing it and packaging it up.
[00:01:35] So it makes it really easy to do that by going to the butcher first. And when you walk into the grocery store, if you know that’s what you’re going to get, go to the butcher first. Tell them what you would like. You could say, I’d like it to be like two chicken breasts in each pack or whatever you want, and then come back after you’ve done your shopping to go pick them up at the end.
[00:01:56] So it gives them some time and you’re not waiting. Some [00:02:00] of the butchers also will give you the ability to just, they’ll season the meat for free if you ask for it. And it’s never an issue to just, you know, the worst that can say is no, but they’ll have, they typically have seasonings at the butcher. Um, section.
[00:02:17] And then that way when you take it home and you put it in your freezer and you thought out, it actually becomes like a marinade for it and you don’t have to pay for it. So that’s one step that just makes it a little bit easier. It’s also good to look at the reduced meat sections at grocery stores. A lot of them are actually labeled like reduced meat, and there’s a full section of them, but you’ll also see, even in those stores that they’re also going to have reduced meat throughout the meat section.
[00:02:44] So don’t just rely on that section and thing that well, if there’s, that’s the only place you’re going to get good deals on meat. It’s not. Um, it’s also really good to check out the store circulars, which is the weekly [00:03:00] ads. And they normally always come out on Wednesdays. You can check it digitally as well.
[00:03:06] So most of the grocery stores, they’ll have an app that you can download for free, and they want you to download their app because then they’ll give you more deals. And. Yeah. It just, they, they want you to do that and so that will help you to go and check and see what their specials are for that week.
[00:03:26] And so I really like to go and look at those before I go to the store so I can see which store I want to go to that week, or if I just want to skip them altogether. When you do find a good meat sale, you want to stock up on it. On that good deal and freeze all the extras that you’ll need for later on.
[00:03:46] And typically meat sales go every three months, so you want to buy enough that will reach the three month mark. So if you don’t have a deep freezer and you just have the freezer that [00:04:00] comes with your refrigerator, it is really helpful if you have some more storage space, if you want to really. Take advantage of buying meat in bulk.
[00:04:09] And that’s one of the things I really like stocking up on is having meat and frozen veggies in my freezers. And I also make like beef broth and, um, like bone broth kind of things. And I freeze that. And so that way I can just use that at any time. So the more space you have in your freezer, it will really help you to.
[00:04:30] To keep up and get some better deals. But if you have too much freezer space, it can be overwhelming. You can also just totally forget about what you have. So I wouldn’t get like a freezer that you could lay down and take a nap in. Get something smaller, something that works for your family. I mean, if you have a giant family, then maybe you need one that you can, you know, live inside of if you felt like it.
[00:04:55] But find one that works well for you and when you make your food. [00:05:00] Your meat and you cook it. If it’s been in your fridge for about two to three days and you haven’t eaten it and you don’t think you will put it in the freezer, put it in a Ziploc bag, label it, and that way you don’t have to throw it away.
[00:05:14] And this cuts back on your food waste. And also like you worked. And spent time making that food and just throwing it away. It’s just a shame. So go ahead and figure out a use for that meat. Okay. So we’re going to now go to some specific types of meat and how much I spend on it personally and some tips.
[00:05:36] So we’re going to talk about chicken. Chicken is one of the biggest staples we have in our diet. It isn’t very fatty. It’s one of the most inexpensive meats available. And so I really like it, and it’s very versatile. There’s a lot of different ways you can get it in different cuts. So. For boneless skinless chicken breast, I will not spend a dollar [00:06:00] 80 a pound.
[00:06:01] I honestly, I tried to do a dollar 50 is when I start stocking up on it. I don’t, if I have to spend a dollar 80 I’ll do it, but I won’t go over that amount. For the bone-in chicken, breast, thighs, and legs. I don’t like to spend more than a dollar a pound. And a lot of those can be reduced and you can get like chicken legs and thighs for like 70 cents a pound easily at a lot of the more expensive grocery stores.
[00:06:33] And the nice thing about having it with the bone in, I used to be afraid to actually. Cook things with bones in it because I don’t know, it just intimidated me for years. And then I started realizing like, well, it’s actually a lot more flavorful when you cook it with the bone in than it is with just doing a boneless skinless chicken breast.
[00:06:56] Um, so when I do the boneless skinless chicken breast, if [00:07:00] you cut it thin. It, it just, it cooks a lot better and it’s because it can dry out. And that’s a tricky thing about like cooking chicken without making it dry. One of the ways that I have just recently started cooking chicken and it has helped it be so much better tasting and it also has just evenly cooked the food, my chicken so much more.
[00:07:25] And that’s by using cast iron pans. I don’t know if you’ve tried that before, but I would really recommend if you haven’t purchased a cast iron pan, it really helps. The food tastes so much better. Like a burger on a cast iron pan is. Just so much better. It’s shocking how the food actually tastes different.
[00:07:44] I had no idea, and it’s pretty easy to do and it’s not very expensive. It’s, you know, I bought some cast iron pans when they were on sale. At Costco actually, and one thing, this is just a total [00:08:00] side note for Costco deals. If you look at the number on the price tag, so if it ends with two zero, so if it’s like $24 even that means that’s the cheapest the price is going to go.
[00:08:12] If it ends with a seven, so like 1997 and the price, then that means that it’s on their first round of going on sale. So that’s how you know deals. At Costco, it’s not typically on food, but for other items in the store. And so I was able to get a cast iron pan and they are supposed to last for like a lifetime or even like something you’re going to pass on to your kids and then they’re their kids.
[00:08:39] And so it’s a good investment. I think I bought mine for like $20 and it’s a two-pack. And it’s the lodge brand and I’ve really loved it. It’s a definitely like a learning curve, but you can look up and figure out some ways to do it, but I would really recommend trying to cook chicken on that. It’s going to make it [00:09:00] so much better and it’s way less dry.
[00:09:03] It tastes more like a restaurant when you go and get chicken there where it’s not dry and stringy and unhappy. So here’s some more about chicken. Buying whole chickens are typically not a great deal. And I also, I, I just struggle cause I feel like they’re, they’re tricky. They’re not worth the effort in my opinion.
[00:09:27] And you’ll typically, like, I won’t spend more than a dollar a pound for the whole chickens, but you can go and get a rotisserie chicken at Costco and it is actually cheaper or the same price as buying an uncooked chicken. At a regular grocery store and for me to get one at Costco that weighs more, that I don’t have to cook, that’s already done for me is a yes, I will do that.
[00:09:53] So Costco sells their rotisserie chickens for four 99 they actually lose money on their rotisserie chickens, but [00:10:00] they make it up in selling all kinds of other things, and that’s how they get more people in the door. So I can’t make a route a chicken nearly as good as the Costco does a rotisserie chicken.
[00:10:12] So that’s why I just go for that. If you do have bone in chicken, instead of just throwing away the bones, go and put them in your instant pot and make bone broth bone broth. It’s so good for you. I love to add it into so many dishes. Like for soups, I add it in. All kinds of dishes. It really helps. Also, even just cooking rice, instead of using water, I use bone broth.
[00:10:40] It adds more flavor and it has a lot more nutrients and it’s just good for you. And what I do is I make sure I put a little bit of Apple cider vinegar, so about a tablespoon to two tablespoons. I don’t actually measure, I just put up a good like glop in it, and that helps get all the nutrients out of the bones.
[00:10:59] And [00:11:00] then I typically just set the instant pot on the highest number. And so. If you have an instant pot, you can go all the way and take like 10 years to get to, I think it goes to 240 minutes. But if you go intake, press the minus button, it goes backwards. So it starts at zero and then it works to 240 so that’s a little trick to save you a little bit of time.
[00:11:22] And then I just let it go and then I turn it off and let it cool, and then I strain it and I put it in. Um, cottage cheese containers. I save the those and I just label them and I put them in the freezer. So I have them in two cup sections and then I just take one out typically like once a week, or if I know I’m going to be making stuff that I’ll need it, I’ll just pull it more out and then I just have it set up and it works really well for us.
[00:11:55] I also like making my own bone broth because my husband has food allergies and I [00:12:00] cannot buy chicken broth or beef broth at a store, a canned version because of the spices and the different things that’s in it. So if you make it yourself, you are, it doesn’t really cost you anything but a little bit of your time.
[00:12:13] And you can also use those bones one more time. So you can do at one time. Strain it off, add more water, more Apple cider vinegar. If it is a deep color. If it doesn’t look that much, then I wouldn’t. You can also add some veggies in it if you want, especially if they’re like ones that are needing to be used up like some celery that’s a little wilty or a couple of carrots that just need to be used up.
[00:12:36] You can add that in there to add a little bit more flavor as well. Okay, so we’re going to go to beef. So beef is. Really got, has really gotten expensive over the years. And I went a really long time, pretty much like boycotting, buying beef because I was so unhappy with the prices and I realized [00:13:00] that my boycotting buying beef really wasn’t making a difference.
[00:13:04] And we were kind of sad that we never ate beef anymore. And so I broke down and I bought some beef. And so I’ve had to change. My view on how much I’m willing to spend on it. I used to never want to spend more than $2 a pound for beef, and it’s just not realistic. So for steaks or any type of beef cut in that way, that is a steak a, I’m like, if you’re going to do like a beef roast or something like that, I will ma, the most I’ll spend is $3 a pound.
[00:13:38] And you might be wondering like, what kind of stakes can you get for $3 a pound? Well, it’s stakes that are on sale. Like I’ve gotten petite sirloin stakes for $3 a pound and when it’s a birthday or Christmas or something like that, I do splurge a little bit and that’s okay. I mean, it’s not something I do all the time, but I try to make sure that I don’t spend more than [00:14:00] $3 a pound and I don’t normally get those that often.
[00:14:03] And when I purchase ground beef. I try to make sure that I spend less than $2 and 50 cents a pound. And with ground beef, you’re going to notice that the price changes drastically dependent on the fat content. So the most expensive ground beef you’re gonna get is the like 90 10 there’s even like 93 seven so it’s 93% beef, 7% fat.
[00:14:28] So that’s going to be the most expensive. If you’re gonna make burgers, it’s. It becomes like a pretty dry burger at that point, so I wouldn’t go and get the most expensive beef there. So I normally try to hit closer to the 85 15 sometimes the 80 20 I don’t like going under that because when you get, it’s typically like 73% and then 26.
[00:14:54] Seven if I’m doing my math right, a percent fat. And at that point it’s like you’re just in a sea of [00:15:00] grease that you just deal with and it’s gross. One thing with beef, when you do have the grease, you should not be putting it down the sink. It’s really bad for your pipes. And so if you are using a can.
[00:15:13] Like for like beans or something. You can add that into the can after you’ve used it. I also, I always have a jelly jar that is empty that I run through the dishwasher and I have it closed. I put it under my sink and so when I need to strain off. Making ground beef or something like that. I just pour that grease into there and seal it up and when it’s full, I throw it away and that just helps it to just be out of my sink and it doesn’t stink things up.
[00:15:45] So here’s some ideas on ways to use beef and make it so it’s easier for you to have it on hand and easy meals that you can do. So I’m a big fan of making meatballs, [00:16:00] and I do that when I buy beef on a really good sale. And I go and I bake a lot of them. Like. 100 meatballs at a time. And I like doing batch cooking and I do batch work in like all areas of my life and it really helps you just get a lot of things done all at once.
[00:16:19] You’re just in one mode, you get it done and then it saves you time throughout the rest of the weeks. And so I like having meatballs because you can freeze them and then you can just pop out a couple of them, microwave it and have it for. I’m an easy lunch or dinner, whatever. You can use it in all kinds of different types of meals, so I don’t try to do like crazy seasonings with it.
[00:16:41] I try to make it so it’s pretty versatile. I also like to make hamburger patties for, um, and then I use wax paper in between the P the patties, and then I freeze them. And that makes it really easy for when we want to, if I don’t have like [00:17:00] meat pulled out and that it’s defrost it, I can just go and put it on the grill.
[00:17:04] And while they’re frozen, because you can buy the, the beef patties that are frozen and you just. Directly put them onto the grill. So I just put them directly on the grill and I have, you know, a burger and it’s really easy. So that’s some of the ways that I freeze it and I just put it in a Ziploc bag and label it.
[00:17:26] I also put the stakes into individuals at block bags and label those as well. And that way we, because my whole family, not all of us are steak fans, and so. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have a bunch of steaks all at once. All right, so now we’re moving to pork. So pork is another inexpensive meat option, and a lot of people don’t think about buying pork chops or pork Tenderloin.
[00:17:55] There’s a lot of different cuts, and the prices vary a lot dependent [00:18:00] on the cut of pork. So for me, I don’t like to spend a dollar more than a dollar a pound on a lot of the pork cuts, including bone in ham. Spiral hams are going to cost a lot more, and one thing. That is an issue with spiral hams is that they dry out really fast because more of the meat is exposed, so you can pretty easily find bone in ham when it is on sale for like 99 cents a pound or even less.
[00:18:29] I just, I made a ham last week and I bought it for 45 cents a pound because it ended up being on sale and then it was buy one get one free and it was reduced price. They still do it with bat. The buy one get one free. So it was a really good deal. You can also freeze a ham and then just pull it out when you are needing it.
[00:18:53] So you don’t have to just think of it as like a holiday food. It’s quite easy to do. [00:19:00] So normally I like to buy. Pork and meat at higher end grocery stores because they have way better deals and they do have a lot of buy one, get one free deals, and sometimes they’re not always that, that good of a deal when it is buy one get one free.
[00:19:15] So if you know the prices of the meat beforehand, that will help you to, to determine if it actually is a good deal. Because one thing. I have noticed is that the buy one get one free deals. A lot of times they’ll actually raise the price of the meat before they, they change it to buy one, get one free. So then it ends up being pretty similar to the same normal price.
[00:19:36] But you just think you’re getting a better deal. So if you know what a good prices to begin with, or if it’s reduced price and it’s buy one get one free, that’s when you can get some amazing deals. So I have been able to get pork Tenderloin for under a dollar a pound multiple times. And then when I do that, I just stock up and put it in my freezer and it’s an amazing meat to have around.
[00:20:00] Um, one thing that is more expensive is bacon. And. Over the years, I’ve really realized that there is a huge, huge difference in quality of bacon, and I’ve realized that I don’t really like the, the cheap bacon you can get like, Oh, it’s just not as good. It’s really fatty. And so what I like to do is if there is bacon on sale, then I stock up at that point.
[00:20:30] I actually, I went to grocery outlet, it was probably like three months ago and they had some bacon that was on sale. And it normally is, I think, $6 for the pound or per pound. And they were on sale for 97 cents for a pack of bacon. And I had gotten it before and I knew it was really good. And so I bought every single one.
[00:20:52] I think I bought like 60 pounds of bacon, a lot of bacon. And um, it’s been really nice because. [00:21:00] I have never had this much bacon in my life, but we are able to like bring it to different events. I add bacon to our breakfastses and into other meals. And so bacon is very versatile, but it’s really hard to get that kind of deal on a frequent basis because I’ve never gotten that good of deal on bacon in my life.
[00:21:21] Um, but typically I won’t spend more than two 50 a pound on bacon. And so it’s, it’s kind of. Tricky with that. One way I have realized to help bacon that isn’t that great to taste better and like elevate the flavor is to actually put maple syrup on top of the bacon, like two thirds of the way through baking it, or I like to put it in the oven because it doesn’t splatter on you and get on your clothes and all that.
[00:21:49] It’s way easier doing it that way. So that’s one thing I do for the not as nice cuts of bacon. And if you want to [00:22:00] put your bacon in the oven, it’s a great plan because all you have to do is put the bacon on a baking sheet, don’t have them overlap. Put it in the oven before you turn the oven on and then turn it to 400 or 400 degrees, let it hit to the 400 and then like 10 minutes later, flip it over, drain some of the grease out the bacon fat, and then just cook it in there until it’s done and just drain the bacon fat as well.
[00:22:30] Okay. So that’s some tips on bacon for pork. Tenderloins I love to put it in the instant pot. You can Brown it first and saute it first, and that makes it a lot better. And just. Oh, it’s just, it’s really good. So there’s some different ways you can make it. You can also make pulled pork and add different ingredients into that so it can make it really tasty.
[00:22:55] So that is a focus on the meat for today. Our next [00:23:00] section is on dry goods, so make sure you come to that when you’re ready.