Yoly Mason: How to Save Money on Meat

With the end of the year so close, there are many holiday parties to plan and feasts to prepare.

Here are tips on how to save on the biggest portion of our food budget: meat.

It’s not an easy task, but with a little planning you'll be able to trim the fat.

1) Check the sales flyers for the loss leaders. Most supermarkets have one or a few proteins (chicken, pork and beef) at great prices as a way to lure customers to come in the store. That’s one time we should follow their lead and stock up.

2) It's better to buy in bulk. Just this week, for example, we were able to buy a whole roast because it was so much cheaper than buying individual steaks. We were able to save money and have enough meat for four meals.

3) Better yet, most supermarkets have a butcher on duty. You don’t have to buy from the meat case to use their services. The butcher can help you portion down the meat for you!

4) One thing to remember when buying meat is that some of the cuts or products are very seasonal. You know that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, for instance, hot dogs to ribs will be better priced. Now that the holidays are pretty much here, you’ll notice how, say, turkey, veal and spiral ham are at their best prices. If you have the freezer space and your family enjoys these, incorporate them into your meal planning.

5) Another tip to save on meats is to make it a side dish instead of making it the central part of a dinner. Think of a chicken breast salad or pork loin stir fry for a light weekday dinner. By slicing or dicing the meat, you could use less of it. Also don’t forget to check the frozen meat section.

6) If you are like me, you buy meat for the whole week in one trip, having to freeze the meats we have just bought. Compare prices for products like fresh vs. frozen ground beef. You could save about 40 percent by just making this switch.

I would love to hear what other ways you save on meat. I am sure I could learn even more!

Yoly Mason writes about frugality and savings tips and tricks in her popular Spanish written blog Cuponeando.net.

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