11 Tips From a Meat-Cutter to Cut Spending
Contributed by: John Wilder
Here are eleven tips on cutting costs in the meat department of your grocery store.
1. Get to know your meat-cutters by talking to them. Then find out when they have meat-specials. This is usually done in the morning when a meat package is nearing its sell by date. You can save 50%. Just be sure to put the meat in the freezer that day. Then go in early in the day before it sells.
2. Get a large upright freezer and stock up on bargains.
3. Any meat counter will custom cut your meats. For example, a whole fryer can be on sale from .79 to .99 cents a pound. Cut up fryers are like $2.49 a pound in the display case. Instead of picking up that cut-up chicken, take the whole chicken and have them cut it for you for free on request.
4. Instead of paying for ultra lean ground beef, or chicken or pork, buy a chuck roast or round roast on sale and then have the meat-cutter grind it for you for free. Stock up while you are at it.
5. Don’t buy packaged broth, make your own from bones that you don’t throw away, but save all bones in a zip lock bag in the freezer. A small container of broth costs 3.49. You can make it for free by simmering bones in a crock pot for several hours. Use about 3 lbs of bones. It is easy and no fuss no work. Freeze the stock or broth for your next soup.
6. It goes without saying; don’t buy soup bones when you can make it from bones that you have saved instead of thrown away. Soup bones are expensive and a major profit item for meat counters.
7. Don’t buy steaks or chops already cut, order them in advance from the butcher and tell him that you want them an inch to an inch and a half. It is better to have one pork chop cut to an inch than two half inch pork chops. The meat will be more flavorful and juicy and tender, same goes for steaks.
8. Following the above rule, when Porterhouse steaks are on sale, buy them in quantity and tell the butcher to hand select and cut them. Also have him bone out the fillet part of the Porterhouse and save that for a different meal. In this way you have two elegant meals from one cut of meat.
9. Take the time to learn to marinade meat to tenderize cheaper cuts and use your slow cooker to further tenderize them.
10. When round steak or chuck steak is on sale, ask the meat cutter to run it through their cubing machine which they will do for free. This gives you a cheap tender piece of meat that is ready right away without marinating or slow cooking.
11. Look at buying chicken leg quarters in quantity. Usually they are sold in 10 lb. bags for about .59 cents a pound. There is no other cheaper meat protein. Use them for bar b que, in soups, stews etc. You can use a couple of leg quarters to make a great chicken noodle soup. You can also boil down the broth into a thick stock rich stock for a noodle casserole. Instead of milk add non-fat sour cream for a creamy rich taste without the fat grams or calories.
John Wilder is a Cool Old Guy from Indiana who likes to share advice on several topics. Search for John’s other articles here on CoolOldGuys.org. You can contact John at Southernwriter57@yahoo.com