Thrifty Thursday: How to Save on Meat (Part 1)

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I received a great question asking how to save on fresh meat and produce.  I started writing down ideas and realized this should be a short series.  I’ll post several ideas on how you can save money on meat and produce over the next couple of weeks.

Saving money on meat at the grocery store

Watch for Sales: Purchase meat when it goes on sale.  Look at the weekly sale fliers to see which stores have the best prices.

Watch for markdowns:  Stores markdown meat as it gets closer to the sell by date.  Buy meat when it’s at a reduced price and either cook it by the suggested date or freeze for later use.

Stockpile: Purchase multiple packages of meat when you find a good deal.  I love B1G1 sales or even better, B1G2 sales.  Perdue tends to go through cycles when you can score great deals on chicken.  Pick up 3 packages of chicken for $2-$3 per package instead of $6-$9.

Buy in Bulk: Don’t be afraid to purchase a family size package if it’s a great price per lb.  Open the package and freeze in meal size portions.  Recently, Harris Teeter had a family pack of bone-in chicken breast for around $3.  I divided the package into 3 meals, averaging just over $1 per meal.  You could also divide a 5 lb package of ground beef into five 1 lb packages if it’s a great price.

Prepare/Trim Meat Yourself:  Avoid buying meat that has been butterflyed, pre-sliced, formed into patties or marinated.  You can save by doing these simple tasks yourself.

Read How to Save on Meat Part 2

What are your tips for saving on meat and produce?


  1. Emma B. says

    Love this! Thanks! I am doing a low-carb diet and have found I am spending way more money on groceries since I'm not buying cheap "junk" food and buying more meat.

  2. Anonymous says

    To save a little, I purchase the "Market Ground" beef from Publix. It's just steaks they have made a mistake on or can't be sold as steaks for some reason. The fat content is only 2% off of Lean Ground Beef and I get it for $2.49 per pound instead of $4.19 per pound.

    Publix also offer custom cutting & butchering for free. I often have a roast cut into cubes for stew meat or carnitas and save $2.00 – $3.00 per pound.

  3. carsmall says

    Dana…I have been using the rebate forms. For instance, I recently purchased $10 worth of steak but I had a rebate for $6. Same thing for beef, I had a rebate for $5 if I purchased $10 worth of beef, ketchup, or must. Just in this month, I have over $50 worth of money coming my way from pizza or meat rebates. Most of these rebates are from alcohol companies but they do not require a beer purchase (that's a good thing since no one in my family drinks)

    Thanks for posting & I am learning 😉 My brain is about to explode w/ info & ideas…lol

  4. Dana @ The Coupon Challenge says

    My meat goal prices list needs to be updated because prices are usually slightly higher now-also vary by region

    I haven't tried having the butcher cut or grind my meat. I'll add that to the end post, thanks.

    Thanks Carsmall, that's part of the next post. You've learned more than you think you have! I've gotten a ton of cheap meat and seafood over the summer from MIR's. I like to shop for MIR's in the beer section :)

  5. Nicole says

    Another suggestion for stockpiling when meat goes on sale…if you're not sure what to do with all the extra, pre-cook it and freeze it! I usually brown the ground beef in a large batch, then divide it up into 1-lb baggies and freeze. Then if you're in a crunch for dinner one night, just pull out the baggie, heat meat on the stovetop, and throw into spaghetti sauce or add taco seasoning. For chicken, I will boil extra chicken for about 20 min, cube, and freeze in meal sized portions. When I thaw it out I use it to make a simple meal like chicken and rice or biscuits w/ gravy.

    As I get more experienced at freezer cooking, I plan my monthly "freezer cooking plan" before I absolutely need it so I can buy the meat I need as it goes on sale throughout the month. This way I can stock my freezer with full meals a little bit at a time instead of in a huge marathon cooking session!


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