So, can I just level with you? I tried to do the vegetarian thing for my husband. I mean, not entirely vegetarian because I don’t believe that’s a healthy choice. Growing up, my mother in law had bad reactions to beef and apparently they burned out on chicken, so there were a lot of vegetarian meals. In my family, the norm was to have a meat main dish with sides. One of my favorite meals is roast with potatoes and carrots if that tells you anything!
So, like I said, I tried it for him. I really did. But girlfriend, I am a meat lover. I love the taste, the texture and I don’t care how broke we are, I just can’t do a lot of meals without meat or I don’t feel good and I just don’t enjoy them. So, I’ve found ways to compromise like making the occasional meatless chili, but for the most part I just try to make it affordable. So if your family has to have meat, then this post is for you! Enjoy!
Ask for the case price
We have saved as much as $0.50 a pound just by asking for a case price. If you have a small family or a limited budget, go in on a case with a friend. You can each benefit from the case price without having to spend more of your budget than you can afford in order to buy an entire case.
Buy clearance meats and manager’s special meats to freeze or cook immediately.
When fresh meat is about to expire, it goes on deep clearance so the store does not have to throw it out. This meat is perfectly safe to bring home, as long as it is cooked or frozen immediately.
Make recipes that are not focused solely on meat
Cut expensive meats with cheap ones
Ground turkey alone is a great choice for the very frugal family, but my husband and I agreed that we do not prefer the taste of ground turkey alone, so sometimes I will cut the amount of ground beef in half in a recipe, then add in ground turkey to make up the rest of the meat. My husband does not notice a difference in the taste, but the cost is significantly lower. In stews and chilis I have added just ground turkey and used some beef Better Than Bullion to give it that beefy taste for way cheaper.
Use shredded meat in recipes
If I served my husband half a chicken breast for his meat with dinner, he would ask where the rest of his meat was. In a recipe like shredded chicken with vegetables and rice, I can use almost half the amount of meat without displeasing my carnivore.
Other meals like my Easy Red Bean Taco Soup Recipe is super easy to add chicken to. One of the tricks I like to use to make the leftovers taste like a completely different meal is to make the first batch of the soup vegetarian style, then add shredded chicken to the leftovers. It makes the taste and texture totally different.
Hunting is a great way to subsidize your meat budget, but hunting isn’t for everyone. My husband rarely has time to hunt these days, but we have friends who have given us meat on occasion and it is always a huge blessing! We will pay for the hunter’s costs, like the processing fees or the cost of the tag, but even with that expense the costs it is still very inexpensive for the amount of meat you can get. I actually processed 2 deer legs once because someone said we could keep the meat when I was visiting my family out of town, two hours away from my house and Ian. We got several nice-sized roasts out of it and really enjoyed the meat, not to mention the savings.
How do you save on meat costs? Leave a comment below and share your ideas, if I get enough ideas from readers, I will turn them into a blog post