Sunday, February 15, 2015

Affording meat


My go to price cap for meat has been $4/lb, fish $6/lb. It's getting more and more difficult, however to stay in budget. I plan dinners a month at a time, usually mid month for the upcoming month, after stock taking of what is on hand. Some tricks I have used:

-vegtetarian Thursday
-soup on Saturday (usually contains very little meat)
-50-50 meat-bean/lentil combos such as pinto-meat tacos
-home roasted meats for sandwich fillings, Aldi's cold cuts

-stocking up on sale meats, marked down meats (pictured above are 4 good sized, cubed steaks that I recently got on marked down, paying $4.22/lb-more than I'd like, but still a relative bargain, given the current cost of beef)
-reducing amount of meat used (besides the 50-50 mentioned above). I make spaghetti sauce with 1/4 lb Italian sausage or 1/2 lb beef now, stretched with tons of vegetables. Note that I am feeding 6 adult appetites
-more ground turkey over ground beef as it is 1/2 as expensive
-stretching recipes such as meat-rice stuffed peppers, casseroles, stews with only 1 lb meat, casseroles where meat is a flavoring and the vegetables are center stage

Even with the aforementioned tricks, I am finding it harder and harder to stock pile meats. More and more, I am using meats up from the freezer, not to immediately replace them for future meals as I am still awaiting a deal on that particular protein. What are you doing in your neck of the woods?


Theresa F said...

I pretty much just buy chicken or fish as they are the things most frequently on sale. Red meat is pretty much off the menu as it is exorbitantly high. The problem with not ever buying red meat however has been my very low B12 levels, which affects my memory big time.

I do all the things you do to save money on meat.

Belinda said...

We've been mostly doing without. I did buy some ground beef the other day, which I blogged about, after finding it on a yellow sticker markdown.

I do look at the roast prices and see sticker shock every time. Small roasts costing $15 to $17 and on up. It's unreal.

We do many of the things you do...stretch it as far as possible. Using cracker crumbs in meatloaf, adding potatoes to taco meat, using Mexican rice or lentils in place of ground beef in Tacos, using less meat, adding rice to ground beef in stuffed peppers, making stuffed peppers without any meat.

Mostly we do without though. Beans & Cornbread, Baked Potato Night, Hash Brown Casserole, Bean & Cheese Enchiladas, all can be served with a salad or vegetable on the side and be very filling.

Shanna said...

Sam's Club has had a special going on for a while now on pork chops at $1.97lb. That is down right cheap anymore. They are huge, thick & a lg pkg netted me two meals for my family of 5. They also had pork butt for $167 lb.

I also buy my chicken & hamburger thru Zaycon Foods when I get low. You cannot beat their prices (at least not where I live) for organic meat.

Roast, steaks, heck any kind of red meat is so outrageous anymore. I get sick every time I look at the prices in the store. Beef stew meat is $6.99 lb at my Meijer store. I about fell over when I saw that a few wks ago. I was lucky enough last yr when I found a bunch of it marked down so I stocked up. I also then cut the pieces down even more to make it go farther.

I also have done all the same things, reducing the amount of meat in meals, adding beans, making more soups etc... It can get down right depressing sometimes just to see the price of food.

Patti said...

I bought a half a cow from a farm about 60 miles away. Love the meat and the price.
I just stock up on the other stuff when I see the sales. With two freezers, I can buy a lot if the price is right. If they both are full, I have to start canning soup! My family LOVES it, so much better than what you can buy.
I also buy a lot more chicken thighs as the sales are better.
When I buy breasts, it is zaycon chicken.
We are eating lots of main dish salads with just a little meat and cheese added.
We are also eating lots of scalloped potatoes with a little ham or bacon and cheese. Put with a green veg, it is a whole meal.
Quiche is another frequent meal.

Linda said...

I am allergic to beef, so the prices don't affect me much. $2/lb is the most I will pay for any meat.

DW said...

It's interesting the variation of prices across the country. My target price for meat is around $2 per pound, which means lots of chicken ... though sale prices for pork are back in that range now.

We're doing the same as you. I look for markdowns, using recipes that stretch meat as far as possible, too. Frozen fish at Aldi is pretty reasonable, so I try to include that for meals.
We were eating a lot of pasta with vegetable-based sauces, but DH has asked for a break from the pasta.
With Lent coming up, we definitely will have at least one meatless meal per week, and I've been planning ahead.
The only beef I've purchased was some ready-made cheeseburgers from Costco. On sale, it averages around $1.35 a sandwich ... keeps us away from fast food with the add-on costs.