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Extreme Couponing Tip: Save Big on Meat with These Strategies!

Reduced: Stores mark down prices for quick sales on products like meat and bakery usually in the night or early morning hours. Keep a lookout for stickers saying things like “$ off this package,” “BOGO” or “50% off.” If the food is nearing its expiration date, use it that evening or freeze it!

Sales: Shopping your store’s large meat sales can be a great way to stock up when the price is krazy low! Divide the cost with neighbors, or freeze for the future. Check out rock bottom meat prices to look for on our KCL Stock Up List (page 4)!

Branch out: Check out local butcher shops or farms for great deals on fresh meat. Sometimes their prices can be lower than bargain grocery stores.

Location: Check out other locations in the store for comparison. If you’re looking for fish, check out canned, smoked, or the frozen section. For frozen fish, look for boneless skinless fillets in individually vacuum sealed packages (usually in larger bags ranging from 2.5-4 lbs). It’s also good to have items like canned meat and jerky on hand in case of emergencies.

Whole: When individual specialty cuts are too expensive, consider buying uncut portions. Deboning a chicken or slicing up a side of beef can be fairly easy once you have the know how. Ask your local butcher to show you the ropes, or check out instructional YouTube videos. For buys like whole fish, the butcher will gladly do the fillet work for you (and usually for free).

Divide & Conquer: Family size packages are often cheaper per pound than their small counterparts. Invest in a bigger package, then divide it up into portions when you get home. You can either cook it first then freeze, or freeze it raw. Make sure to seal them well in freezer bags.

Stretch it out: When making tacos or soup, try adding legumes like lentils, split peas, or beans. Other great alternatives include TVP (textured vegetable protein– a dehydrated soy flour) in chili, or oatmeal, rice, and bread crumbs in meatloaf.

Catalinas: Use Catalinas and rewards you’ve received on past purchases to buy things that you don’t normally have coupons for, like meat and produce.

Lunch meats: Instead of automatically heading to the deli counter, check out the packaged deli choices too. They are often the same company as the counter, but these are much more likely to have coupons and be cheaper. For healthier options at either location, opt for meat without added nitrates and fillers and low on preservatives.

Leftovers: If your family doesn’t finish a roasted chicken or turkey in one sitting, take the rest of the meat off the bone and use it for leftovers (soups, casseroles, sandwiches). Other great versatile meat leftovers include beef roast (stroganoff, Shepherd’s pie, hash, stew), pork (pork fried rice, quesadillas, stir fry), and ham (chef salad, omelets).

Doctor it up: Consider buying less expensive cuts of meat, then tenderizing, marinating, or slow cooking them. You’ll often get the same great flavor as the more expensive cuts at a fraction of the cost. Also shaping your own hamburger patties or thin cutting steak by hand will save you from having to pay for someone else to do the work.

Relax: While some meat products occasionally have coupons, remember that these items are something that you won’t likely get for 90% off every time like deodorant or toothpaste. It’s okay to spend money on produce, meats, and protein! When we save in other areas (like at the drugstore), this brings our overall bill down. Aim to save 50%-90% on your total bill, which includes food and non-food items.

Check out these posts for more on saving on fresh food:
How to Save on Produce
How to Save on Dairy

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8 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Save Big on Meat with These Strategies!”

  1. pattybee says:

    When my 5 children were all at home I used to by a side of beef for the freezer. It can be very time saving and convenient. You can tell them what percentage of fat you want in the hamburger that comes from the cutting and I also had all of the hamburger made into patties for a little extra fee. That way I always looked for the specials in the stores on hamburger for cooking of the many meals that a family likes made from hamburger and had the convenience of always having ready made hamburgers for the grill in the freezer.

  2. sue says:

    I find that many ethnic grocery stores have meats that are inexpensive and the butchers will cut or gut for free. =)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another option might be to go into shares with another family on a side of beef assuming you live in or near a rural area that has a meat processing plant. The cuts are wrapped and usually frozen so you will need a freezer. As to cost it will vary so do your research.
    Recently I came across a website for Zaycon Foods and found the option for buying some meats very interresting. Zaycon works with and buys from a selected group of producers items such as bacon, chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), ground meat, fish, and some produce. Individual customers sign up and approximately every 6-8 weeks in a given area (they have locations for the sales events in virtually every state and multiple locations within each state) a sales event for some of the products is held. I have yet to be able to buy through Zaycon as I just signed up but the last event for my area offered chicken breasts. The price was $1.69 which fro super fresh chicken that is not frozen is quite good for my area. The catch with Zaycon is that you have to buy in case lots. Meats come in 40 pound boxes and from what I can tell none of it is frozen except for the fish which is mostly filleted and vacuum sealed individually. do check them out. Perhaps families could share a case. Some of the offereings by Zaycon are seasonal so be patient. (PS: I am not a spokesperson for Zaycon but simply want to pass on some useful intel.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love BOGO meat! I live in Southern Louisiana, so we don’t have double coupons, etc. However, I live by Winn Dixie and Albertsons Market and I compare their BOGO meat deals every week. I went to Albertsons Market and got pre-seasoned, boneless, no fat, steaks (pretty thick and big) for $15. Well, they were Buy One, Get 2 FREE. So I ended up getting 6 steaks for $15! All I had to do was put them on the grill.

  5. smatzke says:

    I don’t usually have to worry about the meat at the super market. I just do to my parents and shop in their freezer. They sell cattle for a living. So my food bill is usually a lot cheaper than most. I just shop for the extras that they need in return. It is a win win for both of us.

  6. HRHMom says:

    I don’t know if I’d try a side of beef by myself. That’s quite a bit of beef, but you won’t get anything ground unless you have a meet grinder. Plus you have the added cost of packaging it “properly” for freezer storage. Sometimes you can split the cost of a cow with someone, pay processing and come out ahead, too. This is a BIG cost saver if you’re a Paleo diet follower (like myself) and go for the grass-fed, and not grain fed, beef.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I would definitely split a side with a family (or two!). I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard it can be a good way to save on an otherwise very expensive investment!

    • rdhtwn says:

      Paleo x2!