Decrease your budget’s bite by saving money on meat

J.D. has already covered ways to save money on food. But this time, I wanted to focus on animal protein.

According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meat makes up over 22 percent of our at-home food (not out-to-eat or alcohol) budget. Obviously, you can cut your food budget by decreasing your meat consumption. But if you want to eat meat, how can you do it most cheaply? And waste the least amount of food?

Eat the Crazy Stuff

By the time my husband and I bought our first freezer full of beef, I knew my way around most steaks, roasts and ground beef, of course, but we didn't know what to do with round steaks or even the brisket. Meat is expensive, so I didn't want to waste anything. I hate food waste.

And I wasted even more of the animal than I realized. A couple of times a year, I help a friend sell her meat products at a popular, big-city farmer's market. One of the most popular items is chicken feet (makes great broth that gels, I'm told!). Knuckle bones, chicken livers and gizzards, and organic liver are also popular (and cheaper), along with the normal steaks and ground beef.

My grandfather, raised during the Great Depression, said butchering was a community affair. Very little of the animal was wasted. They even scrambled the brains, which are highly perishable and had to be eaten within hours of the animal being butchered. Tongue sandwiches were also favorites.

Although things weren't wasted during the Great Depression for obvious reasons, I wonder if my grandfather's immigrant parents were just used to eating the entire animal. A former student (her parents weren't born in the US), says a cow's head wrapped in foil and roasted is incredible. She doesn't like the eyeballs, though they are a delicacy to the rest of the family. And her favorite food ever is a soup with tripe in it.

“Nourishing Traditions,” by Sally Fallon gives several suggestions for eating organ meats like sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, heart, brains, and chicken livers. Consume with care: Liver, for instance, can accumulate toxic substances, and some believe that eating brains can transmit bovine diseases to humans.

Grinding up organ meats and mixing it with ground beef can disguise the taste if you're unsure. But I'd rather save money using less adventurous techniques.

Make the Meat Stretch And Use it All Up

When I first started cooking for my husband, meat was the focus of our meals. Pork chops, steaks, chicken breasts, you name it. Our grocery bill was high for two people.

“You eat like what?” my sister said when I complained about our expensive grocery bills. “We eat a lot of one-dish dinners and casseroles, so the meat is diluted with vegetables or pasta. I can feed my family for less.”

I switched, then, and it made a big difference in our food budget. If we do have pork tenderloin one night, then I will make a stir fry or something with vegetables to use up the leftovers.

One of the easiest “stretcher” meals starts with a roasted chicken. Dice up the remaining chicken for a casserole or chicken enchiladas. The carcass, along with vegetable scraps or cut-up onions, can be used to make a scrumptious stock. Actually any bones can be used to make stock. The “Joy of Cooking” cookbook has pages of different stock recipes.

At our house, we rarely buy stock of any kind. In fact, I just made some chicken stock today that went into the freezer.

Cheap Cuts

Some cuts of meat are less expensive than others. When our butcher asked how we wanted our steer processed, I didn't have a clue. Understanding the different types of cuts can definitely save you money. My farmer's market friend has drawings of the animals and where various cuts can be found. She gives her customers suggestions on cooking methods and recipe ideas. In general, when prepared well (or medium well – haha!), the expense of the cut doesn't mean the meat is more or less flavorful. Instead, tougher (more inexpensive) meats may benefit from long cooking times while tender cuts require less time.

And sometimes you may actually prefer the cheaper cut. For instance, boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.49 per pound on the biggest sale at our supermarker while boneless skinless chicken thighs are sometimes $.99 per pound. Because the thighs are juicier, we actually prefer the cheaper of the two options.

Paying Less For Meat

Buying a quarter or half of beef or any other animal may not save you money from the cheapest source of meat. However, the meat will probably be better quality. Or, at the very least, you can find a farmer/rancher who raises the meat in a way that's important to you.

But sometimes it is cheaper. We don't often raise beef, but we had two steers about four years ago. We sold them for $1.50 a pound. This was live weight, so our customers (aka family) paid for the whole animal and had to pay processing costs, but it was less expensive on average for them.

We've also raised and butchered (just once) our own chickens. In the past, for friends and family who want chicken (but don't have the space or don't want to do the chicken chores), we have split the cost of chicks, feed, and processing costs. Then, my husband and I do the work, and we split the chickens at the end. We end up making $2/hour or something, but we know exactly how the chickens were raised. And so do our friends.

Lastly, when meat goes on sale, you can stock up if you have a freezer. My “buy now” price is $.99 per pound or less.

Any way you slice it, animal protein takes up a signifiant amount of our food budgets, so if we can beef up our tactics, we can save some money at the grocery store.

More about...Food, Budgeting, Frugality

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
68 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pauline
Pauline
7 years ago

I own cattle so I am keeping one animal for consumption. They only eat grass so the meat is really good.
We also do stews and dishes that do not require a lot of meat, gradually you get used to it and just use meat for flavor. I used to love a huge steak but can barely finish it now.
While I don’t mind reducing quantity I try to keep buying high quality meats. Processed meat like sausages, patties, is made from the worst unhealthy parts and sold at lean meat prices.

Holly@ClubThrifty
7 years ago

We quit eating meat altogether last year for a variety of reasons. At first, it was hard to find recipes for things we wanted to eat on a regular basis… but now we don’t miss meat at all. There are many cheap protein sources that can replace the need for meat altogether!

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie
7 years ago

We currently live someplace where meat is pretty cheap compared to say, vegetables.

Here’s some of our tips for saving money on food. Thank goodness we don’t have to use them anymore (though I still like split pea soup): http://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/cooking-when-youre-really-broke/

betttylion
betttylion
7 years ago

It’s weird how people nowadays think every meal needs to have meat. People used to eat meat a lot less often. American meat consumption per person has risen tremendously and we are fatter and unhealthier than ever. I try to eat very little meat,for a variety of reasons. I really only eat meat when going out to dinner, which is not often. However, reducing meat in your diet to save money may not work. My food bills have never been higher since we’ve been trying to eat a mostly whole food, mostly vegan diet. Fresh produce is crazy expensive, and… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  betttylion

I can’t speak for all Americans, but the more meat my husband and I ate, the healthier and thinner we got. We were only too happy to eat pizza and pasta and had the waistlines to prove it. Our expanded waistlines weren’t specifically due to low meat, but more to low protein and high refined carbs. Now that we know we need more protein and less (like no) refined carbs, we could eat less meat and still maintain our weight, but we’d need to find other sources of protein. But our protein of choice these days is pretty much chicken… Read more »

Ely
Ely
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

We’ve had the same experience. More meat & eggs, less cereal, bread and pasta, and we are much healthier.
So saving money on meat is a good thing to know how to do! 🙂

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

When I eat unprocessed meats, eggs, and veggies, I lose a bunch of weight and feel great. For me, grains and starches are the killer.

The fattest and most tired I’ve ever been was while trying veganism, and not carelessly but “the right way.”

We read books, and we ate fresh salads and nuts and seeds and beans and buckwheat and kasha and tofu, we made seitan, used nutritional yeast, etc, etc…– it was the horror. Recovery from workouts would take days, and I was always sleepy, and I put on fat.

Your medicine–my poison–and vice versa. Right?

Carmen
Carmen
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

My experience completely matches yours, Mom of Five…and not one of us is ever sick, even during cold/flu season. Too many dietary simple carbs are a really negative factor for some people…others are unaffected by grains and sugars, at least in the short term.

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
7 years ago
Reply to  betttylion

I have seen the opposite affect: I have been able to lose weight by eating MORE meat and eliminating breads and grains. A while ago, in trying to keep my grocery bills lower, I unintentionally started eating a higher percentage of pastas, breads, etc. My weight increased slowly over time. Now, I’m trying to focus on health and am feeling better and losing weight by eating mostly meats, veggies, and fruits. Skinless chicken breasts have very little fat, as does fish. A number of studies have found that there is a distinct link between rates of obesity and poverty. And… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

Actually Phoenix fat-phobia is part responsible for the excess carbs that ails us today. Good quality fat is an excellent fuel and keeps you going all day and makes your brain happy.

These days I cook my daily lunch or breakfast with home-rendered leaf lard from pastured pigs (I buy the raw leaf lard, and grind and render it at home). I’ve been losing weight steadily while avoiding hunger, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.

Good fat is your friend! Coconut oil is great too. And pastured butter… mmmm!

Kirk Kinder
Kirk Kinder
7 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Great point about the fat, El Nerdo. It serves as an energy source like carbs, but it is healthier for you. I use Coconut oil and olive oil a lot.

Beans are a cheap alternative to meats. You get most of the necessary amino acids at a much lower cost than meat. Plus, you get lots of fiber.

Carla
Carla
7 years ago
Reply to  betttylion

I was definitely overweight, and borderline obese when my diet was full of starches, bread, pasta, soy, all of the foods that’s cheaper and more accessible for purchase. Now I eat vegetables, some fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, good fats and meat and fish and I’ve never been healthier, thinner with great blood work numbers.

As someone who has PCOS had insulin resistance, poor thyroid function, etc, my ND recently told me I made one of the biggest comebacks he’s ever seen and I owe it to my diet (and other lifestyle choices).

Tracy (the Other One)
Tracy (the Other One)
7 years ago
Reply to  Carla

I also have PCOS (though I’ve always been thin, I had all the other typical symptoms). I wouldn’t say I increased the amount of meat I ate once I was diagnosed. I have typically always eaten meat once per day. The crucial thing was cutting waaaaay down on sugar and simple carbs and all processed food. Nearly all my PCOS symptoms normalized within a couple months.

Sugar and simple carbs are the absolute devil.

Sheryl
Sheryl
7 years ago
Reply to  betttylion

It really depends what you’re replacing all the meat with. If you’re eating less meat but more processed carbs then you’re not doing yourself a whole lot of favours. If you’re eating whole grains and things that grow? You’re probably doing better. I’ve been fighting the strategic use of meat battle in my house. I tolerate meat but my husband would have it as the main at every meal, so we’ve had to figure out compromises. Having less meat-centric meals but being willing to spend money on cuts that we love, and more meals where the meat is just a… Read more »

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
7 years ago
Reply to  betttylion

I’ll chime in with the other meat-eaters, here.

While I love pasta, potatoes and the dark breads available in here Germany, these starch-based products fill me up, but do not hold back hunger for very long.

Large portions of fresh fruit work a littler better, but meat and eggs and cheese work best for me.

graduateliving
graduateliving
7 years ago

I just roasted a chicken last night – we got it at Safeway a few weeks ago for something like $.75/lb and threw it in the freezer. Between that and the blanched asparagus that I got on sale for $1.50, we had a nice, reasonable meal and a ton of leftovers. I’ll make a chicken curry tonight for dinner, the BF will take chicken sandwiches to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and any leftovers will go toward chicken tacos for dinner Tuesday night – three days worth of meals for about $4 worth of chicken? Yes, please!

M
M
7 years ago

We raise our own meat sheep who are pastured in our backyard. They mow for us and fertilize the yard, too. No need to invest in lawn equipment. I can’t say their meat is cheaper, but it’s totally clean, grass-based and they’re well-cared for. Not every person can provide meat this way ( since grass-based requires more space/unit calories) so we also incorporate cheaper plant protein in our diet.

Johanna
Johanna
7 years ago

I’m a vegetarian, but for those who choose not to be: Get away from the pattern of thinking of meat as the “main dish” and everything else as a “side dish” that’s unworthy of attention. Pay as much attention to the vegetables and grains as you do to the meat – when you’re cooking them as well as when you’re eating them.

SAHMama
SAHMama
7 years ago

We get a 1/4 cow once per year from my uncle who raises grassfed organic beef and butchers the meat himself.

My husband is a big meat eater. I do enjoy the steaks but if I had to live without meat I would be okay with that. I like carbs better anyway!

We eat a meatless dinner at least once per week and it’s usually grilled cheese sandwiches.

Lucille
Lucille
7 years ago

I’ve often thought of doing this but given in the last 18 months I lost electricity twice for 5+ days each time, I’m fearful of making the investment. It was painful to throw out what I did throw out—I don’t know how I’d feel if it also included the steaks/etc from a 1/4 cow, you know? That’s the only thing that holds me back,the uncertainty now. (Actually my upright freezer is empty at present. Didn’t fill it back up since the last time. Scaredy cat.)

John S @ Frugal Rules
John S @ Frugal Rules
7 years ago

We don’t eat a lot of meat and this is one of the reasons. We buy when it’s on sale and watch for cheaper cuts of meat. We did also start buying a quarter which lasts us quite some time and they’re not pumped full of hormones and such.

Courtney @ FamilyGoneHealthy
Courtney @ FamilyGoneHealthy
7 years ago

We only eat meat a few times per week now. When we do, it is local and pastured meat. I am strongly against factory farming so if I want a chicken breast it is more like $13.99/lb. We have changed the way we eat so we can buy the better meat. We always make broth from the chicken bones and beef bones. It is a priority for us to eat quality meat so we just eat it less often.

Stacey
Stacey
7 years ago

This is exactly what I do. Once I learned about factory farming, my desire to eat most meat practically disappeared. Now we’ll usually have one meat dish a week (but since there are only two of us, that usually means two nights of leftovers), but we make sure it’s something like local grass-fed beef.

T
T
7 years ago

Thanks for your suggestions. This sentence caught my attention, though: “Consume with care: Liver, for instance, can accumulate toxic substances, and some believe that eating brains can transmit bovine diseases to humans.”

What is the likelihood of these complications? Do the savings from eating brains and livers actually outweigh the potential costs of dealing with these medical issues? Yikes!

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 years ago

Careful with this and research the nutritional value of various cuts of meat. Cheaper chicken thighs taste better because they are a lot worse for you than a nice lean white meat chicken breast. Hamburger meat is probably the cheapest way to get beef, but it’s often full of junk. I will gladly pay more for the better cuts of meat for my health. A better option is to buy the big bulk bags of breasts, watch for good sales (once in awhile my store runs half off good cuts of steak so we stock up), or to eat vegetarian… Read more »

Ely
Ely
7 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Actually dark meat has more nutrients than white. There’s a reason you’re supposed to ‘eat your colors’ – no color = limited nutritional value.

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 years ago
Reply to  Ely

Actually, their nutritional value is virtually the same, however chicken thighs have more sodium, fat, calories and cholesterol. Hands down more expensive breasts are a healthier option.

Sarah
Sarah
7 years ago

I am a bit envious of the meat prices you quote, sometimes I see pork for 2$ a pound but meat here is always more expensive, even when on the best of door-crashers sales, than what you’ve quoted. That being said, I really tend to eat around the meat when I cook. I’d much rather eat a veggie stir fry with cashews than the chicken. It takes some creativity to get meals to the table without too much reliance on meat but once you have a few reliable recipes you can please the pickiest of dinner guests:)

Kurt @ Money Counselor
Kurt @ Money Counselor
7 years ago

Go vegan. You’ll not only save a ton on groceries, your quality and quantity of life will greatly improve!

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago

A good friend of ours was put on a vegan diet by his cardiologist. Our friend got fond of saying, “I don’t know if I’m going to live any longer, but it’s sure feeling that way!” 😉

He ended up switching to an extremely low glycemic index diet – his numbers are a lot better and he’s a lot happier now that he can eat his eggs and bacon(!).

Johanna
Johanna
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

In my experience, people who make fun of vegan diets almost never have any idea what properly prepared vegan food actually looks like.

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  Johanna

I’m not making fun of vegan diets, I’m merely pointing out that veganism doesn’t necessarily improve a person’s quality of life. For the record, we have many vegans and vegetarians among the younger generation in our extended family. We are always careful to accommodate them when we entertain. It’s a favor not returned by them when they entertain the carnivores, but that’s ok because they’ve got a moral objection to meat, and in some cases, eggs and dairy, which I can respect. If veganism has improved your quality of life, good for you. But a blanket statement that veganism will… Read more »

Johanna
Johanna
7 years ago
Reply to  Johanna

Mom of five: Like your relatives, I’m vegetarian (and mostly vegan) not because I think it’s better for me, but because I know it’s better for the animals.

“Quality of life” can refer to health, or it can refer to the pleasure of eating tasty food. I don’t feel I’ve lost out in either respect. The human body has evolved to thrive on a wide variety of diets, so there’s no one single best way of eating for everybody, or even for anybody.

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
7 years ago
Reply to  Johanna

@ Johanna, I think you and Mom of 5 are agreeing on the same point–that there is no single way that increases everybody’s quality of life. For me, lack of meat would mean a reduction in my quality of life–it is one of my favorite meals and I would miss meat too much (and miss social lunches with friends who were wanting to meet at restaurants serving meat). As for the animals, while I realize that everybody has different POVs, to me, eating meat means that more cows and chickens and pigs actually live. Few, if anybody, has chickens, cows,… Read more »

Johanna
Johanna
7 years ago
Reply to  Johanna

@phoenix: As I’m sure you know, the vast majority of cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals that are raised for food are kept under deplorable conditions that are very different from the free-range farm on which you grew up. In my opinion, the ethical choice is to raise fewer animals under those conditions, even if it means that fewer animals get to live. If you go to the effort to eat meat only when the animals have been raised in a truly humane environment, I have nothing but respect for that choice. I make a different choice, because it’s easier… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago

Veganism = nast (for me anyway).

I made a post about it in a reply to Mom of Five above, but the spamfilters ate it.

Long story short: never again!

Amanda
Amanda
7 years ago

I second the “go vegan” recommendation. My husband and I have been vegan for almost 8 years now and our health and wallet are better because of it. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go vegan (as with any diet). Technically, potato chips and Oreos are vegan, so if you choose to live off of those, you’re not going to see the benefits. The same for living off pasta and processed fake meat products (which are also expensive). But if you look to lentils, beans, veggies and grains like quinoa (which is a complete protein,… Read more »

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
7 years ago

Kurt, I think veganism (and vegetarianism) is much like any other diet in that it’s all in the execution. If you’re eating prepared foods, vegan or not, they’re probably going to be more expensive and less healthy for you than if you’re cooking for yourself. I’ve been vegetarian for 15 years, and sometimes my meals cost more per serving than my husband’s non-vegetarian alternatives. Sometimes not. 12 ounces of tofu is $1.99. Don’t get me started on tempeh. It’s what – $3.99 for 6oz? TVP is insanely cheap to buy in dry bulk, but I’d go nuts if I ate… Read more »

Justin
Justin
7 years ago

Maybe we could all save some money by eating our relatives when they die?

Anna
Anna
7 years ago
Reply to  Justin

Your post just made me laugh! Thank you!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Justin

Apparently insects could be the next big thing, according to the UN.

Yeah, I’m not kidding…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/05/13/insects-diet-nutrition.html

Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Yes! And help you stay thin and reduce greenhouse gases! http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/13/us-food-insects-idUSBRE94C0J420130513
And imagine how easy insects would be to rear in your own home! Man, if I could JUST get over the yuck factor!

Jake
Jake
7 years ago

These are great tips. Meat is a staple food in almost every meal my wife and I make. It can get expensive, but I don’t really like pasta so it’s tough to find much else that fills me up. We’ll have to start trying some of these tips. I’ve wanted to try to buy a 1/2 a cow or something like that, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago

We’ve been raising rabbits for a year now (taste just like chicken). Raising your own is not the cheapest way to go, by far, but if you are into ‘grass-fed’, hormone-free, and such, it is much cheaper. And I have been amazed by how LITTLE space they take up– 4 pens(2 females, 1 male, and a grow-out cage) can be less than ~4′ by 6′. Oh, and gathering wild foods for them 1) makes you feel good and 2) saves you money. 😉

EMH
EMH
7 years ago

For us, going to the various ethnic grocery stores saves us quite a bit of money. We can get 10 limes for a $1 at the Mexican grocery store or we could buy 2 limes for a dollar at Whole Foods. The jalapenos are so large at the Mexican store it can be somewhat obscene. The lentils and garbanzo beans are much cheaper at the Middle Eastern store than Trader Joes. We live in a condo so a garden is a pipe dream but I am able to grow some things in my window sill. I love pesto so I… Read more »

Carmen
Carmen
7 years ago
Reply to  EMH

So true. I recently found a small Middle Eastern market where I got garlic for $1.59 a pound, whereas at Whole Paycheck it’s 100% more. Lemons and limes are 10 cents each. I get cashews, olive oil, tamarind paste, and many other items that we use regularly for a song there.

Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries
Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries
7 years ago

Loved this post! My girlfriend and I both have cut way down on our meat costs over the last year or so. We mostly eat chicken and/or eggs with any of our animal protein meals and only get red meat as a treat now and then. Very cheap if you know how to shop!

Carmen
Carmen
7 years ago

Thank you for this awesome post,Lisa.
I have long been a proponent of healthy foods, even on a very tight budget.There is some truth to the saying that we “pay the farmer/rancher, or pay the doctor”.
There are very good websites and blogs with ideas, tips, etc. All one needs to do is search for Homemade Broth and go from there.
Broths and what we consider offal(awful)or throw-away meat contain minerals and other nutrients that some believe are responsible for many of our present day health problems.
Again, I am so happy to see such an informative article on GRS…thanks!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago

One last thing to add for fans of chicken as cheaper protein: In order to satisfy consumer demand, the FDA is authorizing industrial chicken producers to increase the speed of processing lines. Increased speed means that instead of removing contaminated carcasses from the line in order to clean them manually and chemically clean them (with various harsh chemicals), now all carcasses will move through and will be processed equally — i.e., all industrial chickens will be bleached. They are already irradiated (as is beef). See: Radiation – http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/12/fda-expands-irradiation-uses-for-meat-and-poultry/#.UZFSa5VrIaU and Chemicals – http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2020862149_poultrychemicalsxml.html (also found in the Washington Post, April 25… Read more »

Carmen
Carmen
7 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

So ture. And supermarket chickens have disturbingly high levels of arsenic http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513095030.htm, as well as large sodium content from the injected water and sodium put in them to keep the meat moist…exceptionally poor risks for those who must avoid salty foods for medical reasons. In the end, it seems much better to spring for the good poultry and meats and use them sparingly with lots of healthy veggies and some good fats.

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

The chicken we eat is almost all organic. I switched our family a few years ago when I was last pregnant to the stuff without the antibiotics, which in most cases, is organic. Since then, whenever I’ve purchased regular chicken we notice it just doesn’t taste as good. Same is true with our eggs.

For the most part, we haven’t made the big leap to organic with fruits and veggies. That might be too expensive for us.

cathy
cathy
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Mom of Five, we made the switch to all-organic produce when our oldest kid first started eating solid food. True, it’s more expensive, but we’ve found by trying to eat what’s in season, we can get great prices. We also shop at the farmers’ markets and have a garden (I’m hoping to make it bigger this year by moving toward edible landscaping and growing edibles instead of ornamentals in my containers). As with anything, it comes down to priorities. I’d rather give up something else so I can afford organic food. Our biggest food budget buster is alternatives to address… Read more »

Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce
7 years ago

Often, the “stranger” parts of meats have the most nutrients, as well!

Crystal
Crystal
7 years ago

We’re a lot like you two were apparently – usually the steak or pork chop is the main dish and we have green beans and a starch for sides. But we also have started saving money by using a deep freeze to stock up when cuts we love are cheap and we use a lot more ground beef and turkey now than ever before. Veggie intake is up and meat intake is down a little – that’s working so far. Thanks for more ideas!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago

I second the point about making meat go farther. My go-to dish is stir fry and it does a great job of stretching small portions and heaping on the veggies. (I sometimes throw in some frozen with the fresh to help trim costs there too.)

When you actually measure out recommended serving sizes for meat, many people eat more than they need.

Zach
Zach
7 years ago

I purchase my meat from the commissary. It’s almost half the cost of other supermarkets’ meat. I recommend people to look into it and see if they qualify for any reason.

Jamie@soymilkmustache
7 years ago

Great examples of making meat go farther! Although I like the idea of the purity of a hunk of meat, mixing it into a casserole or stir-fry is such a great way to get you [meaty-tasting] veggies, too!

I also love all the comments that debate what’s healthier– meat vs. vegetarianism– and EVERYONE is right, in a way… Your personal health is very unique, and so is the best diet for you!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago

I agree! What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Sometimes people have food sensitivities, intolerances or minor allergies that they don’t know about until they try a different way of eating.

Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor
7 years ago

The local butcher has been featured on Groupon several times lately–the half price makes it almost (but not quite) comparable to the grocery store, but much, much better quality.

Trish
Trish
7 years ago

When it comes to managing your family budget, food is definitely a big ticket item. These are great tips for saving money on food and freeing up resources for other things.

Trip Articles
Trip Articles
7 years ago

One thing that comes to mind as far as saving money is this. For our family it is not so much about shopping for deals, as it is making sure we shop directly after a meal. If we go shopping directly before dinner, we will delude ourselves into believing why we “have to have” the filet mignon, or the $20 dollar per lbs. Halibut. If we go to the market after a great meal, the deals and more fragile budget is made possible. Regards, Terri

Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle
Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle
7 years ago

I have almost cut meat from my diet because of the price but now I have to take an iron supplement because my iron levels were low.

I only buy final day of sale, marked down cuts of meat and I usually get nasty looks from people who feel they are too good to perfectly good meat with a 50% off short dating sticker on it. I just bring it home, rewrap in milk bags and freeze.

Russell Matthews
Russell Matthews
7 years ago

I absolutely hate wasted food!

Heidi Bushnel
Heidi Bushnel
7 years ago

Waste of food is a wasted money and it will hurt your budget too! So avoid throwing some left overs if you can still eat them and make them fresh. Making a no waste on food is like saving and investment. The more you do it the more you have extra cash on hand. I applied that principle on my trade, I don’t need to throw every good opportunity that comes to me. Money making is not quite easy but binaryoptions-affiliate.com affiliates programs I think I am doing it right and happy with the results so far.

Jacq
Jacq
7 years ago

Lisa, your post title reminded me of my new favorite cost-conscious cooking website, Budget Bytes. Most of her meat-oriented recipes seem to run about $1.50 or so per serving. I’ve been making a variation of this one for years:
http://budgetbytes.blogspot.ca/2012/05/chili-cheese-beef-n-mac-781-receip-130.html

Dana
Dana
7 years ago

If you really did read Nourishing Traditions then you should know meat is eaten for a whole lot of other reasons besides just protein. It provides nutrients that plants just don’t have. There were no vegan societies before supplements were invented; there’s good reason for that. Also, it’s a myth that liver contains all sorts of toxins. The liver does not work by storing and hoarding toxins. It breaks them down, makes them harmless (or at least less harmful), and gets rid of them. There are a very few exceptions to this but they’re pollutants that are human-made, and if… Read more »

shares