Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saving Money Saturdays-Grocery Edition

I don't know about you, but groceries can be expensive...especially meat. We try to save money in this area in many different ways, but today I'm going to focus on how to save money when buying meat from your local grocer.

My husband and I are meat lovers. We eat a lot of chicken and ground beef mostly, but sometimes we get pork chops or steak when it's on sale as well, but it has to be a really good price.

The way that we save money when buying meat is simple. We buy in bulk. At Wegman's, it's called the Club Pack. Usually this means that you are purchasing six pounds {or more} at a time. It usually comes in a big pack that has all of the meat in it and looks like you are going to have some kind of a party with how much you're buying!

What I like to do is to look for the best price for what we can get. This time, I was able to find 95% lean ground beef on special for $1.99/lb. Yes, that is amazing! It just so happened to be on sale because it needed to be used or frozen by today's date. I purchased two packages that were just under 3 lbs. each. What I did next was to set up my freezer bags and cut the ground beef into approximately 1 lb. increments. Then, I put them into the bags and straight into the freezer. This way, when I need some ground beef {and most recipes call for 1 lb.} I just pull a bag out of the freezer, thaw it, and I'm done! And, I got a great price!

Now chicken is a little bit more of a hassle, but it's worth it. I can buy chicken breast for $1.99/lb. in the Club Pack. It comes with a lot in there so I set up a station and get to work. Again, I use my freezer bags to store them in and I need a knife and cutting surface as well. I take each large chicken breast and start by cutting off all of the extra fat. We like our chicken lean and it's so much easier to do it all at one time and not have to worry about it later. Once the chicken is ready I take my knife and cut it in half. I try to cut it in half width-wise (not top to bottom, but from the side) so that I get two pieces of single-serving sized chicken. So, basically, I'm turning one chicken breast into two! It does take a lot of practice to get it right, but if one isn't cooperating, I just cut it into bite-size pieces for the crock pot or to make sandwiches or a casserole later.

By the time I'm done, I have six pounds of ground beef {in 1 lb. packages} and about 8 servings of chicken for two (plus an extra one in each bag so there will be enough for leftovers).

 So there you have it, super simple and by buying in bulk and cutting it into serving sizes rather than using the whole piece as one, you are saving even more!

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