Buying Meat for Less { Extreme Couponing Education }

August 8, 2012 11 Comments | Disclosure

Because they don’t tell you everything on reality television we are here to reveal the secrets of Extreme Couponing. TLC’s Extreme Couponing is really not about education it is more about entertainment. Our goal is to educate you and empower you to save money for your family.

We have been talking about how one of the myths of couponing is that coupons are only for processed foods, junk food or food my family does not eat. I also told you we were featured in the New York Times Magazine and many of the people writing in the comments accused us of only eating junk foods. All of this brought me to the conclusion that some people just need to be educated in the way we save money on food and still eat healthy. This week I am going to talk about how we buy our meat for less.

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Buying Meat for Less

There are 4 key ingredients to saving money on meat. First you have to know your price points, second you have to find a sale, third you must stock-up and fourth you must preserve your meat.

Price Points

You have to know your price points if you are going to save money on meat. Refuse to pay more than a certain set good price. For example I will not pay more than $1.99 for boneless skinless chicken breast, and I do not stock up on it until it is $1.88 or less.

Find a Sale

I know that my grocery store will have a sale on chicken at least once every 6 weeks. So I wait for that sale. I also buy from Zaycon because they generally can bring chicken in for a lower price than my grocery store. The other nice thing about Zaycon is there meat is fabulous. Zaycon chicken is never frozen and comes fresh from the farm. HOT READER TIP: Find out when you local store marks down their meat, then buy it when it is marked down.

Stock-up

At my grocery store I will buy enough chicken to last until the next sale so that I do not ever have to pay full price again. Sale cycles on meat run at least every 6 weeks. (Learn more about Sale Cycles).  When Zaycon comes to town I buy at least a 40 lb box, sometimes I buy 3 boxes and split them in half with a friend so I will have 60 lbs of chicken. I have found that 60 lbs of chicken can last my family of four 6 months.

Preserving Meat

Freeze Your Meat - If you buy enough meat to last 6 weeks or 6 months it will certainly spoil in your fridge. So we recommend freezing it. Freezing meat will keep it fresh for a long time. Check out the recommendation for Safe Freezing Time.

Preparing for Freezing – When I buy meat from my grocery store meat counter I typically have the butcher package my meat in dinner portions. For my family of four I typically cook with about 1 lb of meat. So I ask for 1 lb packages of meat. When I buy from Zaycon I package my meat myself. Check out my video that shows you how to prepare meat for freezing.

Tools for Freezing Meat – When I freeze meat I use ziploc freezer bags or my Foodsaver. The more air you can get out when freezing your meat the more you are protected from freezer burn. I love my Foodsaver because it gets all of the air out, and my meat stays fresher longer.

Canning Meat – Canning meat is also an option. I have never tried it myself, but I have heard that this is a fantastic book here if you want to learn to can meat. The nice thing about canning is that you do not have to worry about losing your meat if the power goes out and the freezer thaws.

Dehydrating Meat – I love my  food dehydrator. Dehydrating meat is a great way to make jerky. Check out our video tutorial on how to make homemade jerky.

More Tips for Freezing

 Bonus Coupon Tip

When couponing if you are earning catalinas it is a great idea to use your catalinas to help you buy meat. Be sure you are still getting a good price though.

Learn more about eating healthy and still saving money!

Look for the following topics…

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Comments

  1. Do you have any tips on saving money when purchasing organic meat? I know I could go in on a meat share program with another family, but that’s not a great option for us right now. Any word on sales cycles for organic/free range meats?

  2. another way to save is to go to the grocery store early in the day if possible and get the meat that has been marked down for quick sale. Some stores put coupons on the packages some just mark the meat down but if you can buy this way and buy the meat that is on sale and marked down for quick sale on top of that then you are good to go. Last week I got lean ground turkey breast (93% lean) for $2.00 lb. I stocked up on that. I also got some petite sirloin steaks for dirt cheap and they were delicious. The meat that is marked down still has a few days before the “best by” date but can easily be frozen for later use. Most of the discounted meat is usually gone by mid day at most of the stores around me.

    • This is what I do too!

    • I was going to say the same thing. I find awesome deals on meat by looking for manager markdowns.

      • Love this tip! Buying clear out meat is a great idea that I forgot to include. Make sure you freeze it if you buy more than you can use in a day or two.

        • I pretty much only get marked down meat….I have a few suggestions:
          1. no matter what grocery store I go to I always make a quick trip to the meat department and check for discounted meat….a pack of steaks here and there double wrapped and tossed in the freezer makes a special occasion inexpensive.
          2. Safeway has meat marked down 30-50% off….if it marked 30% and the date to sale is today I politely ask the meat manager to drop it to 50% (better 50% in their pocket than 70% in the trash!)…it is YMMV.
          3. I do the same thing with the lunch meat and cheese isle…it takes 2 minutes to zip through. I have purchase pepper jack Tilamook for $2.99…..roast beef for $1.70/lb….whole chicken for $0.40/lb

    • Yes! I know the Fred Meyers I go to does this on Wednesday nights, so I go Thursday mornings :) at least I think. Thats when I see all the meats and dairy items marked down.

  3. I go to Cash and Carry and get what my son calls “Hunk O’ Meat” last time we got a big piece of Beef Chuck and another of Top Round. Both were under $2.70/lb. We cut the top round into steaks and the Chuck into roasts with any small bits making stew meat. I have since got a meat grinder and am going to start doing my own ground beef as well. At least then I will know exactly what is in my ground beef. Also my DH is going hunting this year hopefully he will get a deer and/or elk.

  4. Great tips. I agree with everything. Big freezer is necessary to save on meat and stick with the cycles and stock up when you find a killer deal. Right now I have about 25 pounds of bacon in my freezer because I caught a bunch of the Albertsons 10 pound packages of the Applewood Smoked Bacon that were marked down for some reason to 97 cents a pound.

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