What to Cook for Dinner?
Feeding your family can challenge you when you have a tight food budget. And meat is usually the most expensive item. But if your family loves pork, these tips can show you how to save on pork.
How to Save on Pork
What if you could save over $1 a pound on pork chops just by purchasing them differently?
What if changing where you purchased pork could save you money?
I used to spend full price on pork chops and roasts. But not anymore. You can save money with a few changes in how you purchase pork and these tips for how to save on pork can help.
First, we will start with where you want to purchase pork…
Where to Purchase Pork
We usually stick to buying pork at Costco and at our local grocery store. Costco always has good buys on the pork loin. I shop at the grocery store for other cuts we like and purchase them when I find them on sale.
But if you have a meat market near you that might be the best place to purchase. At the meat markets near us, they always have a pork package discounted in price from the individual cuts of meat.
If you like the cuts that come in the pork package at your local meat market, then that may be an easy way to stock up at a good price.
What Pork Cuts are the Best Price
I think everyone has favorite cuts of meat they purchase over and over. And those are the cuts you want to stock up on for your family. But we’ve found a few cuts that are less expensive and those are the ones we purchase most often.
For our family, we have two cuts of pork we like to purchase. I will purchase pork loin and pork shoulder or butt roasts. Occasionally in the summer when I see a good sale I’ll purchase pork ribs but we don’t eat ribs that often.
Relate Link: The Best Pull Pork Recipe
I buy the pork roasts when I see them on sale. They are usually on sale in the summer and if you have room in your freezer, you can stock up and get a couple extra. That’s what we do.
For the pork ribs, we purchase those when they are on sale at the grocery store and eat them usually that week. I don’t usually keep ribs in the freezer.
But I will purchase pork loin from Costco. Costco always has a good price on their pork loin and that’s what I stock in our freezer for dinners. But we don’t eat it as a roast. I prep it for dinners because it’s such a good buy.
Why Pork Loin is the Best Buy for Pork Chops
When I look at pork prices in the store especially prices on pork chops, they can be expensive. On sale around here, they run about $2.99 a pound, and that’s usually with the bone in.
When pork chops aren’t on sale they can be around $3.99 to $4.99 a pound. Which is a little expensive for our grocery budget.
But I can purchase pork loin so much cheaper at Costco and then cut them into pork chops myself. Saving more money.
Just how much money well see for yourself below.
These prices are the prices I usually pay either on sale or are the regular prices I see at our local stores. The prices you can purchase at may be different, depending on where you live.
It’s best to keep a price book so you know what the best prices are in your area and you’ll know when to stock up. But here are the price points I purchase to give you an idea.
I purchase pork shoulder roasts I like to pay around $1.99 a pound. Sometimes I’ll see it at $1.29 a pound in the summer then I stock up.
For pork ribs, I look for a sale price of $2.99 a pound. We see that price about every 12 weeks. Especially during the grilling months of the year.
And I purchase pork loin at Costco for around $2 a pound. Then I cut it up myself into pork chops and pork roasts saving at least $1 per pound on sale priced pork chops and up to $3 a pound on regular prices. So it’s well worth the bit of work.
Now you might think, I’m not sure how to cut a pork loin? No problem, keep reading and watch the video below.
How to Cut a Pork Loin
If you haven’t purchased a pork loin before it can look intimidating at the store. It’s this huge long piece of meat about 10 pounds each shrink-wrapped with liquid. Yes, not very appealing.
But it’s so easy to cut up. Really, all you need is a sharp knife a cutting board and about 15-30 minutes. It’s a simple process.
If you want to see the video I made, take a peek at it below. It’s an older video of mine but it shows the whole process plus how I make the cuts into freezer meals too. Don’t like watching videos, keep on scrolling for the written directions below.
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What You’ll Need to Prep a Pork Loin for the Freezer
I love my Victorinox Forschner knife for this job and my flexible cutting boards. They work great for this task. But a having a sharp knife makes this job so easy.
If your knife is dull this cheap knife sharpener is what I use to sharpen all of my knives. It works great.
Steps to Cutting a Pork Loin
Cover your counter with newspaper and then a layer of plastic wrap. This is an optional step but I find it makes clean up so much easier.
Place your cutting board on top of the prepped work surface. And get your knife.
Cut one end of the pork loin bag open and drain a little of the juice out of the bag. I do this into the sink to keep the juices from running on the counter. But don’t take the pork loin out of the bag yet.
Place the pork loin on the prepped counter with the open end on the cutting board.
Slide part of the pork loin out of the bag onto the cutting board. Just grab the end and pull, it might not come out too easily at first because of the suction of the bag. But it will come.
Cut off two pounds from the end for a pork roast and set it aside.
Cut the pork chops next. We like thin pork chops but you can cut as thick or think of pork chops as you like. Or make a mix of sizes.
Keep pulling out more pork loin as you need and keep cutting pork chops until you have about 2 pounds left. Take the last of the pork loin out of the bag. That will be your second roast.
Once done you’ll have two pork roasts and a bunch of pork chops to package for the freezer.
Now that was easy, wasn’t it? And you just saved yourself quite a bit of money too.
How to Freeze Cut Pork Loin and Pork Dinner Ideas
Now you have your pork loin cut up, it’s time to freeze it for later.
Start by wrapping the pork roasts in plastic wrap and then place them into a gallon sized bag. Both roasts will fit and it saves on one freezer bag doing it this way.
For the pork chops, add 4 or enough for your family to a sandwich sized baggie and seal. Do that for the rest of the pork chops. Then place all the pork chops into a gallon size freezer bag. Next label and freeze.
This helps to keep the smaller packages together and makes it easier to organize the freezer too. This way you’ll be less likely to lose a package of pork chops somewhere in the back of the freezer.
And you only have to label the gallon freezer bag instead of the smaller bags.
If you’d like to make your pork chops into freezer meat packs instead of just freezing them take a peek at the Pork Loin Freezer Cookbook.
It has easy freezer meal packs to make 8 dinners from one pork loin in just about an hour. No pre-cooking needed. Click here to see all the recipe included.
Those are my best tips for saving on pork. It’s one way I keep my family fed on less money.