What to Cook for Dinner?
Purchase meat on sale, to stock your freezer
As I mention yesterday I grew up with a mom who purchased a half a cow and pig each year. We did not eat much chicken growing up because we had a freezer stocked with other meat. But on occasion we would eat chicken when my mom got it on sale. My mom always bought our meat this way.
I purchase my meat for my family a little differently than my mom. Although I have tried purchasing from a meat market with packaged meat I have never purchased half of a cow or pig. Although I would be open to getting half a cow. Right now I purchase our meats on sale at the grocery store and freeze for later use. So I guess it is similar in concept, I am just purchasing a small amount of the animal at a time instead of half.
I purchase most of our chicken through Zaycon foods. They have sales in our area about 2-3 times a year and I can get fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts for around $1.69/lb. I do have to purchase a 40 pound box which sound like a lot but isn’t that much, about 40-45 chicken breasts.
I will split a box with a friend when I have someone who wants to split one. I divide up the chicken into packages the size I need for a meal and freeze. I will usually cook some of the chicken before freezing to use in recipes that call for cooked chicken. I also do any other prep like slicing or cutting into chunks before freezing to help with dinner prep.
Adding the chicken to the marinade before freezing is another way to save a step and clean up when preparing dinner. This way I only have to mess with the raw chicken once and it makes for less clean up in the long run.
For our ground beef or turkey I will purchase it on sale. I will prepare part of it as cooked ground beef ready for recipes and I will make meatballs too. The rest I will freeze as 1/2 pound or 3/4 pound packages to use in recipes as needed.
I purchase roasts when they are on sale and I always purchase a roast a little bigger than my family needs for a meal. I cut part of the roast off and chunk it up for beef stew or slice it for other beef recipes.
The only other beef I purchase are steaks, when on sale for around $2.99/lb. For steak I usually will put a spice rub on them then freeze. So all I have to do is thaw and grill or broil and the steaks are ready.
For pork I usually purchase a whole tenderloin on sale at Costco or Safeway. Then I will cut it up for pork chops and pork roasts. Occasionally I will slice some up for stir fry too. I also purchase sausage for weekend breakfast and bacon when it is on sale. Both the sausage and bacon I freeze in meal size portions so I just take out what I need for the meal.
By purchasing meat items while on sale I can keep a good variety of meat in our freezer. I know some blogs I read talk about purchasing meat that has been marked down.
I don’t do this on a regular basis because at my stores the cuts of meat that are marked down are usually the most expensive ones and even on mark down they are still more expensive per pound than the meat on sale. But be sure to check at your store you might find some great bargains on meat this way, especially meat that would normally be too high priced for your budget.
What is your best way to save while stocking up on meats?