10 of the BEST Ways to Save on Meat

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Knowing how to save on meat is a priority for our family because beef, pork, chicken, and fish account for a large portion of our food expenses – and prices continue to go up. 😩 Whether you’re following a Keto/Low Carb diet or just looking for ways to save on meat costs, check out the following money-saving tips!


1.) Purchase Whole Animals from Local Farmers

If you’re looking to save money on meat, consider purchasing a whole animal from a local farm – or splitting the cost with a neighbor or family member. To easily find local farmers who sell directly to consumers, check out Eat Wild’s state-by-state directory with more than 1,400 pasture-based farms.

Also, whenever the county fair rolls around, this could be a good time to keep your ear out for animals who may not have qualified for the fair. The 4-H student who raised the animal would still like to make money on the animal, even though it did not qualify (at the fair, businesses pay top dollar for qualified animals in order to reward the student for his or her work).

2.) Look for Quick-Sale Packages

If you’ve ever been at the grocery store, you may have noticed stickers attached to select packages of meat that are close to their expiration date or may have been bulk ordered by mistake. Often, the closer the sell-by date is on the package, the deeper the discount may be.

This is the store’s way of selling the product quickly and usually these packages of meat are completely fine if purchased and used within a couple days OR placed directly in the freezer when you get home. Before buying, be sure to inspect the meat and ensure that there are no discolorations.

To extend the life of these quick-sale meats, consider taking the meat out of the original package, pat it dry with paper towels, and “burp” as much air out of the freezer bag as you can OR vacuum seal it if possible. Also, be sure to write a date on the freezer bag and then use it the day you defrost it.

3.) Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat

Did you know that you can save a lot of money by buying cheaper cuts of meat? Expensive cuts of meat tend to be the ones that are really tender and can be cooked quickly and easily – like prime rib or T-bone. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a delicious meal with a cut that costs less.

  • Chicken: Chicken leg quarters, whole chicken drumsticks, and bone-in chicken thighs are some of the cheapest cuts. Speaking of chicken thighs, this recipe is SO YUMMY!

  • Beef: Chuck eye, flat iron, and hanger steak are thrifty choices but offer plenty of rich flavor.

  • Pork: Cuts like spare ribs, chump, belly, hand & spring are some of the cheaper options. Check out this 30 minute pressure cooker ribs recipe!

  • Lamb: Cuts like shoulder, breast, chump, scrag and middle neck are inexpensive choices.

4.) Know Where to Find Meat Coupons

Yes – you can find coupons for meat! Not only can you sometimes find coupons found on the packages of meat, but also listed below are a few sites that you may want to sign up for and/or check regularly for various meat coupons.

Also, if you can’t find coupons for your favorite meat brands, consider sending them an email. Companies often have high value coupons that they are willing to send to customers who love their brand or are interested in trying it. It’s worth a shot!

5.) Use Coupon Overage to Pay for Meat

As you may know, Walmart allows coupon overage. So if you’re able to get items for better-than-free using coupons, you’ll be able to apply the overage to other items in your cart, including meat! According to Walmart’s coupon policy (under “the following are guidelines and limitations section”)…

“If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.”

6.) Buy a Rotisserie Chicken at Costco or Sam’s Club

If you’re looking for an affordable dinner, meal prepping OR just love eating juicy, delicious chicken, one of the BEST places to buy a rotisserie chicken is at Costco or Sam’s Club. The rotisserie chickens from the service deli at either store are regularly priced under $5 and are a minimum of 3 pounds – so you can easily take it home, tear the meat from the bones, and split it between 2-3 meals!

Plus, the chickens at both stores have NO preservatives, NO msg gluten, NO artificial flavors or colors, & NO added hormones or steroids. Be sure to grab one the next time you’re in the mood for chicken!

Not sure what to make with your rotisserie chicken? We’ve got ya covered!

You can also purchase a single kind of meat by the case at Costco and save around 20%, so if you know several people who are willing to split the cost and meat with you, it may be a great option.

7.) Stock Up Around the Holidays

Another simple way to save money is to stock up on meats when they’re on sale. For instance, fill your freezer with ham and turkey around Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter and stock up on grilling meats, hot dogs, and hamburger meat around Memorial Day and/or 4th of July.

Holiday sales will push these meats down to their cheapest advertised price of the year. For an even sweeter deal, wait until the week after these holidays as any remaining inventory will get marked down quickly. Plus, use coupons and cash back apps or rebates to lower the cost even further!

8.) Shop the Meat Sales at Your Local Grocery Store

Be on the lookout for meat sales, coupons and/or gift card promotions at your local grocery store. But be sure to know the cost per serving as bone and fat weight are included in the price per pound.

Usually several times a year, Target will offer a Free $5 gift card whenever you purchase $20 worth of meat or seafood – and you can pair that sale with coupons and Cartwheel offers to save more! Also, Whole Foods has offered in-app eCoupons, such as this previous $5 off $25 Meat Purchase eCoupon.

Be sure to download your local store’s mobile app and link your loyalty card (such as Kroger or Safeway) as they often offer personalized eCoupons valid for a discount off your total purchase that can be used towards your purchase of meats and lunchmeat.

9.) Ask the Butcher

Be sure to take advantage of the services at the butcher shop. For instance, Whole Foods will shuck, dry rub, marinade, peel, fillet, cube and even cut up your meat for FREE, so if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to mess with meat when you get home, just stop by the butcher shop.

Also, if you’re looking to make a homemade stock or broth, you may be able to ask your meat and seafood departments for leftover bones or shells, which some locations can give to customers for free. If not, participating Whole Foods butcher and seafood counters sell inexpensive, pre-packaged bones and shells for a fraction of the cost of a steak or a whole fish. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

10.) Enjoy More Meatless Meals

One practical way to save money on meat is to eat less meat and eat more vegetables or grains. Meat is one of the most costly grocery items that we buy, so if you’re able to substitute black beans for ground beef and make Black Bean Burgers instead, you’ll be saving a few dollars. Every little bit helps!

If you’re looking to incorporate more meatless meals into your family’s dinner rotation, check out these 13 Hip2Save favorites – they are all simple to make and delicious meatless options.

Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. DebY

    Zaycom has a promo good thru tomorrow. Use FIRST99 to order chicken breast for 0.99 per lbs.

    • DebY

      I should add, the code is for first time orders.

  2. Weber14

    We usually try to pair a gift card offer with the quick sell meat. I’ve gotten chicken as low as $.95/lb! And ground beef for $1.25lb.

  3. Wendy

    I use my Discover card to buy gift certificates to Omaha steaks. Then I use them with a coupon to get free meat.

    • Wendy

      I should clarify-I use my Discover cash back bonus bucks and swap them for certificates.

  4. kelliekd

    We started adding cooked lentils to ground chuck in things like pasta and tacos to half the amount of meat we were using in those meals. Cheaper and healthier!

  5. L

    To confirm, this code expires 2/2/18?

  6. Nina

    Great idea about adding lentils!

  7. Lyn

    Thought of one more you could add: raise your own! 🙂

    • brenda

      Couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be able to eat it after I raised it. Not knocking anyone who does- I just personally couldn’t.

    • Kim

      I don’t know…. to raise a chicken for meat and roast it has to cost more than $5. I get chicken legs at Costco 79c a pound for about 40 legs split into 6 packages chicken legs $5. I’d have to raise and feed and care for 40 chickens. Sounds expensive taking one dog to the vet is $30 and $90 if sick. Chickens do get sick and need stuff to stay healthy.

  8. Jennlk84

    Thankful my FIL is a farmer. The BEST beef out there is the fresh stuff. 🙂 We also watch for the mark down tags at Target & do some of our meat purchases at Aldi as well.

    • K

      I agree! We buy 1/2 cow every spring. I think it’s $3.50/lb which isn’t bad when you consider the steaks etc you get. I cannot go back to grocery store ground beef after fresh local cow. Doesn’t even compare.

  9. Shey

    Best way that has worked for me and my hubby is stop buying and eating meat…. so much healthier and lose weight also.

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      There it is.

      • A


      • Amy

        It’s the truth.

    • Jennifer E.

      I agree. No more meat for us and not only do we spend less now at the grocery store, we feel so much better after cutting out meat completely. There are so many ways to make healthy and filling meals without any meat! I’ll never switch back.

  10. Tammy

    Kroger has a BOGO sale on ground beef about every other month. I buy enough for 2 months knowing it will be on sale again around the time I need it again.

    • Tammy

      It is the 1 lb and 3 lb packages, with the 3 lb the best deal.

  11. Molly

    We raise our own beef and hunt. Venison has become my favorite meat! And it’s completely free!!
    Just a tip, if you manage to score alot of meat or a lower quality cut, consider canning it! Super easy and a great way to store meat!

    • Ann

      My 12 year old and I each got a deer this past fall so we’re stocked on venison!

      • Molly

        That is awesome! Love to see kids learn to hunt and provide for their families! Good job!!

    • Shelley

      I disagree…my husband and son go hunting every year and the cost of hunting gear, supplies, tags, butchering, etc. adds up to way more than it would cost to purchase the same amount of meat from a butcher or store! The memories made on those hunting trips are priceless, so I play along. 😉

  12. Kathy

    We go to a locker and buy our meat. It saves us so much money. They guarantee us that it comes from a farm in the county. I love it. We get to customize how to get it cut.

  13. MrsFelix1004

    Remember to support your local farmer….it is often about the same as buying at the local store as it is to invest in your own cow and have it slaughtered to eat fresh meat. You can find farms that will sell you quarter, half or whole cows and they will do all the work for you including packaging. Once you have done this it is very hard to buy meat at the grocery store again. This is our first year purchasing a cow and I also like knowing I am helping out food on the farmers table too. We actually just started our farm and will be doing this as long as we can!

    • Sarah

      While this is great if you can afford it, usually buying local meat from a farmer is not very economical.The price per pound is usually at least 50% more. And yes, I know that means that it’s fresher and probably better quality, but for us it’s not doable.

      • MrsFelix1004

        Then your probably looking into the wrong farmer…out meat was .42 more per pound than the store. There are several farmers out there and I would even call the slaughter houses to see the cost of slaughtering and packaging. Trust me farming is not as profitable as people think and unfortunately you do have some farmers wanting to gouge consumers with crazy prices. There are even cow sharing programs just like the milk if you wanted to look into. Trust me there are honest farmers and if you ever watch documentaries like Rotten in Netflix you will see we don’t get paid all the big bucks. When you think a 6-7 pound chicken pays under a dollar then ask who is making the money.

  14. Kathy B

    Thank you !

  15. HBee

    No. 12: Hunt Deer.

    • MrsFelix1004

      Yup! In Tennessee the TWRA allows people to give a donation of $50 to help process unwanted deer meat to place on the tables of families who are willing to eat the deer meat. It is a way to help families that belong to food banks and receive snap benefits. If you are a hunter that belongs to this program then you are not limited to a certain number deer per year to process.

  16. melissa

    While Zaycon sounds great. I can’t have nitrates, pink slime, and pesticides due to health issues. So i’ll just keep using coupons for grass fed, organic meat.

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