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.
Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off Jesus, running long distance, bargain shopping, warm Texas weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She also loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.