Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tightwad Tidbit: Where's the Beef?

Save money on cooking with meat without becoming a vegetarian

I eat a *mostly* meat free diet, but my DH is a carnivore, through-and-through. Because meat is so expensive, even when you get it on sale, I look for ways to cut back on use without DH missing it.

Here are a few tips to help you do the same.

* Check to see when your area supermarket puts their nearly-expired meats on sale. Here, it's typically on Tuesday and Thursday. I'll go and stock my freezer about once every 4-6 months on one of these days.

* Grind your own burger. I have a grinder attachment on my KitchenAid mixer that I'll use for this. I can buy inexpensive roasts or steaks on sale, grind it up and freeze it. I'll do the same when boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (they'll go on sale for less than a dollar a pound, now and then). When's the last time you got ground beef or turkey for less than a dollar a pound?

* Don't serve meat as the main part of the meal. Instead of baked chicken breasts and rice with peas, try using half as much chicken, chopped, and added to the same rice.

* Find ways to extend your meat. I buy TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) and boil it in beef bouillon and toss it into lasagna or other casseroles in place of, or in addition to, ground beef. My DH has yet to notice (and, as a side benefit, I can make a small dish of my own, completely meat free). You can also use things like oatmeal or bread crumbs.

* Go meat free for at least one meal a week. If you have a family of four, and you each eat 1/2 lb of meat, you save 2 lbs a week (or at least $4-6 a week, possibly more, depending on what meats you typically buy).

* Cut back on how much meat you serve in your meals. Do you really need a full pound of burger for your spaghetti? One chicken breast is usually more than enough for a person -- if you consider a serving of chicken is the size of the palm of your hand (or about 3 oz), you probably eat far more than you should.

If you save only $10 a week on meat by using these tips, you'll have $520 more a year. What would YOU do with an extra $500?

Anyone else have ideas on saving on your meat budget?

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In other news, I just discovered that Disney is opting to NOT produce "Voyage of the Dawn Treader"... can I tell you how truly distraught I am? What are they THINKING???

**sniff**

I can only hope that another studio picks it up before the original actors aren't too old to play their parts.

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9 comments:

Dru said...

Great meat tips. I noticed when I cut down on eating meats, there was more money in my wallet.

Have a good Tuesday.

Ceri Hebert said...

Awesome tips. We do have a meat grinder (sometimes make our own sausage) but it's such a pain to set up.

I'm very sad to hear there might not be another Narnia movie. My DD will be even sadder. She loves those movies. Guess Caspian didn't do as well as they hoped.

Ceri Hebert said...

Awesome tips. We do have a meat grinder (sometimes make our own sausage) but it's such a pain to set up.

I'm very sad to hear there might not be another Narnia movie. My DD will be even sadder. She loves those movies. Guess Caspian didn't do as well as they hoped.

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks for the meat tips! ;)

Amy said...

If you don't have a meat grinder, you can purchase your roast, and ask the butcher to grind it for you. Most will do it for free. You just have to ask.

We only eat meat 4 meals/week (that means I make four "meated" meals, if it lasts more than one sitting, so much the better for the boys), and only eat RED meat ONCE/week (the other three times are 1 chicken and 2 fish). The rest is beans, lentils, eggs and tofu.

One place we do splurge is on deli meats (usually turkey or ham) so the boys have sandwiches for lunch.

Amy said...

Oh, on VOTDT....that stinks. It was, IMO, the best book of the series.

Melissa said...

Oh, no. I hope they find money for it somewhere. I don't want to tell the kids yet. They will be so sad!

As for meat, we use a lot of hamburger/meatballs, sausage, turkey and chicken. I look for it on sale. My kids could easily be vegetarians.

Brandy said...

Hubs and Daughter are carnivores through and through, so I can't skip too much meat, but we usually eat meatless for at least two meals a week. Ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef, so we buy a lot of that. *G*
Thanks for the tips.
As for the movie, my Daughter had no desire to see the Narnia movies, she loved the books too much.

I hope you have a good day!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I really tend to just "flavor" things with meat. Not only for economic reasons, but for health, as well.