A Butcher’s Secrets: How to Slash Your Meat Bill

butchering-knives

These days it is even more important to try and save at the supermarket. Meat prices are soaring, and saving could mean survival – not necessarily in a life-threatening sort of way, but a penny saved will mean a few dollars spent on even more important things in your life.

So with savings on your mind, here are a few tips and (don’t tell anyone) a few trade secrets to help you put a few more pennies in your pocket.

  • Buy in bulk. Purchasing bigger packages, often called family packs or value packs, can save you up to 50 cents or more a pound. For example pork steak in small packages might be $2.89 lb., but if you buy a family pack with four or more steaks that price could drop to $2.39 or more. You then can take the package home and divide it up and package according to your meal plans.
Investing in a meat tenderizer can save you big money in the long run at the market. At Lehmans.com.

Investing in a meat tenderizer can save you big money in the long run at the market. At Lehmans.com.

  • Never buy anything that is thin cut or has been tenderized. Often times the store will raise prices by 30 cents or more a pound. Example: Arm steak might be $4. 29 lb., thin Arm steak at $4.59. It’s the same meat, just cut a little thinner. Actually this involves no extra work from the meat cutter but the price jumps 30 cents a pound. If they run it through the tenderizer, a small step as well, the per pound price will jump.
  • Buy a ‘whole’ piece of meat. Let’s say a whole boneless pork loin. This piece is where you can get your butterfly chops for example. It is a good chance here that you can save over $1.00 a pound. Take it home and cut and wrap according to your liking, free of charge! 
Heavy-duty container gives you the space you need to mix homemade sausage and jerky. So big it holds up to 40 lb of meat! Comes with lid, so you can store it in the refrigerator.

Heavy-duty container gives you the space you need to mix homemade sausage and jerky. So big it holds up to 40 lb of meat! Comes with lid, so you can store it in the refrigerator.

  • You can also save on ground beef if you go to your local cutter and ask about a bulk price. Now here the local cutter can go two ways. He will probably offer you a better price if you ask for a ten pound bag. You will have to package it yourself of course. You can still get a decent price if you order it in bulk and have them wrap it for you but the less they have to do the better price you can get.
Always be prepared to cook hot, wholesome meals with our delicious canned meats! At Lehmans.com.

Always be prepared to cook hot, wholesome meals with our delicious canned meats! At Lehmans.com.

  • Never buy product that has been seasoned. Season your meat at home, whether it be a marinade, a bbq sauce, or whatever. This simple task will save you at least 30 cents a pound. 
  • If you like chicken, buy them whole and learn to cut them up. Savings here is big time. Chicken parts are pricey by the piece and a whole chicken has them all and a whole lot cheaper. Learn to use a knife and put money in your pocket. (See instructions in my earlier article, Butcher Your Meat Bill.)
  • Shop the sales. If you’re lucky enough to have a few stores in your town then you can pick and choose your purchases. Shop sales and save.
  • What’s the most economical piece of meat? One that I feel is the most underutilized of all meat at the store … the turkey, of course. Despite turkey prices getting a bit higher over the last few years it is still the best value out there. Even after the holidays turkey prices can still stay under a dollar a pound. And if your store over-ordered for the holidays you could probably get them even cheaper. If there is anything a store hates, it’s having too many turkeys left over after the holidays. Just think of all the meals you could get from a 15lb. turkey. Granted you will not get 15lbs. of meat but for a typical price of 79 to 89 cents a pound (or cheaper) that’s a pretty good savings. Remember, turkey is not just for the holidays.
  • Whole bone-in hams can also give you several meals when compared in price to half or quarter boneless hams. Keep in mind that many boneless hams are compressed meat, lunchmeat, if you will, and their price will be considerably higher then a real bone-in ham. Smoked meat items though will only keep in the freezer for a short time. Believe it or not, a smoked item kept in a freezer for a period of time can actually spoil.

hand-meat-tenderizer

  • Get the right tools. I would also recommend purchasing a few items to help you once you get your meat home. The first is a hand jaccard. This instrument has several needle like pins that will help you tenderize you meat. Just hold the handle and punch it into your meat. The blades will help spread the fibers out and tenderize the meat for you. The next item would be a vacuum sealer. This machine pulls the air from the bags that you place your meat in and seals them tight, ready for the freezer. Last but not least, a few good knives, so you can be a professional at home. If you’re a hunter, a sturdy, economical game processing kit is an excellent investment.

game-processing-kit

Well, there you have a quick lesson on how to save a few dollars on your meat purchases. And if you watch and save closely your savings can be giant!

Shop Butchering Supplies and Canned Meats at Lehmans.com.

5 thoughts on “A Butcher’s Secrets: How to Slash Your Meat Bill

  1. Pingback: Catching Up « Escaping Debt

  2. Thanks for the articles you post. They’re very helpful! :0)

    Can you describe what a good quality knife is, and the best way to sharpen one is? Also, do you sell any bushcraft knives?

  3. This article is right on. I am so irked when I look for meat and all I see are prepackaged meats that are preseasoned or brined. I want to do that myself. I even like making my own breakfast sausage because I don’t like mine to have corn syrup or sugar in it.

  4. I wish I had the time. I’d love a seasoned forcemeat that wasn’tso salty, as I have high blood pressure.

  5. Thank you! That’s very helpful. Now I understand my knives a little better.