May
29
2012

Tuesday {frugal} Tip: Buy Sale Meat In Bulk

by Kimberlee Stokes Affiliate Link Disclosure B

Tuesday Tips-Make life easier!

One of my best money saving strategies is to buy meat only when it’s on sale and to stock up when it’s at the lowest price. Sounds great, but what do you do with all that meat? (Vegans and Vegetarians can apply some of the same principles, see below.)

 

If you saw my shopping post on Friday, then you saw the great meat deals I was able to get: $1.69/lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $1.99/lb ground beef and $3.49/lb flank steak–all super prices for my area.

When I arrived home, I spent (2) 20 minute sessions preparing the meat:

 

FREEZE IT

I put half of the steak and half of the chicken into freezer zipper bags and placed them flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the meat was frozen, I stacked the bags in the freezer to use for meals in future weeks (like BBQ Chicken TostadasBlack Bean Chicken Chili and Steak Fajitas). The flattened packages make more efficient storage and I can fit more in my small freezer.

 

MARINATE IT

I cut the other half of the steak into strips and marinated it for steak and peppers that night. (See my Delicious Steak Marinade recipe here.) Always marinate meat in a glass container and store the meat in the refrigerator to prevent food-borne illnesses.

I also cut 3 chicken breasts into strips using my kitchen shears, and marinated them with Italian salad dressing. I sauteed the chicken the next day and served it over salad for lunch. Vegetarians can marinate vegetables for use in stir fry later in the day.

 

COOK IT (to use later)

I boiled 3 chicken breasts and left them in the pot on the stove to cool. Once the chicken was cooled, I shredded it and placed it in the refrigerator to use in Crunchy Chicken Salad (recipe here) two days later. Cooked chicken should be used within two days or frozen.

I also chopped onions and browned the ground beef. Click here to read How to Freeze Ground Beef (or you can watch my video here to see how I do this to make more room in the freezer.) If you are a vegetarian, you can cook beans ahead of time and freeze them.

 

REFRIGERATE IT

I will place one package of the ground beef into the refrigerator to use this week for Beantastic Taco Meat (recipe here), which I serve over corn chips with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce to make taco bowls. I also use it to make Taco Cups or Oven Baked Tacos.

 

You can see more Easy and Delicious Ground Beef Recipes on my Ground Beef Recipe Pin Board here.

 

 [Click to PIN this post. :)]

For just a little bit of time and effort, I have several meals partially prepared and I have cut my grocery bill significantly by purchasing the meat on sale.

 

You can also check out my 8 Dinners in One Hour Plan for chicken.

What shortcuts do you take in the kitchen to save time and money? Leave a comment. :)

 

 

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  • Ginelle

    When chicken breast is on sale, I marinate it, grill it, cut it into bite size pieces, then freeze it in small individual freezer bags (approx 1# in each bag). So on busy weekend nights I can pull it a bag, defrost it in the microwave and it is ready to go for casseroles, salads, wraps, etc.

    When ground beef/turkey is on sale, I buy 20#+, get out my big pots and cook it up with garlic and onion. Once it cools, I freeze it in individual freezer bags (approx 1# in each bag). Again, its ready to go with just a quick defrost for tacos, chili, enchilada, and casseroles.

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee

      Freezing the meat in smaller bags is a really great idea for single people or couples without children. Thanks Ginelle.

      • Lisa

        I do the same thing for my family of 5 (I’m a vegetarian, but I have a husband and 18 y.o. son that LOVE meat). I usually use the ground beef or chopped chicken in a casserole or something so I don’t really need more than a pound. I use beans and lots of vegetables to round it all out and make dinner filling. A serving is only 3 oz, so I don’t think people need a pound each. My husband, son and 2 daughters seem to disagree when they eat an entire 4 pounds of roast or brisket in one meal, but that’s pretty rare in my house.

  • Caryn

    we have a good size freezer in our basement, so I buy extra turkey at thanksgiving, roast at christmas and ham at easter when they are the cheapest. and I only buy whole chickens when they are 99 cents/lb

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee

      Buying discounted meat after holidays is another great tip. Thanks Caryn!

  • Crystal

    I love this tip!

    I also freeze my meats in the marinades. This way when it defrosts it is already marinating. I will also take all the things I need for a crock pot meal (like vegetable soup for example) and freeze it in one ziploc. This way everything is already cut and prepared, I just defrost it overnight, put it in the crock pot in the morning, and forget about it.

    I am horrible at remembering to freeze meals flat, I also have a small freezer and need to remember to do this.

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee

      Thanks Crystal. I have seen that other people freeze the meat with the marinade, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • http://purposelyfrugal.com Katy @ Purposely Frugal

    Great post! I try to get most of my meats on sale too. I really like getting whole chickens and cooking them in my crock pot. Sometimes I cook them with water and veggie scraps so I can have chicken broth too. Do you have a freezer or can you fit all of your food in the freezer of your fridge?

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee

      I don’t have a separate freezer right now, or a place to put one, so I have to cram it all into the freezer above our refrigerator. Every inch counts! :)

  • http://www.gettingaheadblog.com Jennifer

    You should link up this post to my Frugal Tuesday Tip linky. Would love to have you join!

  • http://www.mommazeninthecity.com Jill

    We are buying a small chest freezer to store our bargain meat and home grown veggies in. Organization will be key – so I appreciate the cookie sheet idea!

  • Karen

    I used to buy our meat on sale, then I found Home Grown Cow on line and now we buy our meats in bulk farm fresh. I’m finding the hamburger is about the same price, but we gets steaks and roasts for the same price as the hamburger so all in all, it’s a great savings. Plus I feel good about it being fresh from a farm, and not full of pink slime etc. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of freezing meats with their marinades. Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that. I do make meatloaves ahead and freeze them prepared, but uncooked. Thanks for sharing!

  • traci

    Another great way to pre-cook chicken – throw as much as you like in a crockpot w/ water or broth on low for 5-6 hours. It shreds easily with a spoon, and you can freeze it in separate pkgs w/ different seasonings or sauces as you wish.

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee

      Great idea Traci–thanks!

  • katie

    Another great option, if your family has the space to store it & funds to do it, is to buy a quarter or a half of a beef/pork at a time. It IS a lot of money up front, but it is so convenient to have basically a year’s worth of meat on hand! And also, one great thing to remember is that by paying a flat rate for the hanging weight & cut/wrap – you are paying “ground beef” prices for some really nice cuts of beef that maybe your family couldn’t otherwise afford. Plus, you’re helping a local farmer (like my family!) put food on their table, too! :D

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      Oh I miss my freezer! Yes, in our previous location we had access to grass fed beef at really great prices. I haven’t been able to get it where we live now. :(

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