Friday, March 16, 2007

Freezing meats

Don't forget to stop by Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Friday spot for more great tips--

Q: You did well with your sale meats. But what about variety?
In one week's sale ads, you will perhaps find great deals on two kinds of meat. This week I had to get creative with two higher-fat choices--chicken quarters and ground beef. If you are cooking from a stockpile, though, variety is easy. Just buy a pound (or more) extra of each loss leader and throw it in the freezer. Before you know it, you'll have many choices--each at its lowest price.

Q: But I don't have a separate freezer!
Neither do I. The energy cost would only be worth it if we were a larger family or I had a supply of venison/farm meat. I make our refrigerator's freezer worth every inch. Prime real estate goes for prime meat--reduced-for-quick-sale and loss leader meats save me more money than any other item. Here are a few of my target prices:

I buy when...
chicken quarters hit 29-cents/lb.
whole chickens are 69-cents/lb.
bone-in chicken breasts go 99-cents/lb.
boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.69/lb or less.
lean ground beef is 99-cents/lb.
turkey breasts are 99-cents/lb.
steaks are $2/lb.
sausage is 99-cents/lb.
fresh shrimp is $5/lb. (special occasions)
salmon is $3/lb.
canned wild salmon is $1/14-oz can.
canned tuna is 35-cents/can.

Do you regularly find lower target prices for these meats--or others? I'd love to know when and how you stock your larder!


Maggie said...

Your price points are right about where our best prices fall except I dont buy salmon so I dont know about that one. We eat alot of smoked sausage at 1.99 lb or less. I have always been curious how our meat prices (Ohio) compare.

Rose said...

Meredith - Your target prices sound very similar to mine, overall. I buy chicken quarters at .25/lb., although this only happens every few months at my local Kroger and it comes in a 10 lb. bag. Not a problem - I subdivide and freeze by two-leg bags (for us) or four-leg bags (for when we have guests.) I used to buy whole chickens for .49/lb. at Aldi, and was disappointed when they went up to .65/lb. a few months ago. Now I try to hold out for whenever Kroger sells them for .59/lb. I almost never buy any other kind of chicken, because I always save the leftovers from roast chicken, chop it up, freeze it, and use that whenever a recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts. SO much cheaper and well worth the few minutes it takes to de-bone the carcass!

I will buy a boneless 'fancier' cut of meat (roast, pork tenderloin) at $1.99/lb, which happens fairly frequently.

I will pay .99/lb. for ground beef, but unfortunately that is the 70/30; the lean stuff never drops that low.

Fresh shrimp (salad size, but that works for me) is $3.99/lb. everyday at our Super Walmart. A rare treat!

These are all Georgia prices.

Great contest!

Bobbie said...

Your prices are right on the money for us here in East Texas. Have any studies been done on buying vs stocking up? I'd love to know the results. I enjoy your blog very much and receive it via my google reader.

Anonymous said...

I have similar target prices. I pay $1.99/lb for boneless pork loin or eye round roast. I only shop about twice a month and rarely early in the morning so I often miss the mark down meats. My husband who travels as part of his job regularly picks up produce and milk saving me time and gas money. He also will run in and pick up loss leaders. I also stock up on smoked sausage at $2.50 a 1 lb. package. A little bit goes a long way in flavoring jambalaya made with .29/lb leg quarters or in a dish of red beans. These are northwest Indiana loss leader prices.

This was a great series. I use both strategies as the local independent is terribly expensive(small town monopoly) and large chains like Kroger are at least a 30 minute drive. Aldi is 40 minutes and I use it for my basics and cherry pick from the rest.
I love your use it up strategies. Little bits do add up to whole meals practically for free.
Thanks - Melissa

Mary Ann said...

I rarely find tuna for less than .44 a can. Harris Teeter has whole chickens on sale very 4-6 months for .49 cents a pound or there-abouts. Last month, I bought 6 of them, because I can do so much with them. Occasionally, I'll find the bags of frozen boneless chicken breasts for .99 cents a pound. I have a hard time finding lean ground beef for .99 a pound, but a couple of weeks ago, H.T. had a little leaner(83/17?) than the cheap Wal-Mart stuff for .99 a pound so I got my limit. We use a lot of ground turkey for .79 cents a pound from Aldi's. I also buy tilapia and salmon occasionally when it is $2.99 a pound. The rest of your prices are about the same as what I find here in South Carolina. I really enjoyed yours and Amy's menus this week!

Ann @TheAssetEdge said...

What a great list!!!
ann :)

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent list of price points and I am going to keep a copy of these in my purse. We seem to have similar pricing so this is really helpful to know. Thanks for sharing this!

PeppermintPearl said...

Those are good prices. Mine don't go quite that low around here, but close.

I usually figure $1 per pound or less if its bone-in meat $2 per pound or less if its boneless.

Laura said...

We sometimes get ground beef on sale for .99 per pound also. The lowest I have ever found chicken leg quarters was .19 per pound for a 10# bag. I am waiting for that one to come around again!!

(We live in West Texas.)

Anonymous said...

maybe a different view here, but I reckon you shouldn't buy meat that's so dirt cheap....

It's definately (nno question) filled with antibiotics, growth-hormones, and all kinds of crappy things.. not to mention the animals are definately (no question) treated very badly. God wouldn't want us to have this, not even for the sake of our wallets.

To save money, I usually do it this way: We always eat organic or free-range meat, which is usually pretty expensive. Try shopping on saturday morning, the meat that will go 'bad' on either saturday, sunday or monday will be marked down, usually 35%, which makes it about the price of 'normal' (bad!) meat..

Then substitute meat for 'something else' 3 times a week (be it fish, cheese, tofu, eggs or beans) and you're doing great money-wise and food-wise.... Healthy food, no animal cruelty, no medicins or toxins, and less fat as you'll be eating soy or other legumes on a weekly basis ;)

greetings from the netherlands!

LA said...

Wow! This is all great info. Almost too much for a third time reader but I'm catching up. I'm in Long Island, NY and know these prices are too low for me but it does give me a good thought process. What do you think about stocking up on meats at Costco or Sam's? So far that is what I've found to be the cheapest here.

Cheers! LA

Anonymous said...

These prices are way below anything I could achieve here in Southern California, but I compensate by serving more meatless meals, and, not wanting to boast, but I have a more generous grocery budget than yours. I spend about $500 a month for myself, my husband and three teenagers. That doesn't include lunch bought at work, or household consumables.