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SaveRecipes & Dining Protein on a Budget: How to Find Affordable Meat That Won't Break the Bank

Protein on a Budget: How to Find Affordable Meat That Won't Break the Bank

Looking for ways to make meat more affordable? Here are some great tips and tricks you can use to save money on the proteins your family needs!

Protein on a Budget: How to Find Affordable Meat That Won't Break the Bank

Meat might be one of the most expensive parts of your family’s diet — but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a few ways to save! Especially now, when everyone wants to know when meat prices will go down. Never fear, though — we’ve got your back with some tips and tricks to buy meat on a budget. And buying cheap doesn’t mean buying low quality, either. Here are a few of our favorite loopholes that will help you keep costs down!

1. Find a wholesaler

This trick means you’ll probably have to buy in bulk, but the savings will be worth it. You’ll probably also have to shop at different hours, too. While grocery stores are meant to be open after work, wholesalers often work regular business hours, which may mean you’ll need to stop by during your lunch hour. If you can swing it, though, shopping at a wholesaler lets you avoid the grocery store markup.

So how do you find a wholesaler? Check this handy website to search in your area.

2. Stock up on sales

It’s the easiest way to save money on meat! Each week, your local grocery store will have deals on a few proteins. Get your weekly grocery flyer as soon as it’s available, plan your meals around the week’s deals, and get to the grocery store before those deals are sold out.

3. Shop as soon as the doors open

Here’s a trick that most people overlook. Most grocers mark down what they consider “past prime” meat — which is usually the meat they had on display in coolers the day before. They’ll put these packages out for sale first thing in the morning, and early birds tend to snap them up first. Be there when the doors open to snag deep discounts.

4. Buy local

First up, you’ll need to find a farmer or rancher in your area. You may also need to find your own butcher, too, if the farmer doesn’t have one on standby. Initially, it’ll be a bigger investment because you’ll probably have to purchase the entire animal. That also means making sure you’ve got a big freezer to keep it all good as you work your way through it.

Don’t have a big deep freezer, or can’t use an entire cow’s worth of meat in a reasonable time frame? Then it’s time to talk to your friends! They want to save money, too, and some of them might be thrilled to split the cost of a pig or a cow with you.

5. Level up your cooking skills

Not sure what to do with that discounted pack of ground turkey you found? Or how to make the cheapest cut of beef tender and tasty? There are workarounds for everything — and they’re a good way to put affordable meat to use. Find a few great recipes for ground meats — meatballs for spaghetti, Swedish meatballs, sloppy joes, or tacos, for example — and invest in a slow cooker to turn tougher cuts of beef and pork into juicy, tender perfection.

Save on the rest of your groceries, too!

Buying meat on a budget is perfectly doable if you know the tips and tricks to find discounts. Rounding out the rest of your meal means finding deals on fruits, vegetables, and everything else that you’ll need — and for that, you should definitely check your weekly Save mailer for savings and deals!