7 Ways to Lower the Cost of Meat


One of the biggest parts of our grocery budget is fresh meat. It averages $3-5 per pound, as opposed to $1-3 per pound for fresh produce.

In a perfect world, I would just go vegetarian to cut it out altogether. But let’s just be honest — that’s never going to happen.

I’m a carnivore through and through, so I’ve had to get creative to keep our grocery budget under control.

We prepare three meals per day at home for five people — it adds up quickly! Here are a few of my favorite solutions for lowering our meat budget.

  • Mix-Ins 1 of 7
    I cut my taco meat with rice to cut back on the more expensive ground beef. Stir fry, stews, and soups are another great way to mix meat with other ingredients for a hearty meal with lower costs.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Meatless Mondays 2 of 7
    Meatless Mondays
    Cutting meat out of the menu just once per week can have a significant impact on the environment and your budget. Pasta, vegetarian pizza or — my favorite — breakfast for dinner are simple options for avoiding meat.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user dvortygirl
  • Bulk Purchases 3 of 7
    Bulk Purchases
    Buying bulk at the grocery store can save a few cents per pound, but check with a local butcher for even better deals on serious purchases. Buying a whole cow will cost quite a bit up front but could save a lot of money throughout the year.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user nataliemaynor
  • Portion Control 4 of 7
    Portion Control
    On my weight loss program last year, I had to weigh my portions to be sure I was sticking with the serving size listed on my meal plan. It really hit home how much we were overeating meat. Scaling back the portions not only helped me drop 20 pounds, but it has cut down the amount of food I need to cook for each meal.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user bradleypjohnson
  • Weekly Sales 5 of 7
    Weekly Sales
    Our weekly menu is planned around the store sales each week. Whatever meat is in the sale ad is what I'll be serving for dinner. It typically saves up to 50% off the regular price.
  • Manager Markdowns 6 of 7
    Manager Markdowns
    I keep an eye on the clearance section in my grocery store's meat department, too. I buy up our favorite cuts of meat. It can go into the freezer to use as needed. This means I never have to pay full price for meat. (Or anything else, really.)
  • Cheaper Cuts 7 of 7
    Cheaper Cuts
    A slow cooker can really make a difference on a cheaper cut of meat. The process will make it tender and flavorful. Plus, I can cook dinner all day without a lot of effort.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user

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