5 Ways To Trim the Fat From Your Meat Budget

by Patricia Estero

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Whether prices have jumped or your food budget has gotten smaller, meat can take a big bite out of your budget. Here are some ways to combat meat prices.

It’s no that secret meat is often the most expensive meal component. When the food budget gets tight or meat prices drastically increase, finding affordable meat options can be challenging. However, a bit of readjustment to your meal planning may help keep costs in check.

Take a look at these tips for cooking around high meat prices.

1. Consider chicken.

Chicken isn’t always the cheaper option, but when it is, you can typically substitute it for costlier meats. Chicken can be a great, lean food that is very versatile, too. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, from light salads to marinated dinners.

For example, instead of grilling steaks. consider grilled chicken breasts. Or instead of baking or frying pork chops, why not try this technique with chicken breasts or thighs? Ground chicken, as well as chicken sausage are also available as alternatives to traditional ground beef, pork, and sausage.

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2. Embrace Meatless Mondays.

If you haven’t tried meatless Mondays (or any other day of the week), you should! Meatless Monday just means preparing a meal without meat for dinner one night a week. Not only is this a healthy way to eat, but it also cuts down on meat items on your grocery bill too!

Vegetables and grains, including beans, rice, squashes, and leafy greens can be nutritious ways to fill your dinner plate.

3. Buy less expensive cuts that last.

If you can’t forgo your beef or pork, try to buy cuts that are inexpensive and last longer.

Stew meat is typically less expensive, and it can be incorporated into soups and stews that could last for several meals. You might also consider buying these meats in bulk and freezing what you don’t intend to immediately use.

4. Stock up during sales.

If your local supermarket puts pork or beef on sale for certain occasions, stock up during that time! Chances are, you can catch a good price and freeze these extra cuts of meat for later use.

5. Mix and match.

Think about mixing and matching meat with fruits and veggies to get a filling meal. Chicken pot pie and Shepard’s pie are both great examples of vegetables and meat mixed in a dish together. Mixing in rice, potatoes, or additional vegetables can be a great way to stretch meats so that they last longer.

And get creative! Many times some of the best tasting dinners come without a recipe!

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Hopefully these tools can help you save a little money as meat prices rise. With a little planning and creativity, you can easily cook great tasting meals without breaking your budget.

Reviewed February 2024

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