Grocery Budget Killers and How to Avoid Them Part I
When we buy meat we usually buy a lot of it. If I can get the Family Pack or Supervalue pack it will generally save you around $.50# which isn’t huge but it adds up when you think that by buying 10# you just saved $5!!
I buy a lot of it and once I bring it home I take 1/2 an hour to sort out my groceries. Instead of immediately freezing all the meat, I portion it off for our family. If I place all the meat straight in the freezer in the big pack, when I try and pull it out I’ll have to bash it on the countertop to separate it! (got the mental picture of me smacking chicken??!!!) Instead I know we need 3 pieces of chicken per meal or 2 big pieces of pork. I line up opened ziploc bags and portion the meat out. Then I label it and freeze it flat for next time.
We love hosting and don’t always know how many people are coming over so sometimes I’ll freeze it individually so that in a pinch we can just take out 1 or 2 portions for dinner. The way to do this is to Flash Freeze. Lay your meat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 2 hours until frozen. Pull it out and then place it in a ziploc. That way if you want 1, 2 or 5 chicken breasts/chops/steaks they’ll be ready. If you think you may forget that you put it in the freezer, set an alarm clock so it doesn’t get petrified.
Finally, we like to eat roasts but can’t eat a lot. However I don’t want to go to the grocery store often so I’ll buy big roasts. When I get it home I’ll cut it into 2 or 3 portions. One portion I’ll cut into pork chops/steaks and freeze like that. One portion I’ll throw in a ziploc and throw a marinade over it like Italian dressing and the final portion will just be placed in a bag ready for the crockpot. I then label them and freeze.
When you buy in bulk but do the work yourself, it doesn’t take a lot of time but will save you money. If you’re going to do a lot of this, I’d recommend a vaccuum sealer. My MIL swears by hers and how much it can save her buy buying in bulk when she sees a great deal. It keeps the meat fresh for longer and is super easy to use.