Happy Monday! Summer is sure kicking my butt this year. We’ve had a really busy summer so far, all in a good way, but still busy. One of my missions for the summer was to figure out more ways for our family to save a little money. Back-to-school is going to be here before we know it, and our Teen needs a couple really pricey items for his courses this year, such as the fancy calculator that’s going to run us around $150. (no joke, and yes it is needed. He’s taking TWO math courses this year. Pre-Calc 11 and 12, plus Physics, so it’s going to get a lot of use) When it comes to finding ways to save, saving money on groceries is the first place I start. So today’s post is going to be a quick, scattered snippet post, highlighting a new way I’m saving us $75-$150 per month.
Saving Money on Groceries
I don’t know if it is the same where you live, but food prices have been going up here. I find that it’s most noticeable in the meat department. I already have a few tricks up my sleeve to help save a few dollars when we buy meat. We don’t buy choice cuts. We buy what’s on sale if I feel it’s a reasonable price. I buy warehouse or family packs because I’ve got a home full of boys to feed. But even with these tricks, I was still watching our grocery bill totals rise. We started to discuss the idea of buying a deep freeze and purchasing half a pig and a quarter of beef. Maybe that would help us save a little, and I started looking into local farms and butcher shops to see what kind of money we would be looking at spending. On one of our local butcher’s websites, I noticed they had a section for meat packs, and I was really intrigued. After talking it over a little more, we decided to buy one of the medium-sized packs to give it a test run.
The Break Down
The meat packs are exactly what they say, a pack of meat for a set price. They had all sorts of different options to choose from, we ended up going with a beef and pork pack. Here’s the breakdown.
the cost of the pack: $135
amount of beef: 11 lbs (approx. 5 Kg)
amount of pork: 16 lbs (approx. 7.26 Kg)
total weight: 27lbs (approx 12.26 Kg)
cost per weight: $5/lbs (approx $11/Kg)
Now, I know that might seem a little high for certain cuts of meat, but it’s also really cheap for other cuts. Included in this pack were:
- 3 lbs Beef Oven Roast
- 2 lbs T-Bone Steak
- 2 lbs Stewing Meat
- 4 lbs Lean Ground Beef
- 3 lbs Pork Butt Roast
- 3 lbs Pork Butt Steak
- 3 lbs Center Cut Pork Chops
- 2 lbs Sliced Bacon
- 2 lbs Pork Cutlets
- 3 lbs Country Style Ribs
Many of those cuts are ones we don’t buy often. Take the T-Bone steaks for example. We RARELY buy those, even though my husband loves them. We priced them out at our usual grocery store and to get that same amount we were looking at close to $50. In fact, based on grocery store prices, if we bought a beef roast, pork roast, the t-bone steaks and that amount of ground beef we would be paying almost $135 for just those items. Using old receipts in combination with taking note of sale prices at the grocery store I added up what we spend on meat, (or would be spending right now) and to buy that much of poorer cuts of meat, would run us around $210. That’s a savings of $75, and I’m getting cuts of meat I normally wouldn’t. That’s not even taking into consideration all the other benefits. Wanna know what else we’re getting for that $135?
- locally raised beef and pork (some are free range, others are grain fed, none are given hormones or supplements)
- support for a local business (I love supporting locally owned and operated businesses, the fact that it’s saving me money is a HUGE bonus)
- better quality of meat. I don’t mean better cuts, I mean better quality meat. The flavor is incredible. The way it cooks up is beautiful.
- If I have any questions about quality, processing, how long the meat is aged, you name it, I get the answers right away and straight from the source if they need to call up the farmer to get the answer.
More and more we’re finding that we’re saving money by going with a local farmer rather than buying at the grocery store. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve started thinking of grocery stores as larger, slightly cheaper convenience stores. Sure I still need them for my non-perishables and diary (for now) but when it comes to fresh produce and meats, the prices from our local farmers just can’t be beaten right now, unless it’s on sale for a fantastic price.
So, that’s my tip for you. If you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill, talk to a local butcher. Find out if they sell packs like ours does. Honestly, I was really surprised that we were saving that much. Now, that pack isn’t enough to last us a whole month. So, this time, around we got that same one with a chicken pack as well, and we have plans to pick up some fish later on. This girl cannot live on beef and pork alone. 🙂 Now I’m off to go take a look at our meal planning system and figure out how to plan around the meat packs.