A Slow Cooker is Your Friend
One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount that you spend on beef is to buy less expensive cuts. The problem is that these are often tougher and less tasty than more expensive cuts. The solution to this problem is to take out your slow cooker. Placing inexpensive cuts of beef into a slow cooker with vegetables, and letting it simmer for the entire day, will make the meat tender and juicy. If you have never tried it before, you’ll be amazed.
Beef that has not been sold which is nearing its sell date will almost always be heavily discounted by the grocery store. They would rather sell it at a discounted price than have to throw it away and get nothing for it. The meat is still perfectly fine, and can be 50% off or more from its regular price. Many people shy away from this because they don’t think they’ll be able to consume it in time. This is where your freezer is your friend. Get the beef at a great discount, take it home and immediately freeze it into perfect portions for your family. It will be in great shape when you’re ready to eat it, and the perfect sized portion.
Do It Yourself
The more that you’re willing to do yourself with the beef, the less expensive it will be. Think of it the same way as you would a block of cheese and shredded cheese. A block of cheese is much less expensive than shredded cheese, but you have to do a little bit more work if you want shredded cheese. The same applies to beef.
Ground beef will be less expensive than premade beef patties. Purchasing chuck roast when it’s on sale and grinding it yourself will be less expensive than ground beef. Steaks which haven’t been marinated will be less expensive than those that have. The more preparation of the meat you do yourself, the less expensive the beef will be.
Change the Meal Focus
It’s common in the US for meat to be the main focus on the plate for meals. That’s not the case in many countries. In many places around the world, meat is used more as a side to bring extra flavor to the main portion of the meal. Making other foods the focus of your meals, with beef being a tasty side, will allow you to spend less while not completely eliminating it from your diet.
Switch to Less Expensive Meats
Another option is to switch to less expensive meats than beef. Pork and chicken are less expensive than beef, and switching to these in place of beef can help you stay within your grocery budget.
Even if you don’t have a large family, consider buying the family-size packages. The family-size packages will usually be less expensive per pound then the same beef cuts in smaller packages. Once again, the freezer is your friend, and you can freeze all the extra meat in proper portions to use at a later date.
If you really want to save money on beef (and all other meats), decide to go meatless. The more days of the week that you can serve meals that don’t have beef in them, the more you’re going to save. It’s best to start off slowly so that your family doesn’t rebel, but even choosing one less day a week to have a meal without beef can be a significant savings to a grocery budget.
Explore Other Options
Purchasing beef from your local grocery store is not the only way that you can buy it. Purchasing it from another source may save you a significant amount of money. Check to see if there are any butcher shops in your area, farmers who raise beef cattle, or meat lockers. One of these alternatives may be able to supply your family with beef at a better price than you can buy at your local grocery store.
When you go to buy hamburger, look at how lean the ground beef is as well as the price. Ground beef that is 70% lean will be less expensive than ground beef that is 95% lean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better value. When you cook up the hamburger, leaner ground beef will leave you with more meat for your money because less lean ground beef has a lot of fat in it, which cooks away.
Look for Coupons
Most people don’t even realize that beef coupons exists, but they do. They can be a little difficult to find because you won’t find them in your Sunday paper. Beef coupons usually come on products which are related to cooking or eating beef. Some common places you might find beef coupons are on alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine. You might find it on barbecue sauce or on barbecue charcoal. The coupons will usually give you a few dollars off the purchase of the beef of your choice when you buy it in conjunction with the product that is offering the coupon.