Meat in a meal is somewhat of a rarity in our house. And it’s not because we don’t like it or don’t want it. It’s not even that we can’t cook it. We just don’t miss it.
I was raised vegetarian, for the most part. At least, my mom rarely cooked meat, so we didn’t have it at home. But I have eaten enough chicken and broccoli dishes from the Chinese restaurant and fried chicken from Golden Corral than I care to admit. And sometimes when we ate out, my dad would let me have a bite of his steak. It always made me feel special and I was always excited to have that bite (provided it was grizzle free – yuck! ha).
But anyway, the main point with all of this is that we do buy meat, even though it’s probably on a much smaller scale than the average meat eating family. And for the most part, we only buy poultry. Sometimes I will buy sausage or some sort of beef cut that was on sale, but not often. And while the argument is true that my family saves a lot of money on meat simply because we don’t buy that much, this post is about how we DO spend money on meat.
What do you consider a good price on fresh chicken breast, per pound? I can get it at $1.69 a lb, so I refuse to pay anything more than that. At least for now. Although with the government jacking up grocery prices with their inflation who knows what a ‘good price’ will be in a few years. Political rants aside, that’s where I am currently. Actually, for almost 6 months I was paying $1.59, but just this last time it went up to $1.69. Where do I get chicken for $1.69 a lb? Aldi.
Aldi is the only store I shop at, aside from Amazon.com, with only a handful of exceptions (items I can’t get at either). Although Aldi’s every day price on meat is still pretty good, did you know that every Wednesday is a selected meat special? And I’ve come to notice a pattern with chicken. Every 5-6 weeks, Aldi’s Wednesday sale is for fresh chicken breast. And from what The Hubs and I can see, a good source – Kirkwood Chicken Farms. (No, it’s not ‘organic’ or ‘free range’ or whatever. But, frankly, I’ve never cared about that. Maybe I should.)
So every Sunday when I get my pack of flyers with the paper, I check to see what meat is on sale. If it’s chicken week, I make sure The Hubs knows to stop on his way home from work. Or sometimes I change grocery day to Wednesday because of it. All depends on the week.
But here is the short of it. I buy 20-25 lbs of chicken, prepare it 3-4 ways, freeze most of it, and it lasts us up to three months. So I know that dropping $35-45 on chicken in one go might put a dent in your weekly budget (mine is only $100, and that includes household, beauty, cleaning, and personal care items). But when you consider how long it will last (even if it only lasts ONE month in your family), I’m guessing that’s less than what the average family spends per month on chicken now, especially if buying frozen, prepared, or ‘special’ chicken (such as breaded, grilled, etc).
I label all the bags in the freezer and always eat the ‘oldest’ stuff first. I also will base my use of the chicken around what is needed to be eaten first. Here are the ways I typically treat the chicken prior to freezing.
- Bake and chop into 1″ pieces, for salads, soups, etc, freeze some and eat some fresh that week
- Grill and cut into strips, freeze
- Marinate and freeze raw
- Grind and mix into turkey bacon for sausage/meatballs/etc, freeze raw.
What about you? How do you fit chicken (or any meat, really) into your budget? Do you have any saving tricks to share? Or can you buy chicken for less? If so – please share :D
This blog post is linked to Mouthwatering Mondays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Inspire Me Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Catch a Glimpse Party, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten Free Friday, Friday Pin Fest