One pound of salmon costs me about $11, a pound of steak is $5-$8 depending on cut, chicken breasts are about $3 a pound and even hamburger cost me over $2.80 a pound resulting in a weekly meat budget of $56! I cut this to $31, over 25%.
Instead of cooking salmon I go to asian buffets for fish meals. Lunch is about $6 and dinner is about $8-$10 so I get over a pound of salmon, sides, and desert for less than the cost of one raw pound of salmon.
Next I purchased small plastic freezer bags and beef in 10 pound and larger packages. Steak is about $1 less a pound and ground beef is about 25 cents less a pound in bulk so I save $4 a week after the extra $1 cost of freezer bags.
Instead of purchasing chicken breasts, legs, etc I buy whole turkeys and chickens. Turkeys are around 50 cents a pound on post holiday clearance and I find chicken for about $1 to $1.25 a pound. After adjusting for weight of bones I end up paying around $1.40-$1.80 a pound for meat saving around 40-50% a pound compared to buying the turkey and chicken precut. I learned at my local Walmart, Raley’s Supermarket, and several other groceries they butcher whole birds and pack the pieces in 1-3 pound freezer containers for free. I save around $13 a week with no extra work. Some grocers such as Raleys will even ground meat so I ask them to ground cuts such as chuck roast that I don’t like. I stopped buying 20-30% lean ground beef for a savings of about fifty cents a pound eaten because the price difference between 70-80% lean meat and 20-30% lean didn’t make up for the volume of product lost from fat melting during cooking.
Next I search for coupons in newspaper advertisements and online sites such as Coupon Club. I take these to grocers such as Walmart that accept other store’s coupons and use them on “reduced for quick sale” packages. I’ve bought steaks for as little as 50 cents a pounds saving around $3 in a month.
I go to delis for lunchmeat and sausage instead of grocers. Many delis will sell me the deli ends, sliced for less than $1 a pound. Similarly the ends of sausage are often less than 75 cents a pounds. I go to the same 2 delis so I have a relationship and can call ahead and reserve ends. I ask them to shave the ends so I get twice as many slices helping me reduce meat intake by 2 lbs a week and save another $2 a week. When I need a quick meal, instead of going to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeye Chicken and spending about $10 on a bucket I buy a Rotisserie at the grocery for about $5 and ask the deli staff to cut in so I get cooked chicken at half the price.
Lastly I buy tofu and texturized vegetable protein, which is about $1 a pound and mix this with ground beef for meatballs, meat loaf and hamburgers stretching the meat out and saving about $2 a month.