Monday, December 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping: Meat Prices

Per Kristi's request, below is a list of guidelines that I typically use for buying meat. The bottom line is to just watch the sales closely and stock up when you see a good deal - it really helps having a deep freezer so there's space to stock up. I don't know how much prices vary by area, but these are the prices I find at our stores. Hopefully your stores will have similar sales.

Also, try this post from Erin @ $5 Dinners that has a good list plus comments from her readers that mention different areas of the country. I am only listing meats that I buy regularly and therefore am confident about the prices, otherwise Erin's list seems reasonable to me for things like pork & split chicken breasts. I think I'll do another post about how I menu plan that might make a tiny bit more sense of the cuts of meat I use.

Beef (keep in mind that KC is called a cowtown for a reason - we get really good fresh beef and it is probably cheaper here since it doesn't have to travel very far)
  • Ground: $2/lb - I find that it's very rare to get the 93% lean kind that I like for this cheap so sometimes I have to settle for a higher fat content. If I were really willing to settle, the 80% lean goes on sale sometimes for $1.49/lb.
  • Sirloin steaks: $2.99/lb - I use this in a lot of Rachael Ray recipes that often call for supposedly "cheap" cuts of meat like flank steak that actually costs about $8/lb. Love her though I do, Rachael Ray is sometimes very wrong. This sale price usually comes around every few months, most recently I even got it for $2.49/lb.
  • Strip steaks: $4.99/lb - Definitely a splurge, but still better than buying @ a steakhouse.
Boneless/skinless chicken breasts: $2/lb - there are often sales at this price, and sometimes even better (recently one of our stores had it for $1.19/lb!)

Bacon: $2/lb - you could probably do even better if you find a coupon in the Sunday paper

Jimmy Dean sausage: $2/lb (on a side note, this is the current sale price at my local store, plus I got a coupon for $2 off 2 packages, so my price will only be $1/package!)

Ground Turkey: $2/lb at the most - this used to go on sale all the time for a lot less (around $1/lb) but I've had trouble finding it lately. I was able to get some at Walmart for $1.50/lb but it was in a roll and I prefer it packaged flat. Last time I asked my butcher at my regular market they were out of it - could be that they are using all the turkeys for other reasons around the holidays...maybe the situation will get better next month.

Shrimp: $3.99/lb

Deli meats: $3/7-8oz package of Hilshire Farms deli meat - it's so good and you get a Glad container with it, which costs at least $.50 on its own. I also buy hard salami at the Walmart deli counter - only $4.28ish/lb. They probably have decent prices for the other deli meats too - if you have a Super Walmart I'd recommend giving the deli a try, it might surprise you.

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