Saving at the meat counter

oilpainterAugust 8, 2009


I save by cutting up my own meat.

First I mostly buy meat on sale.

When pork loin roasts are on sale I buy the whole (or several) loins. I cut butterfly pork chops off the large end and save the narrow end for roasts.

I buy boneless roasts (i prefer outside round or surloin). I save some for roasts and some I cut up into stewing beef. It's much better than the stewing beef you buy.

By the way you will get a nice tender roast if you cook it frozen @325. Don't add liquid until all the juices have evaporated. The outside thaws and browns while the inside is still frozen so it keeps all it's juices. I add an extra 10 minutes per pound for small roasts and 5 for large ones

I buy round steak and cut some in strips for stirfry or sukiaki and some I save in pieces for stuffed steak or swiss steak.

I buy chickens on sale and cut them up into breasts, thighs and drumsticks and put the rest and skin in a pot and boil them. I pick out the meat and strain the broth and discard bones and skin. I put the meat with some broth in small dollar store plastic containers. This is great for hot chicken sandwiches or stews or soups

After I've done the cutting up I wrap each big piece of meat separately in tin foil or freezer paper and then put them in freezer bags--these can be washed in soap and water, rinsed, dried and reused. Then they are frozen. This way I can take out however many pieces I want.

The stewing beef and sliced round steak go into plastic bags with enough for a meal.

I hope someone can use some of this. It has helped me save money for many years

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Oilpainter, you have a good tip here. I used to buy round steak and make very, very lean hamburger. Nowadays, I haven't been able to get a good price on round steak but it used to always be as cheap per pound as regular-fat hamburger. I also make my own hamburger patties. There are lots of pattie makers out there, I bought a metal one for $5 at Atwood's, and then found some nice Tupperware ones where you press the ground beef into the container and then a second container snaps onto the first one. So far I've bought three sets of these at garage sales and I like them very much.

Anytime you can "cut out the middle-man" you are going to save money. You can also make your own bulk sausage if you have a grinder. There are lots of recipes on the Internet and you can make it a lot leaner for the same money or less.

I don't buy bacon very often, but when I do, I buy the "ends and pieces" in the ten pound box. I'll take each strip of bacon and roll it into a little roll, set a bunch of them on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then pour them into a ziplock bag so I can take out as few as I want.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 1:21PM
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Wow, great information here on the bacon, never occurred to me to roll them up to freeze, I too buy big ol 10lbs boxes at times. (yum o bacon grease)
I always cook my roasts, steaks and chicken breasts frozen. First started by accident way back when I had a job and forgot to take something out for dinner, same with the roast, just throw it in the crock pot frozen, cuz think about it, you leave work at 7:30 and dont' get home till 5, thats too long to cook mine were burning even with extra liquid added. Now I cook them frozen, 10 hours, juicy, and not burnt. Kind of slows down the cooking time and ready when I get home...
Ever since I started cooking them from the frozen state, family doesn't mind cheap meat.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 1:39PM
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How long does it take for a rolled up strip of bacon to defrost? I've been freezing the long strips which makes it easy to cook as few or as many as I want. But it sure would be convenient to roll them.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Don't defrost put them in a pan with a tiny bit of water pop on a lid and let them steam apart. then straighten them out and cook

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 6:04PM
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Oilpainter, thanks for responding; I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:17PM
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mwheel, you don't even really need to add water. Just toss them in the skillet, put the heat on low at first and cover with a lid. They straighten out in no time.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Thanks again for the wonderful hint about rolling bacon strips, then freezing them, and the responses about how to defrost them. Since I like to cook bacon in the microwave, last week I put in three or four of the rolled up strips and defrosted them for 25 seconds. Voila! They unpeeled easily and I cooked them as usual, between paper towels. Unless I want the grease for seasoning, I LOVE this "no muss, no fuss" way of cooking bacon. BTW, they look so cute all rolled up in the freezer bag!

Thanks again for responding to my query.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 1:59PM
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I'm not sure how much bacon you cook at a time so this may or may not work for you. I tend to cook the whole package. To save on papertowels, I use a bacon cooker where you drape the slices of bacon over t-shaped 'bars' and the grease drips down into a pan. Instead of using a lot of papertowels to catch the grease, I only use two to keep the splatters from going all over the place. Here's one that Overstock has listed, but I'm sure you could find it elsewhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mak'n Bacon

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 8:33PM
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What an interesting "gadget"! I usually cook only four or five slices--enough for two BLTs--:>), but since it isn't very expensive, I may get one and try it. However, don't you still have to dispose of the bacon grease? That's what I like about the paper towels, I just fold them up and put them in the garbage bag.

Thanks for the infor.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 1:31PM
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