Meat is probably the most expensive item on your grocery list. The good news is, you don't have to become a vegetarian to save money. Here's how to have your meat and eat it too. Make a commitment to never pay full price on chicken, ground beef, pork or steak. Pretty simple, right?
Pay attention to your local grocery store ads, and when your favorite meat products go on sale, buy them in bulk and freeze for later use. You'll always have an inventory of meat on hand — all of it purchased with your budget in mind. Once you've bought all that meat, what are the best methods for freezing it and keeping it fresh? Check out our favorite tips below.
1. Freeze chicken breasts in individual sandwich bags
Cut breasts into manageable portions (Try to cut them lengthwise, creating two breasts from each). Put each portion into inexpensive fold-top sandwich bags, before placing each individually wrapped portion into a gallon-sized bag for freezing.
2. Roll out ground beef before freezing
After buying your ground beef on sale, separate it into one-pound (450 g) increments. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the ground beef inside of a gallon bag until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (6 to 13mm). The flat shape makes it easy to store, easy to break off smaller portions and quick to thaw.
3. Freeze steak in butcher paper
Air and moisture are the biggest enemies in freezing steak. Try using butcher or freezer paper for the task. Wrap the cut meat (waxy side in) tightly and tape shut. Wrap again in aluminum foil, then label.
4. Freeze your meat into a super-easy freezer meal
Freezer meals are a way to prep your meat so that when it's time to use it, all the work is already done! Be sure to check out these 7 freeze-ahead slow cooker recipe ideas.