Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buying Meat On A Budget

In a perfect world we would all be able to afford and/or find grass-fed meats and organic, free-range poultry - unfortunately for many this is not the case.  Just because you live in a food desert or are financially challenged doesn't mean that you have to resort to vegetarianism or be stuck eating the cruddy, leftover, almost expired, mysteriously wrapped ground meat of questionable origin (you know the stuff I'm talking about...)  There are many 'financially friendly', healthy options to help you 'get your meat on'!!  Here are some of the best choices.  Keep in mind that prices may vary based on location.

Beef Tri-Tip (Sirloin Tip, Triangle Roast)
Average Price: $5.99-$6.99/pound
Vital Information: Triangle cut from the bottom of the sirloin; often ground into hamburger.
Cooking Tips: For best results roast or grill the meat.

Chicken Legs & Thighs
Average Price: $1.29-$2.19/pound
Vital Information: Much cheaper than boneless, skinless breasts.  Make sure to remove the skin before eating - Omega-6 overload!
Cooking Tips: Bake, roast, grill, fry in a little coconut or olive oil - it all works!

Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt, Boston Butt, Shoulder Roast)
Average Price: $1.99-$2.99/pound
Vital Information: Great for pulled pork, freezes well!
Cooking Tips: Low & Slow is the rule here!  Low temp for a long time.  Great for the crock pot or smoker!

Hanger Steak (Butchers' Steak, Bistro Steak)
Average Price: $6.99-$8.99/pound
Vital Information: Looks weird (or different than traditional steak) - but it's packed with flavor!  Steaks are connected in the center by inedible connective tissue.  Cut down the middle to separate and 'clean' before cooking!  One steak feeds 2 to 4 people.
Cooking Tips: Broil, grill or sautee.  Cut steak against the grain to serve.

Beef Short Ribs
Average Price: $4.99-$5.99/pound
Vital Information: Look for them several ways; whole (bone-in), cut into squares or boneless.  They're big and MEATY!!!!
Cooking Tips: Braise or grill for best results.  Work well in stews and soups.

Pork Belly (FRESH BACON!!!!!!)
Average Price: $2.98-$4.99/pound
Vital Information: This is where BACON comes from!!  Very silky in texture (melts in your mouth!)
Cooking Tips: Braising is best!  Cook whole or cut into cubes.

Beef Brisket
Average Price: $3.79-$4.49/pound
Vital Information: Large cut of meat - great for freezing!  Bone-free = more meat for your money!!
Cooking Tips: Smoke or braise.  Cook slow for tender, melt in your mouth meat.

Pork Sirloin (Pork Cutlets, Loin Chops, Sirloin Roast)
Average Price: $2.99-$3.99/pound
Vital Information: Lean and full of flavor!  Awesome in stir-frys!!
Cooking Tips: Cutlets or Chops - sautee, grill, broil, bake, or fry.  Roasts & large cuts - braise or roast.

Lamb Shoulder Chops (Lamb Blade Chops)
Average Price: $3.99-$6.99/lb
Vital Information: Pick up flavor well making them very versatile!  Much cheaper than loin chops!
Cooking Tips: Broil, grill or braise for best results.  These are BAA-D @SS!!  (I couldn't resist!)

See, it is possible to eat great meat and still be able to fill your car with gas!  And just in case you are still on the "meat isn't good for you" wagon check out this short article that shows just how nutrient packed meat is.  No more excuses!  "Meat" Your Heart Out!!



  1. Good post, Amy! I would add that people should also try to find grassfed beef by the whole, half, or quarter cow. It saves a ton of money since you get roasts, pricey cuts like ribeye, and a slew of ground beef all for the price of grassfed ground beef (or cheaper) from the store. Check out for local sources. Well worth the money and freezer space to get that quantity and quality!

  2. Awesome advice Kristy!!! If you've got the storage space or a meat locker nearby - buy in bulk!! is AWESOME!! Thanks!

    Anon - I will work on the font color thing - keep the feedback coming! Thanks!


  3. great post - people are not educated as to the relatively inexpensive cuts they can purchase form GOOD grass-fed beef rather than better cuts from BAD (grain fed) beef - also - i have to concur with your 1st commentor - as cool as the black background is - it really makes it hard to read your excellent posts--

    just sayin...!

  4. Flank steak (London Broil) deserves an honorable mention here too. My local WFM usually has the grass-fed, free range editions of it in the $4.99/lb range.

  5. Hi!
    I found your blog, thanks to FB, and I love it, so much great information here!

  6. Taking in vegetables on a daily basis would also make you fit. It doesn’t have to follow that you will always eat veggies daily, and every meal. This would not be too enjoyable for the kids. So instead of giving veggies in their actual appearance, try “hiding” them in salads or soups. And instead of having sauces or gravies, serving salsas would be heaps healthier. The presence of healthy fruit juices instead of sodas would also be wiser.

    Healthy cooking tips

  7. Grass-fed, boneless (too bad, but more meat for the $$), leg of lamb is available from Sam's at $5.99. Too bad I can't get the same thing from a local source but I appreciate NZ's food laws.

  8. Found your blog from Whole9 - and I could kiss you! These are the type of posts I need in my life. Thank you!