LeonardoDaBenz· Founding Member
And if you can get a WHOLE loin, you get: back ribs (have the meat man cut the rib from the chine with their meat bandsaw (about 1" into the bone), boneless chops (after the ribs are off which you do at home) AND tenderloin, all from the cheap price of the whole loin itself.I've been thinking more and more about cooking on a budget lately because of the high price of food and it's time to go back to some of my old tricks. When I first started out it was expensive, but now that I've got a vacuum sealer and plenty of rolls of bag makings it'll be cheaper.
Spend the money on a Sam's, Costco or BJ's membership. If you can afford it, bump it up from a basic to a mid-range membership. I do that to get special pricing and deals. It'll pay for itself in a fairly shortly depending on what you buy, how often you make use of it and how much you buy each trip.
Buy meats in "family" or extra large packages then break them down into individual meal sizes and toss it in the freezer. If you know you're going to make a family favorite, thaw 2 packages and double the recipe; hopefully you'll have enough for leftovers. When it was just my husband and I, I'd buy the biggest pack of chicken breasts, fresh ground beef, roasts, pork loins, etc. that I could find in the case, bring them home and split everything into family size packages. I'd end up with 4-5 packs of each meat and a full freezer.
Learn basic meat cutting so you can buy giant pieces of meat and cut it up correctly. Chicken breasts are $3.19 lb, breast tenders are $3.49. Why pay an extra $0.30 a lb for someone else to do something so easy? I buy 8-10 lb boneless chuck roasts for almost $6.00 lb. and cut them into 1 thick steak, 1 nice size roast and depending on the amount left over, 1-2 lbs of stew beef. A 6-8 lb pork loin gets me 3 packs of loin chops and a roast.
We used to have one of the original no-frills type of store (sold meats WITH A REAL BUTCHER, not what they have today--take it out of box and bag it) as well as other stuff. They lasted about 30 yr but eventually sold out to a housing developer .