How do you save on Meat and Produce at the Grocery Store?

By Lauren
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    One question I am asked on a regular basis is, “How do I save on meat and produce at the grocery store?” I understand! Meat and produce can be quite expensive and rack up your grocery bill every week. If you think about it, it is kind of unfortunate that the healthiest and most natural foods are the most expensive ones. But alas, that is the world we live in.

    The Anatomy of a Grocery Store

    • The healthiest foods in the grocery store are located around the outside perimeter of the store. Think about it. This is typically where the fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy are located in a typical grocery store.
    • The more heavily processed foods, snack foods, sugary foods, starches, etc. are located on the inside aisles of typical grocery stores.

    Studies show that most Americans spend 80% of their grocery budget every week on the inside aisles of the grocery store, and 20% of their budget on the outside perimeter of the store. This is primarily due to price.

    What if we were to cut back on the amount of money that we spend on the inside aisles of the store by up to 50%? Then automatically we would have more money to spend on the outside perimeter of the store without sacrificing our nutrition OR our budget.

    save on meat and produce at the grocery store

    Here are 9 ways to save money on Meat and Produce at the Grocery Store:

    1. Find out when your local grocery store marks down their meats.

    My local grocery store does this every morning around 8am.  Monday mornings being the best time to go in, there is usually more meat being ordered for weekend shoppers since it tends to be a busier shopping time, thus more markdowns on Monday's.  My local store places big black stickers on the fronts of the meat packages with $$ off amounts.  The discounted meat needs to be used that day or thrown in the freezer to be using within the next few weeks. Just give your local store a call and ask them.

    2. Use coupons!

    A few times per year I stock up on meat and freeze it. My local store runs a meat coupon on their Facebook page a few times per year.  It usually is a $5/$15 meat purchase.  I print off a few of these coupons use those to get as much as I can.

    3. Plan your meals around what produce is on sale for that week.

    I love Meal Planning! It takes most of the stress out of my days!  I plan my meals around the produce sales, that helps keep my costs down a TON. Actually, my husband and I created the “ALDI Meal Plan” to help ourselves (and you) save thousands of dollars and hours of time and stress!

    In fact, here you go! I'll let you try one for FREE! See how much you can save!

    4. Check your discount racks.

    Many grocery stores have discount produce racks where they sell bruised bananas, apples, and other damaged fruits. These are still great to eat, you just have to cut the bruises out, or freeze them and just toss them in some smoothies!

    5. Plan Ahead

    Plan your meals and your grocery trips based on the sale cycles at your store.  A lot of produce used to get thrown away around my house because I would buy it on auto pilot.  I started planning meals around what produce was on sale, and this problem got solved rather quickly. I also got some of those ‘Debbie Meyer Green Bags‘ that help keep the produce fresher for longer.

    6. Stock up on Freezable items

    Stock up on things that freeze well, like berries, green peppers for fajitas, discounted and sale meats. This will help you have some options when you forgot to plan for dinner of had a busy week. If you have food in the freezer you can thaw quickly, or throw in your crockpot using crockpot ‘Dump Recipes‘, you won't have to go to a restaurant and pick up dinner. That'll save you a LOT of money!

    Here are 83 foods to freeze (and which ones NOT to freeze).

    Don't plan on buying meat at the store every week. Save up and when there's a big sale, buy as much as you can and freeze it.

    save on meat and produce at the grocery store

    7. Try Cheaper Cuts of Meat

    I know that cheaper cuts of meat can be intimidating and might not what you're used to preparing, but they can be amazing. You just have to know a couple simple things. Check out these 5 cheap cuts of meat and the tips on how to prepare them.

    8. Shop at ALDI

    If you have an ALDI near you, and you really want to save on meat and produce at the grocery store. ALDI is the way to go. Now, I've been an ALDI Shopper for over a decade, and I've found that they consistently have some of the BEST meat and produce prices available. Plus, they run weekly sales on top of their already low prices.

    9. Buy a Cow

    I know this isn't really the grocery store, but you should really consider it. We started buying Farm Raised beef a few years back and buy a half a cow at a time. It has saved us so much money and hassle. Not to mention we know exactly where our meat came from.

    What are some other ways you've found to save on meat and produce at the grocery store?

    COMMENTS

  • I get a lot at Aldi’s. It great quality and MUCH less. I also try to plan at least one meatless meal a week. Either a pasta or a soup! It helps a lot. One trick is to try and get more than one meal out of a single meat purchase. My local Wegmans has whole chickens for .88 cents a pound. I buy the biggest one I can find. Usually about $6.50 and it gives me three meals! One roasted chicken meal, one pot of soup, and chicken salad sandwiches!

  • I too get the $5 off produce and meat coupons and use the $$ off discounted meat and the green bags. I have also recently come across coupons for tomatoes and oranges. We usually get bigger meat packages and separate them into user friendly servings for a night’s dinner. Some stores (or butchers) sell what we call “meat packs” – boxes of different meats. Some may vary, or you can custom order (possibly) and get ground beef, steaks, sausage, chicken, pork, etc. for a discount over buying each item separately.

  • I love it when Price chopper has their frozen veggies on sale for $1 a bag and you have the printable store coupon for $1 off 5 bags. Healthy veggies can be frozen too. 

  • Where can I find the price chopper coupon for meat and produce for $5 to $15 dollars? I have never seen one of these in the Kroger paper?

  • If you are lucky enough to have a WINCO Foods in your area (primarily west coast) they have the best deals around. We buy everything we can (flour, sugar, cereal, nuts, dried fruits, etc) from the bulk bins. We eat very little meat, but a lot of fish. I can buy a whole salmon on sale for as low as $2.98 a pound, and they will either filet or cut it into steaks for me, free of charge. I also take all the odd pieces like heads and tails to make stock. Produce, seafood and meat clearly marked with the country of origin (I don’t buy imported, except bananas) and their house brand canned and frozen is better than most brand names and 20% or more cheaper.

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