Meat can be one of the most expensive things in one’s food budget every month. But a way to stretch your dollars to the max, is to buy in whole cuts or bulk. This can save you a ton of money. When you buy meat that has been already cut into portions and packaged, you have to pay the person who did this, hence your paying more money for the meat, whether it be beef, chicken, or pork. If you take the time to cut the meat up yourself, then you don’t have to pay someone else to do it for you. One of the best examples of this concept is with beef tenderloin. If you go in and try to buy a filet mignon already cut and packaged for use your going to pay around $12 a pound. If you buy the entire tenderloin and cut it yourself into filet mignon, then you can get the price down to around $4-5 a pound (I just paid $4.99 a pound for a whole tenderloin!) That is a signficant savings and makes something expensive like filet mignon, affordable for the average cook. These savings can also be able with other types of meat: buy a whole chicken and cut it into drumsticks, thights, and breasts yourself. Buy a whole pork loin and cut it into chops and roasts.
A lot of people don’t buy meat whole or in bulk because they say that can’t eat all that meat before it goes bad. Well you don’t have to. Since we have an invention called the freezer, we are able to buy meat now and save it for later. Alton Brown referred to his freezer as a time machine. For example, I bought an entire eye of round and cut it into a roast that I ate that day. Then I cut the rest of the beef into 6 steaks and one month later I was enjoying the last of that purchase. The one thing to keep in mind when freezing meat is that you need to wrap it tightly in heavy duty alunimu foil to prevent freezer burn and then into a good zip top plastic bag to keep you any nasty smells your freezer might dish out.
One more thing I like about buying freezing meat for later is that I have more options on hand at any given time and am not always having to shop for more meat. So I say do your checkbook a favor and buy big!