Saving Money in the Meat Department – Pork Loin

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Saving Money in the Meat Department

Want to know about saving money in the meat department? If there is one thing that I hear from couponers on a daily basis, it’s that they haven’t learned about effectively saving money on meat and produce. I have good news for you! We are going to teach you how and you won’t even have to use coupons to do it!  This post is the first in a series of posts that will teach you how to get the most bang for your buck in the meat department. I decided to start with a pork loin because it’s one of the easiest for you to process in your own kitchen. I happened to be in Costco today picking up some office supplies and I decided I would go ahead and take some pictures just to show you the difference between the price per pound of pork loin versus pork chops.

saving money in the meat departmentpork chop

As you can see from the picture above, the price per pound is a full dollar lower than it is when you buy it already cut and packaged. While I wouldn’t normally pay $1.99 per pound for pork, it was good enough to demonstrate my point. I know that I have seen it on sale as low as .99 in the summer time when stores are running ridiculous loss leaders just to get you in the door. Overall though, a stockpile price for pork loin should be somewhere around $1.49. That’s a fair average nationwide.

Saving money in the meat department is not a difficult thing to do and as you can see, I got 4 meals worth of pork roast (by the time you count leftovers), 3 meals worth of thick chops, 4 meals worth of thin chops and a meal of cubed pork. All of that from one loin! I paid about $15.00 for the loin that I processed in the video (higher than I would pay normally, but a business write-off). That means that I am getting a total of 12 meals out of that one loin for roughly $15.00. That’s $1.25 per meal! Granted we are only counting the adults eating it because the boys don’t necessarily like pork. But, if you have a family of 4 and only get 1/2 the number of meals from a loin that size, you are still only paying $2.50 per meal or .63 per serving for your meat. Not too shabby!

Saving Money in the Meat Department by Defining Cuts

If you are not hip to processing your own meat, it’s OK. Many stores will actually cut and wrap the meat for you with no additional charge. Make sure you confirm this first. Honestly, I was able to process that whole loin in between 3-4 minutes and I was able to control the type of cut and the thickness of each cut, which is a little more of an issue when you have a meat cutter take it to the back and come out with a stack of wrapped meat trays. Also, I use my Foodsaver to prep the meat for freezer storage so why would I want to have to bring it home, unwrap it and then run it through the Foodsaver? That would take nearly the same amount of time, but would leave me with a bunch of unwanted Styrofoam and plastic wrap.

If you are going to do this yourself, there are a few things that I would recommend that you have:

I am interested to hear your stories. How many of you already do this? How many of you are going to try? I also want you to come back and tell us how you do! Let us know what you save and how much you can stretch your dollar! Stay tuned, because this is just the beginning. We are going to delve into other varieties and primal cuts of meat in our quest to getting you saving money in the meat department. In addition, keep your eyes open for our all new upcoming “What’s for Dinner?” posts where I will show you just exactly what we are able to make with our cuts.


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