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34 Butcher's Suggestions for Cutting Meat Bills

  1. ·         Buy a good cookbook. Familiarize yourself with cheaper meat cuts.
  2. ·         Have at least one meatless day each week - serve substitutes such as tofu or other soy products or a lentil.
  3. ·         Trade budget-stretching meat recipes with friends, neighbors and relatives
  4. ·         Watch ads & stock up on genuine meat bargains. Keep your freezer full. Be sure to date packages and use accordingly.
  5. ·         Buy meats in economy "family-packs" when possible. Divide and freeze for specific uses.  Use a Food Saver to package meats and be sure to label and date them.
  6. ·         Stretch hamburger meat by adding bread crumbs, chopped onion, egg and seasonings.
  7. ·         Buy beef by the "half" or "quarter". Have it professionally cut and store in your freezer. Sell or trade excess with your neighbors.
  8. ·         To avoid excessive shrinkage and waste, cook long-cooking meat over low or moderate heat or in 325 degree oven.
  9. ·         Use an instant meat thermometer fork to determine doneness. This prevents over cooking, shrinkage or drying out of meat.
  10. ·         Well trimmed meat weights less, costs less. Shop around and locate the markets that do the best trimming job.
  11. ·         Extend meat loaf and other ground-beef dishes with pasta, mashed white or sweet potatoes, rice or mixed vegetables.
  12. ·         Reduce amount of meat in such recipes as stews, casseroles, chili and spaghetti sauce. Increase sauce and add vegetables, lentils, rice or pasta.
  13. ·         For freshest meats, shop early on days when stores are busy, which is generally midweek to end of week. Avoid mornings after holidays or long weekends.
  14. ·         Stir-frying stretches meat and it's fast too. To cut into thinnest slices partially freeze the meat. Use tougher cuts of meat such as round steak or skirt steak. Flank steak is good, but has gotten expensive. Chicken or turkey is also good as well as pork.
  15. ·         Substitute small bone chuck steak for sirloin or top round. Marinate with things such as wine, lemon juice or other marinade recipes before broiling or barbecuing. Meat tenderizers work, but many people have allergies to things such as MSG.
  16. ·         Rush purchased meat to refrigerator or freezer to avoid spoilage.
  17. ·         To avoid wasting hamburger, freeze as patties instead of as a chunk.  When buying, freeze bulk into the size you usually use to prepare your casseroles or meals.
  18. ·         Save tough rinds from ham, bacon or hocks. Tuck into potato, rice or noodle casseroles & bake for meaty flavor. Discard before serving.
  19. ·         Unless you want the bone for soup or beans, a boneless ham usually costs less. However, you do forfeit some flavor.
  20. ·         Save & freeze all meat bones and trimmings. Use in soups, stews or stocks.  Also some seafood shells and fish heads make great fish stock
  21. ·         Buy large cuts of meat (chuck & pork roasts; thick steaks & ham) when on sale and cut up for a variety of uses.
  22. ·         Marinate, tenderize or braise less tender cuts of meat before cooking.
  23. ·         Try less expensive "organ" meats: liver, heart, brains, kidney, and tripe. If you have a cholesterol problem, check with your doctor on the use of these cuts of meat since they are high in cholesterol.
  24. ·         Buy luncheon meats un-sliced in a chunk. Slice them yourself & save. Purchase a good electric slicer so you can also do cheeses and you don't defeat the purpose by slicing too thick.
  25. ·         Buy bacon ends in economy sizes; divide and freeze. Cook, then combine with scrambled eggs - much cheaper than perfectly sliced bacon. They are also good for topping potatoes, soups and salads.
  26. ·         Get acquainted with your market's meat cutter. He can alert you to unadvertised specials and give you good cooking and saving tips.
  27. ·         Slice roasts and ham thin. Two thin slices look like more on the plate than one thick one.
  28. ·         You require less ground-meat mixture per serving if you use it to stuff tomatoes, green peppers, cabbage leaves and any type of squashes.
  29. ·         To avoid "freezer burn", which dries out and toughens meat, rewrap all market-packaged meats in airtight freezer wrap or bags such as Food Saver.
  30. ·         Save cooking liquid from New England boiled dinner, smoked pork shoulder or brisket. Use for lentil, pea, potato or barley soup.
  31. ·         Save all scraps of meat leftovers. Then grind or chop them & mix with mayonnaise or salad dressing, relish, celery and onion for sandwich spreads and dips.
  32. ·         Make gravy from drippings. Serve on biscuits, toast, pasta, rice, etc.
  33. ·         Dice cooked meat leftovers, mix with barbecue sauce & serve in buns.
  34. ·         Save on "outdated" meats, but freeze or serve as soon as possible.

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