Cooking with Shirley Home Page
34 Butcher's Suggestions for Cutting Meat Bills
- · Buy a good
cookbook. Familiarize yourself with cheaper meat cuts.
- · Have at least one
meatless day each week - serve substitutes such as tofu or
other soy products or a lentil.
- · Trade
budget-stretching meat recipes with friends, neighbors and relatives
- · Watch ads &
stock up on genuine meat bargains. Keep your freezer full. Be sure to date
packages and use accordingly.
- · 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.
- · Stretch hamburger
meat by adding bread crumbs, chopped onion, egg and
- · Buy
beef by the "half" or "quarter". Have it professionally cut and store in your freezer.
Sell or trade excess with your neighbors.
- · To avoid
excessive shrinkage and waste, cook long-cooking meat over low or moderate heat
or in 325 degree oven.
- · Use an instant
meat thermometer fork to determine doneness. This prevents over cooking,
shrinkage or drying out of meat.
- · Well
trimmed meat weights less, costs less. Shop around and locate the markets that do the best trimming job.
- · Extend meat loaf
and other ground-beef dishes with pasta, mashed white or sweet potatoes, rice
or mixed vegetables.
- · Reduce amount of
meat in such recipes as stews, casseroles, chili and
spaghetti sauce. Increase sauce and add vegetables, lentils, rice or pasta.
- · 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.
- · 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.
- · 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.
- · Rush purchased
meat to refrigerator or freezer to avoid spoilage.
- · 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.
- · Save tough rinds
from ham, bacon or hocks. Tuck into potato, rice or noodle casseroles &
bake for meaty flavor. Discard before serving.
- · Unless you want
the bone for soup or beans, a boneless ham usually costs less. However, you do
forfeit some flavor.
- · Save & freeze
all meat bones and trimmings. Use in soups, stews or stocks. Also some seafood shells and fish heads make
great fish stock
- · Buy large cuts of
meat (chuck & pork roasts; thick steaks & ham) when on sale and cut up
for a variety of uses.
- · Marinate,
tenderize or braise less tender cuts of meat before cooking.
- · 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.
- · 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.
- · 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.
- · Get acquainted
with your market's meat cutter. He can alert you to unadvertised specials and
give you good cooking and saving tips.
- · Slice roasts and
ham thin. Two thin slices look like more on the plate than one thick one.
- · You require less
ground-meat mixture per serving if you use it to stuff tomatoes, green peppers,
cabbage leaves and any type of squashes.
- · 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.
- · Save cooking
liquid from New England boiled dinner, smoked pork shoulder or brisket. Use for
lentil, pea, potato or barley soup.
- · 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.
- · Make gravy from
drippings. Serve on biscuits, toast, pasta, rice, etc.
- · Dice cooked meat
leftovers, mix with barbecue sauce & serve in buns.
- · Save on
"outdated" meats, but freeze or serve as soon as possible.
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