Alright, team, I wanted to write a few quick words on some ways you can save on your weekly meat purchases. If you’re someone that uses ground meat for most of your recipes, this will be doubly useful for you. It is basically a “duh, we know that” post, but someone may find it useful.
This week, I needed 15lbs of meat for my meals for the week. I want to run down some of those numbers for you:
96/4 ground beef costs $5.49 a pound, and I needed 6lbs, so that would be a cost of $33.
Ground pork is $4.99 a pound, and I needed 3lbs, so that would be a cost of $12.
Ground chicken is $3.99 a pound, and I needed 6lbs, so that would be a cost of $24.00
The total cost of all these would run me $69.
When you buy ground, you’re paying not only for the meat, but also for the extra packaging, the labor & equipment of the grind, etc. Now, what happens if you ground it yourself? Let’s look at the numbers.
I bought a 6lb Eye of Round beef roast, which costs $3 a pound, so that was a cost of $18.
I bought 3lbs of pork chops, which costs $0.99 a pound, so that cost me $3.
I bought 6lbs of chicken breast, which costs $1.69 a pound, so that cost me $11.
The total cost of these ran me $32, which is less than half the cost if I were to buy it pre-ground. Plus, the Eye of Round roast is leaner than all get-out, so I got even more beef-per-dollar than if I bought pre-ground beef.
Now, if you’re going to do this at home, you’ll need a grinder. I have a grinder attachment on my Kitchenaid, but there are hand-powered meat grinders you can pick up for less than $20 online and in stores, which would pay for itself almost immediately based on the money you save.
You’ll need to slice the larger cuts up yourself to fit into the grinder, but this also allows you to trim off any excess fat that you wish too, which will make your grind as lean as it can be.
Yes, of course, there are things like meatshares, hunting and stores like Costco where you can buy things in bulk, but a meatshare is not feasible for everyone, neither is hunting, and Costco doesn’t have a lean grind of beef in bulk, and you have to buy the membership card on top of that.
You don’t have to stick with just ground chicken, broccoli and rice either. For a total of $95, including the cost of the prep containers, I was able to make 33 individual meals for the next four days.
9 meals of Turkish beefcake, rice pilaf and steamed cabbage.
12 meals of pork/beef Bolognese with red wine, served with a parmesan risotto.
12 meals of BBQ chicken/pork served over a buttery risotto with a veggie medley.
Side note: the Turkish beefcake is my own creation, and its great for meal prep. I use a slew of Turkish spices, or sometimes Baharat, and instead of taking the time to shape individual meatballs like I used to, I simply spread the entire mixture evenly over a cookie sheet. That makes it easy to not only get a uniform cook in my bad oven, but the shape of it also fits perfectly in a food prep container, as the meatballs could get too tall. I also like to combine beef and pork for the same reason that its used in Italian meatballs: it increases the flavor profile and juiciness throughout.
If you want that Turkish beefcake recipe, let me know in the comments. Good luck and grind on!