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How to Save on Meat? Chop It Up — Yourself!

One of the best ways to save on meat? Buy a larger cut, and chop it up yourself! Portion out various cuts and sizes for your freezer, and make your own deal.

how to save on meat

A few months ago we talked about some of the top ways to save on meat. Well, here’s one more frugal idea for you: Buy large cuts of meat when they’re on sale, and chop them up — yourself!

How to save on meat by buying larger cuts

I love these emailed grocery receipts from my local Jewel, because they really drive home what you spend if you just walk in and buy meat at its “regular price” without paying attention to sales cycles. (This is true of most items, but really tends to strike home with the loss leader sale items.)

Last weekend, for instance, my local store had half boneless center cut pork loins on sale for $.99/lb. But, if you do the math on the receipt above, the everyday price is a whopping $4.99/lb — or five times more expensive than this week’s sale. 80% savings? Yeah, I’m down for that. Sure, some cut of pork or other is always on sale, but you really realize how much of a savings that is when you look at a large cut of meat, rather than one of the smaller packs you might impulse buy to cook up for dinner the same night.

At $.99/lb, you can bet I brought home one of these. I’ve heard some of you comment in the past that you don’t buy the large cuts of meat on these sales because you don’t need that much meat, or because you don’t know what to do with them. Well, the next time you see a sale like this, jump on it — because here’s exactly what you do with one of these!

Chop it up: Yourself

Think about the types of meals your future self might want to cook with pork. Does your family like pork roast? Do you grill up pork chops? Does a pork stew sound tasty?

Once you have some meals in mind, simply grab yourself a Sharpie and draw some dividing guidelines right on the plastic covering the meat. Here, we had a family request request for thick center-cut pork chops, I wanted to have a couple of roasts on hand for meals like garlic rosemary pork roast, and the end pieces seemed the perfect choice to chop up for a future Lazy Sunday pork & vegetable stew. (If you want to get really precise, you can measure yours out before slicing, but I just eyeballed it here.)

Then, just grab yourself a sharp sharp knife and get to chopping! (Here, we used an electric knife to cut through the plastic, and a large chef’s knife to separate the pieces the rest of the way.) Yes, we are literally chopping ourselves some pork chops! 

Ten minutes and four freezer bags later, here are four perfectly portioned out packs of meat that each run a little over two pounds. That’s four hearty meals at just $2.17 a bag — and each of these bags ran much less than thick cut boneless pork loin chops, stew meat, or pork loin roast generally would have cost us, even on sale. They’re all now nestled nicely in the freezer for use in future dinners.

So the next time you see a sale…

Don’t be deterred by the amount of meat you have to purchase at once with one of these large roasts: Just envision multiple meal possibilities, and chop it up into smaller meal-sized packages as soon as you get home. Even if you’re cooking for one or two people instead of a larger family, an 8 pound pork loin divides just as well into eight 1-lb freezer bags to give you over a week’s worth of meals from one large purchase. Stock your freezer and save!

What are some of your best tips for how to save on meat?


Monday 10th of July 2017

Where has this site been all my life? I love this!


Thursday 27th of April 2017

I did this last week. My husband & I both bought a loin each. I cut one up into 8 bags of 3 chops each for meals for my family if 4 with two quite young children, and 2 bags of chopped pork for peachy pork picante. Then today, I made your slow cooker pulled pork recipe with the other one. I cursed at the meat a couple of times while prepping the whole thing at 8:30 am, but it was totally delicious. I ended up with about 14 cups of carnitas. We made burritos tonight. I told my mom about it, and my dad is making her make it tomorrow night. ;)


Thursday 27th of April 2017

Rachel, that is a perfect visual of how to buy large cuts of meat and save money! You make things so easy to understand. I do that all the time. In fact, I bought a huge eye of the round not too long ago when it was on sale at Jewel, and I need to cook that. I am not as good at cooking beef as I am making pork. I am a little intimidated with the eye of the round. Wish me luck!


Thursday 27th of April 2017

I like the pork loin you bought here but I LOVE the "tenderloin" which will be on a 3 day sale for $1.99 lb. at Jewel starting Sunday. I also have $1/1 Hormel always tender cpn. clipped to MyMixx which expires on SUNDAY! We will be eating that one right away and it is so tiny there is nothing left to freeze!


Thursday 27th of April 2017

HI! Last time I bought one of these I watched a youTube video on how to cut it up and it was just like this! Thanks for the reminder, I got a rain check because I went in Sunday night and they were all gone, but thankfully my son who now works at Jewel reminded me to get a rain check! :-)