How to save money without coupons: Part One- Meat!

I know, it seems impossible that I  would tell you not to use coupons. But, let’s face it, sometimes you need to buy stuff that there are no coupons for. What’s a shopper to do? You’re not going to stop eating something just because there aren’t any coupons… That’s CRAZY!

dscn10311I’m going to specifically discuss shopping for meat, because there are seldom coupons for fresh meat.

The easiest way to save money on meat is not to buy it. However, most Americans eat meat. So, here are my recommendations for you:

Ask the butcher/meat cutter at your local grocery store when the meat is marked down each day. Some stores do it each morning, so do it at night. The meat that is marked down isn’t going bad that day, it just needs to be pulled and either cooked and eaten within the next few days or frozen. Most meat can be frozen for up to six months.

If you like to buy your meat in bulk or in large super store sized containers, once you get your big hunk o’ meat home, separate it into portions and freeze it. That way when it’s time to cook, you aren’t faced with 4-7 lbs of solid meat.  That can be a little daunting, and leads to waste. When we buy ground beef in large packages, I portion it out into 1/2-3/4lb. packages and freeze it. It’s much easier to handle the smaller portions.

We buy chicken from Zaycon Fresh– You get a 40 lb box. It’s easy to separate 40 lbs of fresh chicken into freezer bags and tuck them into the freezer. I usually do 1-2 lb packages. Sometimes I even get fancy and season the chicken as I prep it in bags! Zaycon Fresh has really great fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts for less than the grocery store prices. And I feel great feeding it to my family because it comes to me fresh, not frozen and plumped up with salt water.

I know that the pre-cooked meat that is already cut up looks so good and you think, “Oh, it’ll save me so much time!!”, but the truth is, it costs about 2-3 times the amount that the exact same weight of uncooked meat costs. Make your own! I make shredded chicken in the crockpot once every two weeks. It’s great for topping salads, making enchiladas, casseroles, soups, or just eating out of the bag (what? Meat is goooooood).

Learn how I make shredded chicken here. I portion it out and use it in recipes. You can do the same with beef or pork. Season and cook in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low.

If you want chicken slices, bake your chicken pieces in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. Cool, remove the skin and bones and discard them. Slice the chicken into pieces, portion out and freeze.

Buy meat when it is cheapest. What do I mean by that? Think about the seasons/holidays in the year and the meals surrounding each.

  • In the summer, barbecuing is very popular, so meat like ribs, ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken is on sale.
  • In the fall, turkey breasts and whole turkeys are on sale.
  • Near Christmas/New Year’s, Prime Rib is cheap.
  • Mid-March, Corned Beef is on sale (usually 60%+ off the regular price).

Because meat can be frozen for upwards of 6 months, buy meat that you like when it’s cheap and you’ll never be without!

Next up, tomorrow, I’ll be writing about how to save money when buying fruit and vegetables!

How do you save money on meat?

Kasandrinos International: Olive Oil and Gifts for the Family!

Looking for a gift for a foodie or a skin care junkie? Check out this awesome offer!

Kasandrinos International proudly offers a single source organic extra virgin olive oil and other high quality food and skin care products. Kasandrinos International only offers this year’s harvest of olive oil.

Visit  Kasandrinos – high quality organic extra virgin olive oil. Use code holidayguide2016 at checkout to save20% off!!

I’ll be getting a bottle of Olive oil to try, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts and a recipe featuring  Kasandrinos Olive Oil! Maybe I’ll make my Marinated Salad!

@usfg

Give the Gift of love each month with GrandBox!

It’s hard to buy gifts for Grandma and Grandpa. What do you buy for someone who has everything or limited space?  You only need so many sweaters, boxes of candy, or books…. right?

GrandBox is the original monthly subscription box customized and curated specifically for seniors 65 and up. It’s the perfect gift to bring a smile to the older loved ones in your life.

GrandBox, the subscription box for the ones who cared about you. Order yours now for the Holiday Season!

My readers get to save!
GrandBox perfect Holiday Gift for your loved ones! Save on your first purchase! Check out their website and save!

I think this would also be a great gift idea for those other older relatives that you may not be able to visit often due to distance. I know my Great-Grandmother would have loved to receive a box with a small snack or gift each month and photos of my brother and I!

I’ll have some feedback (fingers crossed) from a loved one to share soon. Who will receive it… SHHHH!! It’s a secret!

 

 

 

@usfg

Family Recipe: Marinated Salad

6f6a6154-1This salad is a  favorite at our house. Because of it’s simplicity, it’s great to take to potlucks too! It would be a great addition to any holiday feast table.  It’s Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Paleo compatible!  No excuses- Give it a shot!

Marinated Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Mural of Flavor
  • 1 t. granulated garlic
  • 1 t. granulated onion
  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced into coins
  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced (your choice of variety)

Directions:

  1. Mix the vinegar, oil, and spices in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Place the veggies in a large bowl.
  3. Slowly drizzle the dressing mixture over the veggies and toss lightly to coat. Cover bowl (I use a bowl like this one) and store in the fridge for 4-12 hours before serving- this allows the flavors to mingle. The salad can be stored for up to 4 days.

Sliced fresh mushrooms are also great additions to the salad, as are drained, rinsed canned artichoke hearts. If you aren’t concerned about it being vegan, adding 1/2 cup of cubed Monterey Jack cheese is tasty too!

Cool Character lights from 3D Light FX!

With holiday shopping already in the mind of most, I am totally excited to share these cool lights from 3D Light FX with you. We saw these at Target a few weeks ago, and Lil’ Man was entranced.

His favorite is the Batman Logo. And really, who can blame him? Check out how cool it is! 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season.

They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall!

They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room!

Your kids will loves having these in their rooms and they’re also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man’s cave or office! Find all of these amazing products here.

No matter what you kid (or kid at heart) is into, there is a light for them!