How I bought $40 worth of meat for $6

I just got back from what was supposed to be trip to the grocery store for milk, bread, and fruit. But as my ordered tallied up on the register passing the $140 mark, the man behind me looked at me and said, "It adds up quick, doesn't it?" What I felt like saying was mind your own business. But as I slid my club savings card and the price dropped to $107, I simply said to him, "I bought a few gift cards as gifts, as well." What I didn't tell that nosy man, but I am going to share with you, is that I also bought $39.93 worth of meat for a mere $6.  (And just to point out, that wasn't included in the $37 in savings from using my club savings card.)

A few weeks back I noticed this small little "Clearance" sign on a freezer hidden between the ground beef and the frozen chicken nuggets. I took a glance in and was shocked to find the same meat that's in all the other freezers (just with a fast approaching "sell by" date), but these were significantly marked down, plus they had an additional 30% off coupon that would be swiped at the register. I picked up some stuffed pork chops that were originally about $8. I'd never purchased anything like this before, but I figured for $3 they were worth a try especially on a busy night when all I had time to do was throw something in the oven. (Tip: There were no cooking directions on the package, so I asked the butcher and he told me exactly at what temperature and for how long to cook the chops.)  Since my money-saving meat find I've been checking out the clearance meat freezer ever since.

Tonight, I discovered a gold mine....well, at least I thought I had. (More on that in a minute.) The store circular said chicken breasts were buy one get on free, but when I looked in the chicken freezer I found a package originally marked $5 was now selling for "Clearance: $1.50." I swooped them into my cart as fast I could. Then I headed over to my trusty clearance meat freezer. There was a stack of steaks and ribs all of which were marked with the same "Clearance: $1.50" price. Seeing as how I'm no steak expert (all I really know is filet is good!) I went to call my husband to decipher the difference between a porter house, spare ribs, strip, t-bone, etc...but of course I didn't have my cell phone. So I did the next most logical thing.  Thinking that the "best" steaks would likely cost the most, I looked for the highest original prices and I bought those steaks, never mind that I had no idea how to prepare any of them. (That's what AllRecipes.com is for!) I think I got two porter house steaks and pork spare ribs (but to be honest, I'm still not exactly sure). They were marked $11.69, $10.85 and $12.39....but I got all three for a total of $4.50. Take that, nosy-man-behind-me-in-the-check-out-line!!!

When I got home, while we were unpacking the bags I told my husband, "I think I hit the motherload." He looked at me totally confused by my uncertain statement. Then I pulled out the cow (and pig and chicken) that I just bought.   He, who doesn't get excited over deals like I do, actually said out loud "This was $1.50??" And so was this, and this, and this! Yes, my friends, I hit the motherload and you can too if you know how and exactly when to shop your grocer's clearance meat freezer.

As a quick side note, another easy way I've found to save money on quality meat is to buy extremely discounted bulk meat from Omaha Steaks. Yes, their meats are gourmet and without a coupon are higher compared to prices that'd you'd find in the grocery store, but you can land huge discounts this time of year when Omaha Steaks is really trying to push their products as holiday gifts.  So stuck up NOW!
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