Here's how you can save money buying meat
Whether you are cooking for yourself, a large family or entertaining a group of people, meat is often on the menu — but prices keep increasing.
Just like so many other things consumers buy, the price of meat continues to go up.
Greg Mountain, a butcher at Around the Block Butcher Shop in west Ottawa, shares tips with CTV News Ottawa on how you can save, without sacrificing taste.
"The first notion that we have to get past is that price is a strict indicator of quality; price can be a stand-in for lots of different things, but it is not a one-to-one on quality."
For example, Mountain says if you’re looking for value, skip the boneless-skinless chicken breast.
"The more whole you go, the more money you save," said Mountain, meaning buy a whole chicken instead. "For every processing step, that comes with an increase in price."
The cost savings of making this simple change are significant.
"You’re saving half, versus boneless-skinless chicken breast," Mountain says.
He explains the saving is because you’re not paying for the labour of someone cutting it up for you or the weight of what gets left behind. Mountain says it’s easy to cut it up - it’ll take about 20 minutes, a good knife, and the right online tutorial.
If a prime rib roast has been your go-to, don’t be afraid to try something different; and cheaper cuts like an eye of round roast.
"That’s what roast beef sandwich dreams are made of, it makes an awesome dinner and makes better lunches," he says.
At half the cost, it’s a difference of paying $63/kg versus $30/kg at their butcher shop.
"Anyone, especially a family; this is a great option to put a lot of meat on the table for a much less significant price," said Mountain.
If you want to go even lower than that $63/kg prime rib roast, switch to pork; a bone-in, pork-loin roast is $16/kg,
“This is a great option for something to feed a few more people, that’s a little more showy; it has that classical roast structure, but this is going to be much gentler on the pocket book, rather than any of the beef options," he says.
The other way to save money? Things like pressure cookers, such as an Instant Pot.
“If you are looking to make use of less expensive cuts of meat, the electric pressure cooker is just like, one of the best tools you can have," says Mountain.
Your local butcher can be a great resource when it comes to helping you pick out cuts of meat that will save you money; but, don’t be afraid of going on grocery store websites to look at flyers, where there will often be sales on different types of meat — especially if you have room in your freezer.
"Three to six months in the freezer, no problem,” explains Mountain.
If you’re looking to try something new, many butchers have a passion for cooking; and, can help steer you in the right direction.
"We’re always really happy to do that sort of thing."