Gourmet Grilling & Grilling Tips
If your favorite way to enjoy summer is grilling on the BBQ, don’t fret! You’re not relegated to endless nights of hamburgers and hot dogs because meat prices have gone crazy. In fact, there are all kinds of great deals out there to keep your grocery budget in line while enjoying gourmet delights on the grill.
Shop Early: Most stores have a policy about moving meat products quickly. Many butchers will immediately mark down yesterday’s meat before they start packaging for the day. The savings can be as high as 50 percent off the last marked price. If the meat was already on sale, the daily markdown savings can be as high as 75 percent off full retail!
Shop Late: Those morning markdowns are great, but most butchers would love to sell everything before going home at night. If there’s lots of meat in the case, I will routinely ask for a discount for taking large quantities home where I’ll further cut and wrap it myself. This is particularly true for bulk ground beef, which I’ve picked up for under 99 cents per pound as a reward for wiping out the entire case.
Buy bulk: Most meat departments have a cut/wrap free policy. If you buy the whole pork shoulder or rib roast rack, the store will cut it into the size and cut type you’d like. The savings can be as high as 40 to 60 percent higher than buying the smaller pack of the same item. Pre-marinate and freeze in zip-seal bags for later use.
Use a coupon: If your area stores offer coupons for $5 or $10 off a specific purchase amount, use them for buying meat, spending only up to the value required on the coupon. This gives you an additional 10 to 20 percent off your purchase.
Keep freezer supplies and a good knife on hand: You’d be amazed what you can do with a London broil on sale for $1.99 per pound. A four-pound piece can be easily turned into stir fry or fajita strips and stretch across five meals. Pork rib chops for $1.49 per pound can be braised, stuffed or sauced for a quick dinner. And beef ribs for 79 cents per pound can be served up with coleslaw, corn and watermelon for the perfect summer meal outside. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional burger or dog!
Any way you grill it, summer is a great time to cook outside, but it doesn’t have to bust your grocery budget.