Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner…

…for the next six to eight weeks.

One of many valuable lessons I’ve learned since couponing – grocery store employees are there to help me. For example, if the store is out of stock on an item I need to purchase, I can ask for a rain check. I’m not inconveniencing anyone…it’s part of their store policy and most employees would be happy to help.
Today, I put this lesson to the test at Publix by asking the butcher to cut some meat for me. Now, I have asked for meat to be cut before…if I needed stir fry meat or stew meat and there wasn’t any set out, I’ve asked them to cut a pound or two. But never like today. This week Publix has whole sirloin on sale for $2.49 a lb. If you’re like me and know nothing about meat you should know that a whole sirloin is a GIANT hunk of meat. You’d have to be a family of 15 with a 12 gallon crock pot to ever need to cook one whole. I could’ve purchased it whole and then brought it home to cut up…but the butcher is there to help me so why not ask. I had my list ready because I wanted it cut several different ways:
1 1/2 lb cubed for stew
1 lb strips for stir fry
1 lb roast
2 lb roast
the rest – ground (turned out to be right at 4 lbs)
I confidently walked up to the butcher, handed him my giant 10 lb hunk of beef and asked if he could cut it several different ways. When I read my list – he laughed. And then said, “Well, that’s definitely a first.” He wasn’t being mean, I was just asking a lot. 🙂 He asked if he could have my list (it was too much to expect him to remember) and said he’d be happy to cut it all up for me. He was very polite. He wrapped it all separately for me and saved me a TON of time and effort.
Since I’m only cooking for 2, this will be enough meat for at least 10 different meals – not counting the 5 or 6 additional meals we’ll get from leftovers. At only $2.49 a pound! While I was waiting I compared some prices. Stir fry meat and stew meat already cut and packaged was $5.99 lb. A roast was anywhere from $3.99 – 6.99 lb. Ground beef (on sale) was $3.99 lb. By taking advantage of the help provided for me by the grocery store, I was able to save at least 50% on beef without sacrificing quality.
If you aren’t quite ready to hand the butcher a list like I did, I would at least encourage you to utilize your butcher so you can purchase large hunks of beef and still have it cut the way you want. Instead of a list with 5 items, you could ask for 2 roasts at 2 lbs each and then have the rest ground. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help and you’ll save money!
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