I thought I would talk a bit about Meat & Produce and how to get savings in with those items. There aren't a lot of coupons out there when it comes to these items, and high priced items. But there are ways to save and cut even this area of your grocery budget back as well. Again - remember as you are starting out it takes time to get to a point where you get the mega savings on items, as you are building your stockpile. As your need list goes down your savings will go up. So continue to be patient with your savings.
As for meat - there are some coupons that are for meat out there and I try to post them on this site when I come across them. But for the most part you'll have to wait for stores to put there meat & produce on sale. Now, having said that I think and encourage you all to consider investing in a deep freezer or a stand alone freezer. We have a deep freeze and it is full to the brim at the moment with meats, and frozen veggies, and some dairy items (such as cheese, milk, & yogurt). My recommendation is to look through craigslist.com for use freezers that others are selling. I think that is perhaps the cheapest and best way. But you can also go to scratch and dents, or buy new. This way when meat does go on sale you can stock up and have it on hand.
But to give you an idea of how I go about determining whether or not meat is a good price for stockpiling here's my list of what I consider stockpile worthy (please note this is my own cut off prices, others who do this may vary, and yours may vary as well, this is not a hard and fast rule just to help get you on your way to saving with meat):
- Boneless/Skinless Chicken Brsts:
- Chicken Breasts with Ribs in :
- Chicken Quarters:
- Beef Bottom Rounds:
- Grd Beef:
- Whole Fryers/Chickens:
- Pork: < or ="">
As for produce. First and foremost go seasonal, fruits & veggies that are in season are going to be at their cheapest. Strawberries, blueberries, & other berries are usually early summer/late spring. Pears are also at their cheapest in spring. Apples & squashes are fall items. Watermelons and other melons are mid summer. My suggestion is buy the produce during their cheapest times and enjoy them then.
My other suggestion is to learn to can and freeze if you want to enjoy these fruits all year long while still raking in the savings. I grew up with a grandmother who canned and froze food. We had access to fresh fruit and veggies all year. This summer when the Farmer's Markets are in full swing I plan to stock up and can and freeze as much as I can. I do know that in the short run this will be a bit more out of pocket but over the long run will be a HUGE savings, and one less thing I have to purchase from the stores. But this is not for everyone, and completely understandable. So, I highly suggest to enjoy and buy when they are at their peak and to eat seasonally.