Is it cheaper to buy meat from a butcher or supermarket? ( which meat is better)


supermarket meat
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Meat is the most expensive type of food today; therefore, you should do what you can to save on meat, and where you purchase it can make a difference. You can either buy meat from your local supermarket or a butcher shop, and you should know the cost benefits of each.

You can save more money when you purchase your meat from your local butcher shop than from the supermarket. The cost of meat at a supermarket is relatively similar to the cost at a butcher shop; however, the way you purchase your meat at a butcher shop can save you money in the long run.

Do you save more money on meat from a butcher shop or the supermarket?

butcher meat

There are a few ways that you can save more money at the butcher shop rather than the supermarket.

Buy in bulk: You can save money on most products when you buy in bulk. If you have a large freezer, you can buy multiple pounds of different types of meat that can be stored in the freezer. 

It is best to separate the meat into serving sizes and then store it. It would be best if you used a vacuum sealer when packing the meat to prevent it from getting freezer burn, which can affect the taste and the quality of the meat.

Take advantage of meat package options: Many butcher shops sell meat packages that contain various types of meat. These packages allow you to purchase different types of meat at a discounted price.

Ask for cheaper cuts: You can ask the butcher for cheaper cuts of meat without skimping on flavor.

Whether you have a large family or are just cooking for two, you can save money when buying meat in bulk as long as it is properly wrapped and stored.

What cuts of meat are best when trying to save money?

beef cuts

If you are trying to save money on meat, you should know the cheapest and most expensive types of meat. If you plan most of your meals with the cheaper types, you can save money on your monthly grocery bill.

Beef

Beef is the most expensive type of meat. Lately, the price of beef has increased significantly.

  • Ground beef: $4.99 per pound
  • Boneless chuck roast: $6.09 per pound
  • Eye of round roast: $5.49 per pound
  • Sirloin steak: $8.19 per pound
  • Round steak: $6.29 per pound
  • Cube, flank, and skirt steaks: $6.99 per pound
  • Stew meat: $5.99 per pound
  • Brisket: $5.99 per pound

Chicken

Currently, chicken is the least expensive type of meat. You can also save money on the type of chicken you purchase.

  • Whole chicken: $1.49 per pound
  • Bone-in chicken cuts: $2.09 per pound
  • Boneless chicken: $3.38 per pound

Purchasing chicken can save you $3.50 per pound compared to other types of meat, which can save up to 17.50 per week.

Pork

Pork is the second most expensive type of meat. The actual cost of pork depends on the type you purchase.

  • Boneless pork roast: $4.05 per pound
  • Bone-in pork roast $3.29 per pound
  • Bone-in pork chops; $3.50 per pound
  • Boneless port chops: $4.00 per pound
  • Boneless ham; $4.15 per pound
  • Spare ribs: $3.44 per pound
  • Sausage links: $3.69 per pound
  • Ground pork: $3.39
  • Bacon: $5.09 per pound

You can save 90 cents per pound when you purchase pork instead of beef, which can save up to $4.50 per week.

10 cheapest ways to buy meat and save money

With the cost of meat rising these days, you should do whatever you can to try to save money on meat. There are several tips you can follow to help you save more so you can buy more.

  1. Buy meat in bulk: buying meat in bulk and freezing it for several months is a great way to save some money. You can get larger amounts when there is a discount in the store. If you buy from the butcher, the best way is to buy larger quantities and get a quantity discount. 
  2. Purchase smaller amounts of ground beef or ground pork and stretch it using breadcrumbs, corn flakes, or another cheap filler.
  3. Buy reduced meat: Many supermarkets have a section in the meat cooler for reduced meats. These are meats that are ready to expire, so the store cuts the price. You can either use these meats right away or freeze them to use later.
  4. When buying beef, choose choice cuts rather than prime cuts. You can tenderize and marinate the meat, and it will still taste great, and it won’t cost as much.
  5. Buy the family size package: The price per pound is often cheaper when you purchase a family pack. You can separate the meat and refrigerate what you will use immediately, and freeze the rest.
  6. Buy lean ground beef: Many people avoid buying 70 percent lean ground beef because it is more expensive. However, a lot of the fat from 96 percent lean cooks away. Lean ground beef provides more meat for your money.
  7. Buy deli meat ends: Deli ends are far less expensive than a traditional pound of deli meat. You should ask the butcher if they have ends to sell to save a significant amount of money.
  8. Trim the meat yourself: It is cheaper to buy a larger cut and trim the meat yourself rather than buying an individual package. You don’t need to be an experienced butcher to make simple cuts. All you need is a sharp knife.
  9. Stock up around the holidays: Before major holidays such as Christmas and Easter, ham, turkey, and prime rib often go on sale. You can stock up during the sale and freeze the meat, which can save a significant amount of money. If you like corned beef, you can buy it at a fraction of the cost around St. Patrick’s day.
  10. Do some research: You should look around for butcher shops, farmers, or meat lockers in your area that sell meat below the grocery store average.

Does saving money mean you will get less quality meat?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Organic meat is the highest quality meat, and it is good for you. Buying cheap meat can pose problems that affect the quality, flavor, and healthiness of the meat.

Factory farms: Meat that comes from factory farms is always cheaper. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the animals’ muscles contain glycogen, which is converted to lactic acid when they are slaughtered, which produces more tender, flavorful meat. 

Animals in factory farms are often stressed before slaughter, and they use their glycogen storage, resulting in less lactic acid in the meat. This cheaper meat is often tough and bland tasting.

Antibiotics: Animals in factory farms are given antibiotics to prevent infection and help them grow up to 3 percent more than they would without the antibiotics, which means the factory farms can charge more for their meat. 

According to U.S. News and World Report, traces of antibiotics can be found in the meat we consume, which can be harmful to young children. Also, The CDC reports that two million people are infected by drug-resistant bacteria each year, and the meat may be to blame.

Environmental issues: Environmental issues often affect the meat that comes from factory farms. There aren’t enough crops on these farms to use the waste produced by the animals. When the waste is taken away, it can leak into the waterways, contaminating the animals’ water. This can make the meat unhealthy and of poor quality.

Pros and cons of buying meat from the supermarket

There are upsides and downsides to buying meat from a supermarket. It would help with your saving and the meat quality if you weighed the pros and cons before heading to the store.

Pros:

The individually packaged meat is all laid out for you to look at and see what is available.

You will only need to make one shopping trip because you can get everything you need at the supermarket.

Coupons: Meat coupons are rare, but they will be accepted at the supermarket if you can find one.

Supermarkets often have cheaper cuts of meat to choose from.

You can take advantage of the Manager’s specials. When the meat is about to expire, the price is reduced to sell it quickly. You can either eat the meat immediately or freeze it for later.

Cons:

Supermarkets precut and package their meat, and there is only so much room in the cooler. Because of this, the supermarket won’t always have the cut of meat you are looking for.

The organic section is often limited at the supermarket. If you eat only organic meat, you may not find what you are looking for at the supermarket. Organic meat is more expensive than farm factory meat, and many people choose cheaper meat. The supermarket often doesn’t have a large selection because they worry it won’t sell.

Most supermarkets purchase factory-farmed meat, which is not as healthy as grass-fed beef and free-range chicken.

There is usually no customer service. Pre-packaged meat is what you get, and if you didn’t do your homework on how to use different meat cuts, you could end up with a chewy and tasteless cut.

Pros and cons of buying meat from the butcher shop

Like supermarkets, there are upsides and downsides to buying meat from a butcher shop.

Pros:

Most butchers have great respect for animals, so they often sell meat from animals fed natural diets, were not pumped full of steroids, and were slaughtered humanely. Each of these makes for more tender and flavorful meat.

You know what you are getting: There have been meat scandals over the years. When you purchase your meat from a butcher, you know exactly what you are getting because it is often cut and packaged onsite.

Larger selection: A butcher shop sells one main item, meat. This means that they have plenty of space to display the meats they have available. If you cannot find the meat you are looking for, the butcher will cut it for you.

You can order any size you like: Because the meat is cut on the premises, you can order any size meat you need, regardless of how large or small.

Because the meat is cut right in the butcher shop, you can be sure that you are always getting fresh meat.

Many butcher shops offer meat packages. There are usually several packages to choose from, all with different types and quantities of meat. These packages make it easy to buy all meat you need at a significantly lower price.

You can buy meat in bulk at the butcher shop. The butcher shops have more meat to sell than most supermarkets; therefore, you can purchase large portions and freeze what you aren’t going to use right away.

If you are looking for high-quality meat, you will not find any higher quality than at the butcher shop. These stores specialize in meat and sell prime cuts that are more tender and have more flavor.

You won’t need to do much to the meat before cooking to make it taste great. The meat from a butcher shop is tender and flavorful; therefore, tenderizing and marinating aren’t necessary to cook a delicious meal.

Excellent customer service: Butchers want you to enjoy your meat, which is why they offer meats cut to order. They can also give you less expensive suggestions and may even give you cooking tips. Also, you can have your deli meat cut as thin or thick as you like, which isn’t possible with prepackaged lunch meat from the supermarket.

Many butcher shops offer cheaper and more expensive cuts, making it easy to purchase meat on a budget.

Cons:

If you buy your meat from a butcher shop, you will have to make two trips when going grocery shopping. One trip to the butcher shop for your meat and a trip to the supermarket for the rest of your groceries.

Some cuts of meat at a butcher shop can be more expensive because they also offer premium cuts and aged meat.

The meat at a butcher shop is always fresh; therefore, most shops don’t have a reduced-cost section of meat that is ready to expire.

Longer wait: If your local butcher shop is often busy, you will need to stand in line longer waiting for your meat. This is especially true if many customers order their meat cut to order.

Overall, it is better to purchase meat from a butcher shop than a supermarket. Butcher shops offer high-quality meat without additives that are unhealthy and affect the taste and tenderness of the meat.

In addition, you can purchase the freshest meat that is cut to order at a butcher shop, which isn’t always an option at the supermarket.

Finally, butcher shops have a larger selection and offer bulk meat packages that can help you save a significant amount of money on your meat.

Sources:

https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/meat-price-spreads/

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/16/pediatricians-warn-of-antibiotic-danger-in-meat

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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