Ever since Tony and I vowed to stick with organic meat, we’ve had to be creative to keep expensive organics from driving up our grocery costs. Not only did we swear off cheap chicken, we recently nixed ground beef from our diets thanks to this terrifying New York Times story about flaws in the inspection process.
We get around using ground beef by substituting it for organic ground chicken when we can. Occasionally we still use beef in recipes, but we buy cuts of sirloin or chuck and ground them ourselves in the food processor. Using single cuts of beef reduces the risk of contamination by e. coli and other dangerous bacteria. But I digress.
Shopping for organic meats can get pretty expensive, but one of the ways we keep costs down is by watching out for expiration date specials. Even on sale, the organic chicken we prefer never goes below $3 a pound. We check the grocery store every week for packages with sell-by dates coming soon. Usually these packages are marked off by a dollar or two. When we get them home, we either cook them right away or put them in the freezer. Freezing the meat increases its shelf life by months, and buying on the sell-by date reduces the cost considerably.
For example, on Sunday we found four packages of organic ground chicken with a sell-by date that day. They were marked off $2 each. They were also on sale for buy one, get one free. All together, we bought four packages for $1 a pound. That’s much less than we typically paid for regular ground chicken.
By stock piling, we ensure that we can stay ahead of the curve and only buy when the price goes down low enough. This has allowed us to buy exclusively organic meat without increasing our grocery budget.
Photo by judybaxter