This is a great way to save money, since meat is an expensive staple. I have an extra refrigerator/freezer given to us by my sister when she bought a new house, so I have lots of room to stock up. If you don't have extra freezer space, or have a small family, do like my friend Dawn and find a friend or relative (or several if need be) willing to split the savings with you.
Look for reputable businesses that sell quantities of beef, chicken, and/or pork. There are some fly-by-night companies out there that will rip you off, so ask around and find out who provides the best product for your money.
My most recent bulk-meat purchase came out to $1.79 per pound. The meat was flash frozen and nicely wrapped. I got all the cuts, from steaks to roasts to burgers, and they were well butchered. If you like liver, you would love to know that the butcher threw in 20 pounds or so of beef liver with my purchase. He also threw in some nice soup bones, which are nearly impossible to get at the grocery store anymore. Next time, Dawn and I plan to split a full side from this butcher, so our per pound cost will be even less.
ThriftyHomeschooler list member Cheryl writes:
Our family has lived on one income most of our married lives, 18 to be exact. We found the biggest saver of money is to buy our meat in bulk. We purchased a chest freezer one year with income tax money and keep it filled with meat and veggies. Once a year my hubby let's it run low to clean it, usually in January.
We buy 60 lbs. of chicken at time (usually from a meat distributor) and repack it to family servings. We do this for hamburger, beef, and ham. Now bear in mind that my hubby is a chef and can cut meat, so we buy the beef and ham whole and he cuts it. So in the long run, the only thing we buy weekly would be milk, bread, eggs and the specials that our local grocer has on sale. This keeps our grocer bill to about $50 a week and we have 3 children and a grandfather to feed.
It takes a little initiative and a little preplanning to save money, but it is worth it if it means that you get to stay home to care for and educate your children!