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Monday, October 25, 2010

Frugal 101: Buying a Family Pack of Meat

Sometimes in order to get a good price on meat you have to buy it in a "family pack." Basically that is just a larger portion of meat but at a lower price per pound. I bought this pack from Food Lion at 50% off the regular price. That large package can look daunting at first and may deter you from buying. Today I'm going to show you how to split up a family pack of meat into more manageable portions, which you can freeze and use later.

1. Make sure that your hands and work surface are clean.
2. Score the meat into equal portions. This package was almost 4 pounds so I divided it into 4 sections.
3. Separate the meat. I just round mine into a nice ball.
4. Place into a freezer bag. The Ziploc Vacuum Seal Bags are my favorite.
5. Prepare the bag for freezing.
Notes: On this occasion I only had gallon-size bags. I simply put each of my four sections inside and made sure they were not touching. When I need a pound of meat, I simply reach in and remove one ball and allow it to thaw. If you have the quart-size bags, you can press the meat flat after your bag is sealed. This will allow you to stack the bags on top of one another for more freezer space. You can use this method for any type of family pack of meat. I often do this with ground beef (as above), chicken breasts and pork chops. It doesn't take too long and you've saved yourself money. Plus, the extra meat won't go to waste.

Anyone have any other tips for dividing up large portions of meat?

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Katie said...

I like to cook large portions of ground meat with basic seasonings. Then, I divide it into portions appropriate for adding to casseroles, soups, spaghetti sauce, etc. before freezing. It's so handy to have the meat already cooked when putting together a quick meal on the go--a usual occurrence in our home ;)

Candy Wilson said...

I usually buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large pack, I divide it up in 1 pound package. While I am doing that I will cut up the chicken in to the portion sizes I will need for my weekly recipes, strips, thin sliced, bites size pieces, etc. so when it is thawed it is ready to go for cooking!