I have a thing about paying for meat - I rarely pay more than $2.00/lb. If you shop around you can usually find a deal around that price on steak, chicken, and pork. Back to 2001, I'd often splurge on more premium cuts of meats - Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks when they came in under $4.00. That was before I got laid-off in the dot-com bust. Since then I've tried to become more frugal and focus on cheaper cuts of meat. The rising cost of beef has made that $4.00 number for premium cuts a pipe dream... at least here in San Francisco... until now.
Safeway, our local grocery chain, had a deal in their circular that I couldn't pass up. It was a bone-in New York Strip Steak for $3.97/lb. - a savings of $5.02 from the usual $8.99 price. Boneless would be great, but you can't have everything. I gave the circular a hard look and found a few additional teaser food... pork loin, chicken drumsticks, and eggs. Here's what my purchase looked like:
I bought a little more than 11.5 pounds of the New York Strip Steak. A 16oz bone-in cut New York Strip Steak will probably cost $20-$25 in a restaurant. For those mathematically challenged 16oz is a pound - exactly what I bought for $3.97. The 11.5 pounds of steak is about $230 worth of restaurant dinners which cost me $46. I saved $184!
The pork loin is probably not restaurant quality (it's not center cut), so I won't try to figure out the savings there. I will say that it was 7.8 pounds that usually costs $4.99 a pound, but was on sale for $1.67. That $13 buys a lot of meals. The drumsticks weren't a big savings costing me $5.72 instead of $7.61, but it got the best reaction from my wife, so there's some extra value in that. Lastly the 18 eggs were only $1.49 instead of the usual $4 price... I pocketed another $2.50 in savings there.
What does it look like all packaged?
Along the top you'll see that I put the steaks two to a bag. In practice, one steak will probably feed the two of us. My wife doesn't really enjoy a 16oz steak (even if some is bone) and I need to eat more veggies anyway. Each bag of steak is two meals for the two of us or 12 total. The 9 bags of pork loin below it each have two inch-thick cuts of pork making each bag a meal. Flanking the beef are 7 bags of drumsticks - 3 drumsticks to a bag. It will take two bags to be a meal for the both of us, so that's another 3 meals (and a snack or appetizer some time). All totaled up the meat will make 24 meals for the two of us. The eggs will give us some breakfast meals.
Here's what the final receipt looks like (including 4 2-liters of diet soda that I also got on sale). You can see that I spent a little over $70 and saved almost $90:
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