One thing that I like to do is to buy meat in bulk and freeze it. Now, if I were REALLY hardcore about it (and had a freezer that could handle it - damn you, apartment living!), I'd go to Costco once every two months and stock up, wrap up, and only have to buy my meat then. As it is, though, I can actually stock up for about a month at my local grocery store (SaveMart is the one we frequent). I buy the "Max Packs" of what we like to eat, or if what we like is on sale. My usual purchases are boneless chicken breasts/thighs, boneless pork chops (The Hubs has a weird thing against bones in meat O__o), and ground turkey and turkey italian sausages when on sale.
Now see, this saves money but it's still not frugal because I would spend less if I bought the bone-in versions or beef/pork versions of the stuff I buy. BUT it still saves me a decent amount. I also spread out the ground turkey a little farther by doing the following.
See, ground turkey (for whatever weird reason) is sold in 20 oz packs. I don't understand it, but I'll still buy it. I used to use an entire 20 oz pack in a recipe, which was usually just a little too much, and seemed wasteful. Now, I automatically break them in half. (Or, if I buy a bigger pack that has 32 oz, I'll break it into fours). Most recipes don't need much alteration to use the half-amount, and it stretches the meat a little further. (I tend to use the ground meat for burgers, hamburger-helper style skillet meals, taco meat, etc.). To freeze it in the individual portions, here's what I do:
|Lay out some plastic wrap (and if you have a way to keep it from sticking to itself, PLEASE SHARE OMG IT DRIVES ME NUTS|
|Plop the meat down (I cut it with a knife, eyeballing it -a scale would probably be more efficient, but, MEH.)|
|Wrap the top and bottom around it like you're wrapping a gift (Give the Gift of MEAT - sounds like some good copy for Sterling Cooper, eh? ;D)|
|Wrap the sides around it - I usually wrap the left in front, and the right in back. But I'm weird.|
|Throw them all in a big ol' ziploc bag to hold them! Defrost as needed.|
Anyway, that's one of my little tricks I do to be a LITTLE more economically savvy. What do you guys do to save a little money on what you like to cook with?