Friday, January 14, 2011

Sale on Steaks

I mention fairly regularly that my mom is a super shopper.  Like, should-have-her-own-show super shopper.  I try to soak up as many of her bargain shopping tips as I can, but I doubt I'll ever come close to her shopping prowress.  Mostly because she puts in a lot of legwork.  Just going grocery shopping with her wears me out.  I am an in-and-out kind of gal; armed with a list and totally avoiding any aisle I don't need to resist temptations.  My mom literally walks down every aisle of every store she goes in.  So far the only store I've noticed her not do this in is Super Wal-Mart, but she went down at least 3/4 of the aisles there - missing mostly the clothes sections.  It's exhausting.  But, she scores most of her best deals by simply keeping her eyes peeled and watching items on sale until they drop to the price she's willing to pay.

Another version of the legwork is her willingness to go to the same store 3 times a week.  It's a small salvage grocery store in the neighborhood.  "Salvage Grocery" sounds pretty scary to most people, and it's definitely a different shopping experience than Target.  But if you're willing to see past the aisle of dented cans and squished boxes, there are very good deals to be had.

This week was a major score on meat.  Since she's friendly with the store owner (and possibly related in some convaluted small-town way), she was alerted on a previous trip that they had gotten a big meat shipment in that would soon be put out.  She stocked up - a lot of chicken tenders for $1/lb. and some others, but the best deal was on a whole New York Strip. 

It kind of looks like this in the bag:

From The Coalition of the Swilling
 Which would be my problem - because I'm not sure looking at it that I would know what it was.  Luckily it was labeled.

Out of the bag, it looks like this:

From Buckhead Beef
 Total out-of-pocket cost:  $54.  Sounds kind of steep?  Well, it made this 15 one-inch thick New York Strips.  That's $3.60 a steak.  Not only much less than we could buy it in a regular grocery store, but the entire lot cost less than what you would pay for two people to eat at a steakhouse.

My mom mentioned that this kind of haul isn't the standard at her salvage grocery - they only get it in a couple of times a year.  However, I learned from this post that you can probably score something similar at Costco or Sam's for a little more money.  Just look for one that isn't frozen so you can cut it up and portion it into freezer bags. 

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