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|
Out of the bag, it looks like this:
|From Buckhead Beef|
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.