Buying quality meat from Earth Fare and other healthy grocery stores can be expensive. One thing you will find is unlike your regular conventional grocery store, supply is not always a static thing, so you have to get it while the getting is good, and while it is available. It is almost like that farm to table idea. I usually scour the meat dept. at Earth Fare at least once a week, and if there is a great sale, or the meat cuts are looking really good that day, I buy at least 2 packages, one for now, and one for a future meal. I’m always building meals in my head and buying what I know we intend to eat. Then each week I plan meals around what I have on hand. I am not one prone to having lots of food in my freezer or fridge, so I tend to buy fresh what I we will consume weekly to make dishes, but as far as meats, I will freeze store them to use within a month or 2.
We discussed at our recent GF workshop how to cut costs in the meat department, especially chicken, by buying whole and getting butcher to cut it up for you so you can arrange your own packages to store in freezer. They can cut it whichever way you like, whether butterflied, deboned, cut in quarters, halves, or eight pieces. I usually separate by white and dark meat, so I can pull what my recipe calls for, and if I need a combination of both, I pull one of each. Earth Fare had a great deal with whole chicken on sale at $1 a pound, and from all the precut pieces in the meat case, I didn’t see anything that could match that! Why pay $3.29/lb for split chicken breasts when I can get it for $1/lb? Makes no “cents” to me (pun intended).
And by the way, since you’re saving, think about protecting your purchase. Quality meat is an investment these days, so if you can, protect it with a good Foodsaver. Those days of wrapping in foil and hoping against freezer burn are over.