taking advantage of loss leaders broadening my meat horizons

January 21st, 2008

Taking Advantage of Loss Leaders – Broadening My Meat Horizons

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a very adventurous cook. I get the job done – I make things that are reasonably healthy and my spouse never complains about the taste (and honestly, he’s a complainer – a few times I’ve missed the mark and I heard about it :) ). But as far as creativity, innovation, or being able to buy something new and incorporate it into my everyday cooking – I’m not really good at that at all.

I don’t eat meat. Therefore, I am even less motivated to be different and exciting in this arena (my spouse is an avowed meat eater) and tend to just stick to basics I know how to prepare. We have a lot of chicken and beef in various forms in this house. Occasionally I slip in pork chops for variety when they’re on sale, or even the occasional turkey dish. But generally, I am limited in my scope, and even more limited because there are only certain cuts of meat I actually know how to cook. And since my spouse would eat the same thing every day if you let him, he’s not ever been one to encourage trying new things.

But no more! As I’ve become more cautious and considered in my grocery spending, I’ve realized that meat is expensive, and I need to take advantage of more sales. Sure, when hormone-free chicken or ground sirloin is the loss leader at Kroger (meaning – it is the BIG picture on the front page of the flyer at some ridiculously low price) I am the first one there with my big bag to stock up. And sometimes, the loss leader is something that is a good deal for what it is, but not a good deal for me. Yes, New York Strip steak is an awesome deal at $4.99/lb when the regular is $8.99, but I’m not paying $4.99/lb for meat right now. Sorry honey. :) But there are occasions when the loss leader is a great deal for meat, but I look at the ad and think – what the heck do you *do* with that? This was one of those weeks.

The loss leader this week was Boston Pork Shoulder Roast for $0.97/lb. I really have no idea what to do with a Pork Shoulder Roast of any kind. But, less than a dollar a lb is a very very tempting price for meat, and I decided I would take the plunge, step out of my comfort zone, and buy one. I bought a 3 lb roast, and the package claimed there were great recipes on the underside of the label so I felt encouraged. But when I got home, I found that the great recipes were grilling recipes over open coals… not something I have. But not daunted yet (just a little less excited) I googled “Boston Pork Roast Shoulder” and got a number of hits for recipes. I picked one that seemed easy and I had the ingredients for, prepared the pork, and it slow cooked in my oven for the next 5 hours.

And the best part is – my spouse, who is scared of unfamiliar and new things, really liked it! So much so that he was in agreement that I should go buy another roast before the sale ends and put it in the freezer for later. And the roast I made (plus rice and green bean sides) was enough for his meal, my daughter’s meal, two lunch leftovers, and enough meat left over to incorporate into another meal later in the week (which will also make 2 lunchovers). I’m going to make some teriyaki pork stirfry.

Speaking of which, need to go over to Kroger now and pick up another roast… and I can’t wait to see what the meat loss leader is next week!

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11 Responses to “Taking Advantage of Loss Leaders – Broadening My Meat Horizons”

  1. Good for you for expanding your meat horizon! Meat is budget buster for me so I also stock up when it’s on sale.

  2. Now only if you could convince my wife of the need to be a risk-taker in the kitchen and be creative :)

  3. Huzzzaaaahhhhh for you!

    Cooking your own is a great way to help save.

    Unlike you I am like to cook. I usually have a number of meals in various levels of planning and prep and I can take advantage of sales as they come up.

    This week’s find was pepperoni on sale. I had some pizza crusts we had just made, we have pizza sauce we made some years ago in the freezer, and a coupon we had on Italian sausage all lined up. I had to buy mozzeralla and green & yellow peppers. See Frugal Framnett for the complete story.

  4. Congrats on making a successful new meal! The Boston shoulder roast is great for making barbecue – pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. Maybe you can find a great deal on barbecue sauce for the next time you make it.

  5. I love getting a great deal on meat, even if I don’t know how to cook it… My go-to site? allrecipes.com. You can find all sorts of new recipes and other people who’ve made it rate it so you know if it needs tweaking. love it!

  6. And I will throw in a vote for All Recipes. And http://www.recipezaar.com is my other one. Goodonya for branching out!

    I am a big fan of chicken breasts and thighs that regularly go on sale for under a buck a pound. Good luck with the new stuff!

  7. I’m a vegetarian, so the $4/lb issue only applies to my tomatoes. :) But I’ll also throw in a vote for epicurious.com as a great source for recipes. And as always, the food network’s recipe finder is great. A friend of mine has a 4-ingredient cookbook. Every recipe consists of only 4 ingredients (not including salt, pepper, and oil, I think). I love it.

  8. I’m impressed! I wish that I was able to be so motivated! I get antsy waiting for rice to cook!

  9. My favorite to do with a pork roast is to slow cook it with some BBQ sauce, then shred it for pulled pork sandwiches. Nice find!

  10. Yum, roast pork is my favourite roast dinner (I am very British :-) Shoulder is particularly good, and leg can be roasted well too. Roast meant is good hot and cold, and it really doesn’t need any BBQ sauce – to me that sounds pretty grim but maybe it’s a US thing :-) Glad you enjoyed it!

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