Every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
If you cut your meat consumption by $2 per week, that’s over $100 in savings per year! For most families, it wouldn’t be too hard to cut back on $2 worth of meat each week — especially if you’re willing to get a little creative.
Here are three ideas we’ve used to spend less on meat:
1. Substitute 30-50% of the Meat With Legumes
If your family isn’t keen on the idea of going completely meatless, stretching your meat with legumes is a great way to save money while still eating meat. Mexican dishes, bean soups, and chili are recipes that you can pretty easily add in extra beans to replace some of the meat without most people realizing it.
Lentils hide especially well in taco meat, too. Just add in cooked lentils to your ground beef along with your usual seasonings and there’s a good chance your family won’t even notice!
2. Go Meatless Meal Once a Week — For a Cause
Consider being intentional about skipping meat one night per week. While it can be a bit of a sacrifice, if you decide as a family to go meatless for a cause, it becomes much easier to do.
Maybe you go meatless in order to save money toward a family vacation. Or you go meatless to help pay down debt. Even if you don’t really need the extra savings for paying down debt or another savings goal, I’d still encourage you to consider going meatless in order to give the money saved to someone in need.
Making this sacrifice as a family can provide a great springboard for conversations on how richly blessed we are with abundance. It can be eye-opening and life-impacting for your whole family.
Plus, meatless doesn’t have to mean tasteless. Try making Bean & Cheese Burritos, breakfast for dinner, or even meatless lasagna. Need more ideas? Check out this list of 52 Meatless Meals that I posted earlier today. You can also read my post on How to Live on Beans & Rice for a Week.
3. Make Meat a Garnish
Stop centering your meal around meat as the main thing and instead view meat as a garnish. Use it as a topping for pizza or salads, or stir some into stir fries or soups.
The less the meal’s focal point is a big hunk of meat, the more you’ll likely save.
How do you save money on meat? I’d love to hear your ideas & tips!