You can save money and get the best deals by purchasing beef, poultry, and seafood when it is in-season. Learn How to Buy Meat in Season with these useful tips.
If you are a bargain grocery shopper, you are probably well aware of the idea that produce has a season. You probably also know that the best way to save on groceries is to cook in-season as well. What you might not be aware of is that meat actually has a season, too. It’s true! While it may seem that meat prices don’t fluctuate a lot or at least enough to notice, meat prices do go up and down during the year. It’s in your best interest to shop what is in season in order to save the most money and get the best quality. Here are some helpful tips on How to Buy Meat in Season and make it work for you.
How to Buy Meat in Season
First, it helps to be aware of when meat is in-season by the type of meat. Here is a short list of when the most popular meats are in season:
Chicken– To get the very best prices on chicken, look for them in the late spring and early summer.
Turkey– Turkey is at it’s very best price in the fall, along with duck. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving you should find them priced the lowest.
Beef– Beef is the lowest price at this time of year, usually in the early fall.
Pork– Just like beef, pork is best in the fall for whole pork and uncured such as pork chops. In the winter, you will find the best prices on cured ham and bacon.
Fish and Seafood– This can be tricky depending on what kind of fish or seafood you are looking for. In general, prices vary by your location. Even though location is largely a factor in when fish and seafood is in-season, there are some varieties that are almost the same everywhere. For instance, sockeye salmon is best between May and September. The best policy is to check local charts in your area.
Dairy and Eggs– Although not a meat, dairy, and eggs have a season as well and that is in the spring.
Here are some tips for storing and using in-season meat:
If you have the room, buy in bulk when you see a great price. Most meat can be frozen up to 3 months, although some like whole chickens and turkeys can be frozen for up to a year. Cooked meat can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Cook meat in batches as soon as you get home for easier storage in the freezer. You can cook it in a way that makes sense for your dishes and recipes such as shredded, cubed, or sliced.
If you can’t cook it right away, take it out of the package and at least store in meal sized portions in the freezer. It will be much easier when it comes time to cook and you don’t have to deal with a huge package of meat you can’t use up in one meal.
Never refreeze raw meat. There is too much risk to refreezing raw meat as it can make you very sick. If you find you must refreeze meat, cook it first.