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How I Save on Groceries


So with the comments that I have gotten in my last post, I wanted to write about how I do some of my groceries, and in particular how I get some of my meat.

One of the biggest chunks of my food budget, is meat.  Unless you are a non-meat eater, I bet you’re in the same predicament.  Yes you can shop the sales and the mark downs, but one of the tested and proven ways is to simply buy in bulk.  In the past, I have split costs on buying cows and pigs with a few people.  Last year I wasn’t able to find anyone interested, that is where Zaycon Foods comes in.  Zaycon is my favorite/ goto company to buy bulk meat from.  They sell high quality meat at incredible prices.  

Downside of this, you are left with a huge amount of meat to process and prepare at once.  But I have gotten it down to a science and pretty much get down in about 2-4 hours depending on what the meat is.  Back in January I got 40 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.89.  I have also done this for ground beef.  Now I could easily do all this with my account at the restaurant my buddy owns, and sometimes I help co-operate.  But one thing that Zaycon has a referral program (all links that point to Zaycon) and a couple times I was able to get a case for free.  

Right now I easily have 20 lbs of ground beef by itself and the same amount of chicken.  I have over 60 different freezer meals that I have ready at my disposal as well.  When other meats go on sale at my local grocery store or even the butcher store I stock up on it.  I also stock up on other things, and like some of you pointed out in an earlier post… Some of these are items I don’t even need.  

Today, for instance, I bought 16 Scunci Hair Ties at $.49/piece.  There were part of a gas deal, where if I bought 4 of them at a time I would get $.30 off per gallon of gas, up to 30 gallons.  That makes it a $7 moneymaker.  I did this four times so I actually got $1.20 off, and made $28.  Plus I have Scunci’s for a while.  My wife and daughter lose their scrunci’s all the time.  I chalk that up as a win in my book.

So there is just a few ways I save some money.  Hit me up with what you all do to stretch out your dollars!

Oh by the way, if you are interested check if Zaycon is coming to your area in the near future.  Here is what they have on sale currently:

  • Boneless, Skinless Jumbo Chicken Thigh Fillets
  • Fresh Boneless Skinlees Chicken Breasts
  • Fresh Jumbo Chicken Wings
  • Fresh Premium Hickory Smoked Bacon
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Natural Non-Homogenized Whole Milk
  • Orchard Peaches
  • Pork Sausage Links
  • Premium Choice Angus Sirloin Steaks
  • Raw Wildflower Honey
  • Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey Breast Roast
  • Smoked Pulled Pork


  • Reply Mysti |

    I like Zaycon…but they only do chicken in my area. And the cost isn’t much different than the sale price locally. Plus the pick up is about 30 min away…so it isn’t worth it when you factor gas.

    But if they ever sell more in my area I would be all over it!

  • Reply Mary |

    That’s a lot of meat! I only have meat one day a week for our family. I typically buy only organic protein sources and we’ll have organic beef one day, organic chicken, organic eggs (check Cornicopia Institute for a good quality egg), organic beans, some kind of fish (albacore tuna in water not soy, ahi tuna), vegetarian and then a pasta day. That way, we save money, eat healthy and don’t eat so much meat. I have concerns about eating a lot of beef/chicken from factory farms so it’s important for our family to eat well however I do understand about being on a budget. We are on a budget as well and spend $100 a week for two people but I have a family member with special dietary needs so eating healthy/organic and from scratch is worth it for both of us. We rarely buy any processed foods however so that is a huge budget saver since it’s mostly low nutrition, high calorie and not a lot of food.

    Regarding the gas, 16 scrunchies at $.49 each =$7.84 and if you get $.30 off each gallon (if you divide $7.84/$.30 you get 26) so you essentially get those scrunchies for free with 26 gallons of gas or in other words, you are buying 26 gallons of gas and getting the scrunchies for free. Not sure why you’d need so many scrunchies unless the wife/kids aren’t too organized but purchasing a lot of clutter seems a bit counter productive to me. As for the gas, if you aren’t working much, it seems like you wouldn’t need a whole lot of gas so I am not sure how productive this whole exercise can be. I still say you’d be better off working a full time job with benefits but you’ve made it pretty clear you don’t’ want to work a regular job. The savings on these items is so small in comparison to the debt that I can’t see how you can get too far ahead. There is an app called “Gas Buddy” that shows you the lowest prices in the area; most of the time it’s Costco or Sam’s Club but if you aren’t going to work every day, the gas savings would be negligible.

    • Reply AT |

      Bad math, Mary. Jim said he got $1.20 off 30 gals of gas. That’s $36 for a $7.84 purchase. For that, you could donate the scrunchies to charity if your family won’t use them. I buy hair elastics in packs of 10, so 16 for two people isn’t “clutter.”

      • Reply Jim |

        What will happen is most likely these will go in gift baskets, and whatnot throughout the year. I would be willing to donate these, but really I don’t know where to begin with that.

    • Reply Jim |

      Hey Mary,

      Here is how I do the math. For every 4 I buy, I get $.30 off of gas. $.30 off a gallon equates to $9.00 off 30 gallons of gas. It cost me a little less than $2 for four of them. So I made $7 off of 4 scruncis if I do the full 30 gallons, which I will do. I did this transaction four times, so I make $28 in free gas.

      I never said I wasn’t working much, I work seven days a week. And each of those seven days I put on a minimum of 50 miles and that is before most of the world is even woken up. I used to use Gas Buddy, but the wife and I no longer have a cell phone, and plus we live in such a rural area there is no Costco or Sam’s Club in the immediate area.

      Technically I don’t go to work, but I do have an contracted route that I do 365 days of the year.

  • Reply Lynda |

    Love Zaycon meats and have been really pleased with the quality. I’ve taken advantage each month for the past few months of their chicken, bacon and sausage, ground beef and now have my order in for the chicken thighs. It does seem like a lot of meat and a big expenditure initially, but when you have a growing family and compare to market prices it’s a good deal. Especially knowing the sources are more local and healthier. I prepare ahead with LOTS of freezer bags to repackage into smaller serving sizes so I can put these in the freezer and pull out as needed. Helps with our busy schedules, save on trips to the market as I plan ahead for our meals. That equals less gas to pay for and spending on those extras you have a tendency to pick up with extra market trips. We have a freezer full and right now with the way prices are going up I feel like I’m hedging the market a bit : ) We try to grow most of our veggies and I stock pile sales of grains, dry beans and pastas for side dishes. It all helps control meal costs.

    • Reply Jim |

      That is great Lynda, unfortunately this month’s orders aren’t near my area, or I might have taken up on something.

  • Reply Jessica |

    I have used Zaycon too and love it! We never, even with sales, get prices for chicken breasts that low in our area. Saves money and forces me to do some prep work (I normally freeze in different marinades or sauces with veggies for easy crockpot meals), making it less likely for me to eat out. I’m only one person, so one box lasts me A WHILE, but I imagine it would be a great savings for a family.

  • Reply Shoeaholicnomore |

    I would love to try Zaycon, but they rarely, rarely come to my area! Plus @ 1.89 for the chicken, its only $.10 less than local when they are one sale. This is a great suggestion for those who live in larger areas though. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Jim |

      The thing I have found out my local butcher usually gets his chicken and they come already frozen. Zaycon never freezes their chicken, this is a great added benefit… And if you refer enough people, you can literally get a case for free.

  • Reply Connie |

    I think that 40# of chicken breasts would have freezer burn way before my household of 2 could begin to eat them. And 20# of burger? You all must eat a lot of meat. I have meat with almost all my dinners and rarely make more than 1/4 to 1/3# of meat per person. Many times, we split that. We eat a lot of vegies, small amounts of starch – noodles, rice, potatos, etc., and get really full. I use virtually no processed foods, the exception begin canned beans, tomato sauce, etc. so I don’t need coupons for the most part. I look at the sale fliers every week and go to 2 or 3 stores buying only the loss leaders and shopping only the perimeter of the store. Take a look at http://www.eatright.org for some tips, recipes, etc. I don’t know what you’re spending right now, but we eat extremely well for about $250/month.

So, what do you think ?