Sirloin steaks, chicken breasts, salmon—these are all delicious, but expensive. The bad news is that the cost of meat and fish are going to go even higher during the holidays. The good news? You can create equally amazing meals for your family using cheaper cuts.
In this rticle, you’ll find cheaper substitutes for premium cuts of meat and fish. Along with the other money saving tips at o5.com, you’ll be able to take charge of your budget, while still enjoy the best in life.
Money saving tip # 1: Save on beef.
Skip the sirloin steak, rib eye and filet mignon. There are thousands of recipes that make good use of beef chuck and short ribs. Try turning beef chuck into a chunky, hearty stew (read our article on how to tenderize tough cuts of meat, so it becomes fork-tender). Short ribs can also be braised. Thicken the sauce and add potatoes and other vegetables for a more filling but inexpensive meal.
Money saving tip # 2: Save on chicken.
Many nutritionists and dietitians praise the benefits of chicken breast, which is lower in fat. But it’s very expensive, and the nutritional benefits aren’t as high as you think. For example, 3 ounces of chicken thighs have 177 calories and 9 grams of fat, and skinless calories has 138 calories and 3 grams of fat. That’s not that much—especially since the extra fat actually contributes to the flavor.
If you’re on a weight loss program, control the fat by using less oil and avoiding recipes with milk or cream. (You can read our article on how to reduce fat through simple substitutions.) And, of course, it all boils down to controlling portions. Stick to a small serving of chicken and load up on vegetables or a clear soup.
Money saving tip # 3: Save on fish.
Salmon, tuna and swordfish are quite pricey. Opt for cod or tilapia, which are just as delicious and healthy. You can also save a lot more by filleting the fish yourself.
Money saving tip # 4: Save on pork.
Pork chops are half the cost of pork tenderloin. Yes, they’re a bit tougher, but you can just tenderize them by pounding with a kitchen mallet, adding meat tenderizer powder, or marinating in something acidic like wine or lemon (which add flavor, too!). Plus, pork chops contain as little fat as pork tenderloin. If you’re on a weight loss program, you can further cut the calories by baking them instead of frying them.
Money saving tip # 5: Save on lamb.
Instead of getting lamb steaks, get lamb shanks. These can be braised—a wonderful holiday meal—and can be just as flavorful, with a good recipe. Save even more on your meal by serving it with a hearty siding like white beans.
Photo from nrsm.uq.edu.au