Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's On Sale! Or Is It?

I originally published this post about a year ago, but have decided to repeat it. My friend Janelle, at her blog Not Just Leftovers had some readers who questioned the value of using chicken leg quarters in recipes versus other cuts of chicken. Depending on the price point, leg quarters can be a good buy. But it's often hard to know if a sale price is a good buy or not. The meat cuts spreadsheet linked below can help shoppers figure out if they are getting a good deal.



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Most of the grocery ads I look at every week are pretty straightforward. One store has Jif on sale for $1.49 and another has the same size jar of Peter Pan* for 79¢. If you don't mind which brand you buy, then the choice is a no-brainer.

But when I start looking at the meat section of the ads, my head starts swimming. For starters, one of the larger Midwest grocery chains doesn't always price meat by the pound. Sometimes they price it by the 8 oz. portion, the 12 oz. portion or even by the piece. I wish they'd cut that crap out. It's confusing, and to me, it borders on being deceptive.

Even the stores that do always price meat by the pound have confusing ads. Chicken breast fillets are $1.49 per pound here. Whole chicken is 69¢ per pound there. Thighs are 99¢ per pound at a third store. I have trouble knowing which is the best buy for my money. Same goes for all other cuts of meat.

Problem solved! At the MeatnPlace they have a meat cuts spread sheet. All you have to do is find your cut of meat on the list and determine how many servings per pound it yields. Divide the cost per pound by the number of servings and you'll wind up with the cost per serving. Whichever cut has the lowest price per serving is the best buy. Don't worry if your afraid of doing the math. Just scroll down a bit more and there is a chart listing the cost per serving for you. All you have left to do is look and compare.

The MeatnPlace is geared toward retailers and consumers alike. You'll find a lot of great recipes, tips and other information there.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh! I'm over to check MeatnPlace out. I have the same problem with deciding what is a better deal too. I hope it helps.

Thanks for the BIG tip.

Dave Morris said...

One of our local supermarket chains, either Schuck's or Dierberg's, prices everything per four ounce (or whatever makes sense for that product) serving. They have the unit price above, and the serving price below. Obviously there is no serving price on products like flour or seasonings, but meat, snacks, some produce, etc. are marked. It's pretty cool! (I don't think they price the liquor per-serving, it would be too depressing! haha!)

Ellen said...

I used this same info and created a cost per serving calculator so you can enter the price per pound, choose the cut, and see the price per serving. Makes it much easier to compare prices!

http://www.cheapcooking.com/costperserving.htm

Annie Jones said...

Thanks Ellen! Your calculator is SO much easier to use!