Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Save on Lunch Meat

My family goes through lunch meat like crazy!  My older 2 boys take a packed lunch to school 4 days a week.  Some of those days they take a PB&J sandwich but they also like ham sandwiches too.  They get to choose one day a week to buy lunch at school.  My hubby's office is our basement so on the days he is here he eats a sandwich for lunch around 11 am and then usually has another for a "snack" around 2.  When he is on the road he is very good about packing his lunch.  I like to dice up ham to put into scrambled eggs.  And of course my 3rd boy eats lunch at home most days too!

It's been a long time since I bought lunch meat from the deli but I remember that I couldn't get it for much less than $5.00 a pound and that the "good stuff" could be over $8.00 a pound.  (GULP!!) My grocery budget couldn't handle that!!

So to save I watch for Meijer and/or Kroger to run whole boneless hams on sale in the meat department.  On sale usually means they are priced around $1.49/lb. (Full price is usually no more that $ Hmmmm.... $1.49/lb or $8.00/lb???? It's a no brainer what I would choose!  I take the whole ham to the butcher and ask to have it cut into lunch meat slices.  In all but one experience my hams have been sliced at the butcher counter for me with no problem.  (Only at one store did the person at the butcher counter send me to the deli for it to be sliced only to have the deli send me back to the butcher ... but my ham did get sliced in the end.) 

It's is almost always then packaged all together in one big package.  I bring it home, separate it into freezer bags and freeze the extra until we need it.  Yes it freezes well!  So today I bought a 8.8lb ham for $1.49/lb or $13.22.  That's a huge savings over what I would could have paid at the deli!!
I was making Ham and Potato Soup for dinner. I asked for part of the ham to be left unsliced so I could dice it for our soup. It was delicious and very easy by the way!!

I've only done this with ham at Kroger and Meijer.  My aunt did the same thing with a whole Turkey Breast at GFS Food Market.  I don't remember how much it cost her but it was well below what Turkey Breast would cost at the deli counter.

What do you do to save on lunch foods??  See hundreds of other Works for Me Wednesday Tips!

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Trish D said...

Great tip! Our family loves ham, and I love all the tasty ways that I can incorporate leftovers into meals (omelettes, scalloped potatoes, soups, etc)

Catherine said...

Um, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS?!?!?!?!?!? What an amazing idea! Thanks for the tip! Now I just have to get up the nerve to ask at the butcher for them to cut it for me. I can be such a wimp. :-P

rObrak said...

To save on lunch foods, bringing your own packed lunch can help you save money as well as time. It also allows you to eat foods that suits your taste. All you have to do is to have it cooked at night so that on the next morning you can just heat it up and store it to your stainless steel tiffin container. An insulated tiffin bag would be great because it can keep your food's right temperature so when the clock strikes on 12, you can eat it at its best texture.

Jenny said...

this is really good. your idea i mean. but my son doesn't do lunch meat. not normal lunch meat anyway. we have to buy him those small lunchable things with the turkey or ham in them or else he won't eat his lunches (unless its a pb sandwich). makes me blow my top sometimes but i have to get him to eat somehow ;) but when hes older and i can get the stuff into him without a fight i will remember this.

Becky said...

I understand how picky and stubborn kids can be so this is just a suggestion ... My boys love Lunchables too but unless they are super on sale I don't buy them. They think it's fun to pick lunch meat, cheese and crackers plus a treat of course to make their own "lumchables."