#10. Supermarket Steak Specials – Read the Large Print Ads
Whether we like it or not, most of us find numerous supermarket flyers in our weekly mail. Often I just throw them in the recycle bin but it’s not a bad idea to check them out especially if you know what to look for and take advantage of what’s being offered.
Like all products, the price of steaks goes up and down based on supply and demand. During the summer when everyone is outside grilling, the price of premium steaks like strip steaks and rib eyes go up so if you see a special at the market in the springtime and you have room in your freezer, it just might be to your advantage to grab a few, vacu-seal and throw them in the freezer for the day you want to grill up some steaks.
Here’s how it works according to Jimmy Kerstein, author of The Butcher’s Guide – An Insider’s View to Buy the Best Meat and Save Money. Supermarkets offer their weekly ad specials based on what they can buy from their meat packers at a lower cost. Time of year, weather, what’s hot in the cooking magazines and TV shows all can influence the demand for certain beef cuts.
If the meat packers are sitting on too much sirloin, they may offer it to the supermarkets at greatly reduced prices that in turn allows the supermarkets to have those large print ads designed to get shoppers into the store. According to Jimmy, these prices are offered with little or no markup with the idea once you’re in the store, you’ll be purchasing enough other stuff to make up for the “loss leader.”
Retailers refer to people who are shrewd enough to choose only the loss leaders to stock up on as “cherry pickers.” As you learn how to select cuts you can choose the best cuts from the display. You can learn to become a cherry picker with a butcher’s eye for quality.
Jimmy offers another great “cherry picker” tip in his book. Wait until late in the day on the last day of a big meat sale and head on into the market with coupon in tow. Often the store will be out of what’s on sale but they’ll offer you a “rain ticket” just to keep you happy.
Now you have an extended period of time to purchase steaks you really like at reduced prices. Doing it this way, you don’t even have to freeze the steaks.