Prices for meat continue to rise in New York State and around the country. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, food prices have increased significantly this year. The rising prices are the highest increases in over 40 years.

The food index increased 11.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979. The food at home index rose 13.5 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979.

The cost of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs has gone up 10.6 percent since last year (Aug. 21 to Aug. 22)

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How Can You Save Money But Still Feed Your Meat-Eating Family?

Ground Meat

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash
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One trick I've learned to make meat last longer is to buy ground meat. Consider making dishes like tacos, meatloaf, or spaghetti where ground meat can shine. Then, when you're cooking the ground meat, add beans, hashbrowns, veggies of cauliflower rice. Adding these nutritious fillers not only adds health benefits to your family's meal, but they also help cut costs. You can buy a third to half less meat than the recipe requires and make up the rest of the bulk with cheaper fillers. If you add them during the cooking process, they soak up the juices and seasoning, so you still get the full flavor.

Create Chopped Meat Dishes

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Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash
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Rather than serving up whole chicken breasts or pork chops for dinner, chop the meat up and make a casserole or another dish where chopped meat works. For instance, instead of chicken breasts stuffed with broccoli and cheese, make a broccoli and cheese casserole. Or, instead of cheeseburgers, you can make a mac and cheese burger bake. Or, chop up steak and make a stew. It follows the same idea as using ground meat - you can add more fillers without skimping on the flavors.

Use Canned Meat

Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash
Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash
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Even canned meat has not escaped the effects of inflation, but canned meat is still cheaper than fresh cuts. Canned chicken or tuna and be used to make casseroles, salads, enchiladas, or pot pies.

Consider Eating Meatless

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Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash
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Try cooking your family a meal once a week that doesn't include meat. Use substitutes like mushrooms, potatoes, cauliflower, beans, or lentils to create dishes that are delicious, but much more cost-effective. You can easily turn pasta, burritos, soups, sandwiches, pizzas, and stews into vegetarian dishes. These types of meals can save you money and allow your family to try new flavors from around the world.

Use Spices And Seasoning

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash
Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash
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Some people, including children, don't like vegetables because they don't get much flavor from eating them. That's where seasoning comes in. If you learn how to work magic with spices and herbs, you can make vegetables, starches and legumes as delicious as (if not more than) meat.

Be A Wise Shopper

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash
Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash
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Keep an eye open for sales, app discounts, and coupons that can help you save money. You may have to venture off from your normal store to stores that offer deeper discounts like Aldi or Price Rite. Consider buying more during a sale and freezing it for later use. Or, depending on the size of your family, buying in bulk from a wholesale club might be more cost-effective.

Hopefully, these suggestions can help you save money while still feeding your family delicious meals! Bone apple tea!

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