Before you know it, the NFL playoffs will be here and soon to follow the much celebrated Super Bowl matchup! Of course, this brings many gatherings and parties galore! In fact, Super Bowl weekend has now become one of the busiest weekends in the grocery business; and with that, it also brings big costs to spend for those that are hosting parties. So here are some inside tips from your local butcher to stretch your dollars while visiting the meat department for the big game.
- Plan ahead and watch the ads. Many stores over the next few weeks will be running sales on grilling steak. We in the meat department refer to them as middle meats as they are located on the middle part of the cow. So, if you are planning on doing a large cookout with Ribeyes, T-bones or NY Strips, do not wait until the week of the Super Bowl as meat department ads may not reflect on non-holiday events. Your best bet is to save when you can, buy now and freeze your steaks as the Super Bowl is just around the corner and your steaks will be just fine until then.
- Many parties will be serving some type of ground beef items like beef and cheese Nachos, hamburgers, sliders and many other tasty ground beef meals. Do yourself and your guests a great favor by serving not only quality ground beef, but also getting it at a decent price! Watch the local meat departments ads for any type of beef roast that may go on sale, like London Broil, Cross Rib Roast, Chuck roast, etc. Once you see a good deal on roasts, which is almost weekly in many stores, ask your local butcher to grind up the sale roast for you, giving the butcher size and weight that you would prefer. Now not all meat departments grind roasts upon request, so check with your meat department where you shop and ask if they are allowed to grind roasts upon request. In the end, you can save a lot of money and have the best quality of burger instead of standard hamburger or pre-pack burger (hamburger that is processed and packaged before arriving at stores.)
- Wings! What’s a Super Bowl party without wings?! I do have to admit, the fresh chicken wings these days can get expensive when you are buying in bulk, so to offset the costs I suggest the frozen chicken wings in the large bags from your freezer section. Trust me, I know many people who do not like to cook frozen meats of any kind, but rest assured as long as you prepare your frozen wings correctly, your party guests will love them! They are simple to cook and with a flavor added, they will taste even better. One of our favorite ways is to try some basic honey butter (part butter part honey mixed together) on the seasoned wings before the wings are finished cooking. Just brush on the honey butter glaze and just watch them disappear! Actually, any sauce will do, but buying frozen wings and adding your favorite marinades, seasonings is not only a tasty meal, it’s going to save you money in your wallet when you are buying in large amounts for your party.
- Pork bar-b-que! Always a winner at my house!! Your best bet as a consumer, if you are going to do any type of pulled pork, or bar-b-que pork, is to purchase the whole in the bag pork shoulder, Boston Butt. You will save up to a dollar a pound or more by buying whole, in the bag, shoulders instead of the cut pork shoulder roasts. Buying in the bag roasts will mean buying a larger cut, but in the end when cooking pork shoulders or Boston Butts, having a few leftovers is never a bad thing and you can actually freeze your bar-b-que for another meal at a later time.
- Brats! Never a bad thing to serve at a Super Bowl party. Now, most stores that have a service counter case will have a large selection of brats on display like sweet Italian, beer brat, hot, and mild sausages. The brands that are now on display are never frozen. In my personal opinion the service counter brats have more flavor than the Johnsonville or store name frozen brands and are actually cheaper as well! So better taste and a better price make a good combination!
I hope some of the suggestions I have given you may help you serve up some great Super Bowl meals, but also doing it while saving on some costs. So, in closing, good luck to your teams and hope everyone has a great Super Bowl with your friends and family.