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If you’ve been looking to save money on your groceries, you may be a bit frustrated with how much money meat is taking out of your grocery budget. Buying meat can be one of the most surefire ways to spend more than you want on your groceries and unfortunately, the ways to save aren’t exactly the most obvious. Luckily though, you absolutely can save money on meat if you want to.

Start saving money on meat today! Here are 5 practical ways to get the best deals.

These 5 ways to save money when buying meat are a great place to start if you’re frustrated over how expensive feeding your family has gotten.

Plan Your Dinners – It might sound cliché’ but having a menu planned for your family, even if it is nothing but dinners, is a great way to save. If you’re unsure how it actually saves you, it keeps you from buying impulse purchases, from eating out and allows you to fill your freezer and pantry so that you can shop solely when something is on sale. If the thought of planning a month at a time overwhelms you, start small with a week. After a month or two, you will very likely see a savings on your groceries as a whole, meat included.

Cut back on waste – For some families, they can have quite a bit of food left over each night after everyone eats dinner. If the leftover food you have Is not being eaten? You’re wasting both food and money. To help yourself save money on your meat budget, make sure that your leftovers are being eaten. Eat them for lunch the following day or save them until the end of the week and have a leftover buffet where everyone chooses what they want to finish eating up.

Buy in bulk – Buying your meat in bulk is usually the better option for saving money. Places like Sam’s Club and Zaycon Foods both specialize in bulk buys which means they can keep their prices lower. If you’re looking at buying in bulk, make sure that you have a chest freezer so that you have room for all of the meat you buy. You’ll also want to consider a FoodSaver since having one will give you the ability to seal your packages better before they go into the freezer.

Fix a few freezer meals – A common mistake that a lot of families make is that they will use entirely too much meat in their meals. The recipe they are using might only call for 1lb, but since it’s incredibly hard to gauge how much you’re using sometimes (if you have a bulk package, etc) you can easily use too much. Making a few freezer meals ahead of time can cut down on that waste. You can cook that entire bulk package so that once it is cooked, you can gauge how much you’re actually using better.

Look for a combo deal – Combo deals are a fantastic way to save money on meat. These deals, usually created by your local grocery store, are the stores way of getting rid of overstock that they have before it expires. These packages might contain chicken breast, ground beef, pork chops and steak, all for one price. This can work to your advantage if you are careful with how many meals that you are going to get out of that combo pack. To be sure it will be a good deal for your family, figure out how many meals you will be able to make then divide the purchase price by the number of meals. This will give you your per meal cost and allow you to decide if it really is a great deal or not.

I challenge you to put these 5 practical ways to save on meat today. Make sure you keep track on how much you are spending on meat, so you can actually see the savings each month.