Frugal Tip

Savings Tip: Have a Few Meatless Meals Every Week

Omitting meat from one or more meals each week can save you money. While some people worry that skipping the meat may lead to protein deficiency, studies suggest that reducing meat consumption may actually lead to a whole host of potential health benefits. That means both your pocketbook and your health may benefit.

A nice cut of meat may be the centerpiece of your dinner. However, it’s also probably the most expensive part of your meal.

While going vegetarian or vegan is always an option, you don’t have to give up meat entirely to benefit from the occasional meatless meal. Here’s what you need to know to start saving money by skipping the meat.

Cost Analysis

Running prices shows that a family could save quite a bit of money by skipping the meat. One serving of dried pinto beans costs around 15 cents per serving. In contrast, a serving of ground beef (one of the cheaper cuts of meat) costs around 99 cents per serving.


With these price estimates, a family of four could save $3.36 by using beans instead of ground beef for one meal. If the family does this every week for a year, that’s a total of $174.72 in savings.

Additionally, since dried beans are easy to store, you won’t have to worry about them spoiling before you get around to cooking them. Reducing food waste can save you even more money.

Easy Hacks to Skip the Meat Without Feeling Deprived

You don’t need to leave an empty spot on your plate where you would have put your meat. With the right dish selections, your family might not even notice the meat is missing. Here are some great dishes to make meatless:

  • Pasta – Use marinara instead of meat sauce
  • Tacos – Use beans instead of meat
  • Soups and stews – Use vegetables and beans instead of meat
  • Casseroles – Replace meat with beans or vegetables, or just skip the meat

Meatless meals can be a blessing for your budget. As long as you don’t skimp on flavor, your family might not even notice the meat is missing.

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