Budget busting bacon misshapes, money saving

Bacon misshapes from the butchersWhilst trying to find ever more frugal ways to cut back on our grocery shopping, we were looking at how much we spend on meat, especially as its one of the most expensive product lines in our weekly shop.

We’re a big fan of bacon, who isn’t? (Apart from the Veggies, sorry this post is not for you) but I think we’re all aware that today the price of meat is continually rising year-on-year.

Not that we want to delve into economics,  supply/demand, cost of grain, supply chains and the price of oil, but all these commodities and geo-political factors are keeping an upward pressure on the price. This in turn is making it harder for the average family to afford eating meat on a regular basis, whilst this can be good in some respects; it is also becoming in essence a privilege of sorts to eat it every day.

So what can we do to continue enjoying the simple pleasures in life, whilst not breaking “Porky”, our piggy bank! (yes crappy pun intended).

Bacon misshapes are the super scrimpers choice

We have found several simple but effective ideas, but for this post I want to talk about scrumptious bacon misshapes, those ugly and unloved off cuts of bacon that are sold off at sensational bargain prices. While the “basics” range from your local supermarket certainly sells their ugly range of bacon misshapes and the price per pack is much cheaper than the average packet of bacon by on average £1.50.

We want to let you in on our little secret, well ok I am sure many people already know what I am about to tell you, but the question is how many people can be bothered to spend a little time getting their hands dirty?

The local butcher always seem to have bacon misshapes (offcuts)

Each time we visit our local butchers in Tilehurst, the first point of call is straight to the fridge at the back of the shop, whilst quickly scanning the shelves for those giant packets of bacon misshapes. For only £1.69 you receive (over a kilo in) this vacuum packed bundle of goodness that provides you and your family roughly:

  • 3 packs of bacon lardons
  • 3 packs of bacon, each containing a good 6 slices each.

There is almost no consistency in slice thickness, but quite honestly who cares? You get all that bacon for half the price of one single packet from your local super market!

Sort it & chop it – A little effort and a lovely reward!

It’s not exactly challenging and only requires maybe 10 minutes of your time and 6-8 freezer bags. Once you open a bag of bacon misshapes, you will be surprised to see how much bacon is densely packed into one vacuum bag. The next job is to sort it into two piles:

  1. Potential bacon rashers
  2. Scraggly misshapen offcuts

We would normally chop up the offcuts into smaller pieces for use as lardons in spaghetti bolognaise or maybe a cheap-n-cheerful linguine. Before I get too side-tracked thinking about dinner choices (I am very hungry at the time of writing) we just bag them all up into meal size portions and voila!

Hang on, are the bacon misshapes any good?

Quite honestly they look and taste great to us; think of it from the butchers perspective after trimming all those pieces of meat, do they really want to throw the offcuts away as shrinkage? Nope, I am sure they would rather sell them for something, than throw them in the bin. The issue I am sure we can all see is, what happens when everyone else catches on….

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Stop the press; you just saved yourself a pink pig flying 82%!

Based on current  (own brand) prices at the time of writing and doing a like for like weight comparison, picking the average equivalent across several UK stores, let’s say we are looking at:

  • Tesco’s 200g lardons: £1.28 per pack
  • Sainsbury’s 225g back bacon 6 slices per pack: £2.00

Which roughly (yes roughly) equates to a total cost of:

  • 3 x £1.28 = £3.84
  • 3 x £2.00 = £6.00 (includes promotional discount)
  • Total: £9.84 worth of bacon

You will have to bear in mind this is based on reasonable assumptions and fair market prices, but we believe through purchasing and sorting our butchers bacon misshapes we saved a gob smacking:

  • £8.15 which is a budget busting 82% saving!! 

Doesn’t that sound like the ultimate super scrimpers saving? Just imagine if you could save the equivalent on each of your weekly meat purchases.

Do you have super grocery saving scrimps?

Or have any other fabulous cost cutting tips when purchasing meat for your families weekly shop? We would love to hear about your endeavours and we hope you liked our tip about purchasing budget busting bacon misshapes from your local butcher.

Piers Caswell
Piers Caswell
Founder, designer & developer at Digital-Zest Online Ltd
For 15 years I have been creating websites and digital media solutions. I have a keen interest in writing on my personal blog about finding frugal and more sustainable ways to living through the great financial depression. Situated 34 Miles West of London, located in Tilehurst, Reading.
Piers Caswell
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