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Old 03-07-2006, 10:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
We have or had memberships in all of the major warehouse club stores - BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club.

We like Costco the most. Sam's is also good. Whether or not you can get your membership fee back through savings depends on what you buy and how much you buy in a year.

I buy a lot of meats there. Whole sirloin strips, tenderloins and rib eyes for beef. Then I cut my own steaks and roasts.

The prices are better than the supermarket but when the market has a good sale they will sometimes beat the warehouse store.

Whole pork loins and tenderloins. I cut my own chops and roasts.

Of course, loads of paper products, laundry supplies, party goods, medications, baked goods, and electronics.

I have a set of stainless tri-ply pots and pans from Costco that are as good as my All-Clad.

Go for it.

You may want to buy a freezer for the basement or garage.
Andy, you cut your own steaks???? Where do you learn to do something like that? I am always looking to do things myself to save a dime... that sounds great because I could cut them to the size and thickness I like.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sattie
Andy, you cut your own steaks???? Where do you learn to do something like that? I am always looking to do things myself to save a dime... that sounds great because I could cut them to the size and thickness I like.
It's really not that hard. It's just like slicing a roast beef for the dinner table except the slices are thicker. A sharp knife with a reasonably long blade is all you really need.

If you buy a sirloin strip, for example, and unwrap it, you trim the fat a little and cut off slices. For this and the other cuts I mentioned, the whole piece of meat is already in the shape of the steaks and you just cut the steaks off one after another. Make each slice as thick as you like it.

Sometimes it's easier to trim the fat after slicing.

This is different from buying a larger primal cut that has to be trimmed down to a number of different cuts of different shapes and sizes based on the different muscles within the larger piece. That's harder.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
It's really not that hard. It's just like slicing a roast beef for the dinner table except the slices are thicker. A sharp knife with a reasonably long blade is all you really need.

If you buy a sirloin strip, for example, and unwrap it, you trim the fat a little and cut off slices. For this and the other cuts I mentioned, the whole piece of meat is already in the shape of the steaks and you just cut the steaks off one after another. Make each slice as thick as you like it.

Sometimes it's easier to trim the fat after slicing.

This is different from buying a larger primal cut that has to be trimmed down to a number of different cuts of different shapes and sizes based on the different muscles within the larger piece. That's harder.
Many thanks Andy!!! I appreciate you sharing. I never thought about this approach and it really seems to have it's benefits.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sattie
Many thanks Andy!!! I appreciate you sharing. I never thought about this approach and it really seems to have it's benefits.
Just a final note. I always double wrap meats before I freeze them. First wrap is plastic wrap that's tight to the meat - no air spaces. Then into a Ziplock freezer bag. Seems to work well and keep the meats in top shape.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:34 PM   #15
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My Plan

I plan on using my vaccum sealer for the meats. I use this tool for just about everything (specially meats). You think that will do the trick or is it better to store meats as you have suggested? I have fallen in love with my vaccum sealer.... probably one infomercial that money was well spent on!
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:43 AM   #16
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I can think of three different steaks off the top of my head that are easy to cut at home, Ribeyes, NY Strip, and Filets. Ribeyes can be cut off Prime rib. Andy already mentioned NY Strip from a striploin. Filets are cut from a whole tenderloin.

Prime rib clods and Striploins require very little work. Maybe just trim some fat, if desired, then slice across the grain into steaks. This is nice, because you can slice them to the thickness of your choice.

Tenderloins have a Silverskin membrane the covers part of the loin, and that needs to be trimmed off. This is easily done with a sharp knife by inserting the tip just under the silverskin, and angling the knife against that membrane slightly, then sliding the blade carefully with the grain. You'll have to do this many times, as you'll only get little strips from the whole piece of membrane. Then, you'll have to slice steaks off.

You vacuum sealer is probably the best way to go. Almost all the meat we get where I work is vacuum-packed, either IQF single-portion, or Cryo-vac'ed sub-primal cuts of meat, like tenderloins, striploins, prime rib clods, etc.

My other half and I usually buy ground beef in 10 lb bags from a local butcher. I'll portion that hamburger out into 2 lb portions, and put that into a gallon ziplock. I flatten the meat out and squeeze all the air I can out of the bag. This gives me a uniformly square packet of ground beef, about 1/2" thick. I can easily thaw one of these packets in a little water, in my sink, in about 20 minutes, while I'm prepping everything else.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:05 AM   #17
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I'm learning there's a lot you can buy at Sam's or a similar location that will save money in the long run. That's the catch, though, the long run. You have to ante up initially, but the per unit cost is less over time. Plus, you've avoided any possible price increases by having some on hand. I'm looking at items like deoderant, multi-vitamins, and long expiration date type products in addition to the meats. Why not buy 30 razor refills for $30 at Sam's when everywhere else, including WalMart, has 6 or 8 pack of razors for $10? Three of those don't equal what you got at Sam's for the same amount (numbers not actual, just hypothetical examples).

If you're going the meat route, take Andy M's advice and get a freezer. I'm also planning on doing exactly what he described. I just finished the last of the ground beef Monday, and I only have two more pork chops on hand.

I think in the long run, once you learn what products you can buy in bulk, you easily make up the difference in the cost of membership. For example, each pound of ground beef at Sam's is around two bucks (of course, it's more pounds per package, but the per pound price is two bucks). The grocer sells the similar products somewhere around three bucks per pound. That's a dollar savings per pound! 40 pounds of ground beef later (which really isn't that much) you've paid for your membership! Anything else purchased is sheer money saved in your pocket! That alone won me over to becoming a member!
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:06 AM   #18
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I have been to both Sams and Costco.... I like Costco better... never have I bought any bad meat there.. the hamburger is always cheaper then in the grocery store..
Milk, eggs are cheaper, the potatoes are better then the tiny little ones you get in the grocery store. I but the big bags of flour and sugar, and store them in plastic containers, and then I don't have to be constantly running to the store for these. Vanilla is a great buy there to.
Plus I love their own brand Kirkland.. my cats love their cat food.. plus the laundry detergent.. is comparable to Tide and a LOT cheaper.. Vitamins are a GREAT deal to.
But.. only thing I heard people tend to do is... because the products are in such big quanities you tend to use more then you would normally.. so you have to be careful.
IF you buy tons of stuff.. you can buy an executive members.. costs like $100 I believe and you get 2% back on all your purchases.. so normally I just end up paying for my membership.. I think I got $129 back last year.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:41 AM   #19
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Lots of great info!!! This is so helpful. And Allen, I be learning to cut my own steaks... actually looking forward to this!!!

BigDog... razor refills... yes, that would almost be worth it. I wished I was the guy/gal that came up with that costly idea!!!! Geeze!
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #20
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I have a membership at Bj's. We don't go alot but when we do it's a pretty good deal.
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