Bacon ends and pieces
I thought of this last night about 3:00 AM when I couldn't go back to sleep.
I used to buy a 3 lb. box of bacon ends and pieces at Krogers for a very reasonable price. Some of the pieces were short, but meaty, and good enough to fry. Others were mostly fat, and were great for seasoning any kind of beans or greens.
I'm sure if you go to a grocer who still has a real butcher, you can buy the same thing. It should be much cheaper per lb. than regular bacon...if it isn't, don't buy it.
We get by with a little help from our friends