While I was out shopping this morning, I decided to stop by our local Smart & Final. I mean, I was in the neighborhood and I did need some more sugar-free vanilla coffee syrup (not Paleo, I know...but it's a lovely treat in my tea in the morning)...so in I went. I grabbed two bottles of syrup and made a side track though the meat section on my way out....and was completely surprised at what I saw. They had steaks and chicken on 50% clearance! That meant 49 cent/lb chicken leg quarters and $2.35/lb steaks. WOOT! I grabbed a cart and snatched up everything I could find.
These heavy discounts seem to be common right after a major food-driven holiday. Everyone is so centered around their turkey- or ham-based holiday meal, no one buys the other proteins. Instead of letting them hit their expiration date and tossing then, the stores decide to heavily discount them so they can get something for the meat.
Now, before you start with the "Ewwww! Rotten meat!" - this is not rotten meat, heck, it's not even expired yet. They usually discount the packages a day or two before the expiration date...and even then, the expiration day has a lot of leeway to it. I've found that as long as your freeze or use it up within a few days of that date, you're good.
I ended up cracking open the vacuum-sealed packages of steaks and cutting them into meal portions. I also cooked all four packages of chicken leg quarters (I don't play around with "almost expired chicken"), stripped the meat off (which was later frozen), and then tossed the bones into a pot to brew overnight for chicken bone broth. I see a LOT of chicken and turkey stew in our near future.
So, I'm extremely jazzed tonight - the freezer is full, the house smells great, AND there's steak in the house!!! What more could you ask for???? ;-)