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Friday, January 9, 2015

Freezing marked-down lunchmeat for sandwiches, to make 1 or 2 at a time

I happened into Walgreen's at just the right moment yesterday after babysitting. I was stopping in to pick up some eggs on sale, and shortly before I stopped in, a stock-hand had marked down a bunch of dairy/deli case items, to clear.

In addition to a gallon of milk ($1.99), I also picked up 10 packages of turkey bacon (99 cents), and these 9 packages of lunchmeat ham (99 cents/9-oz, or $1.76/lb -- good price for lunchmeat ham, seeing as how I had to pay $1.49/lb for bone-in, half hams in December). And of course, I bought my 4 dozen eggs at $1.49/dozen, while there.

With the lunchmeat, one package I left in our fridge for today's sandwiches. Five packages I froze, as is, for several sandwiches at a time. And the last three packages I divided into individual sandwich portions and froze.

I cut short pieces of waxed paper.

Then placed as much ham as I'd want on my sandwich onto each sheet near one end. Next I folded the waxed paper over, and stacked a bunch of these bundles,

placing all of these single-sandwich stacks in a freezer bag.

When wanting just 1 or 2 ham sandwiches, I can slide a bundle or two out of the bag, without tearing up any other lunchmeat.

It's still far cheaper to have pbj, egg salad, or bean spread on a sandwich, but ham will be a nice change of pace.



Live and Learn said...

You found some really good prices. I stopped buying lunch meat years ago because the carnivores in the family ate almost the whole package at once. That made it way too expensive for sandwiches. However, at the prices you found, it wouldn't have been too bad.

Anonymous said...

Awesome deal on the lunch meat!!! At the deli counter, it's usually around $6.00/pound.

That's a neat way to freeze it in smaller portions. I was wondering about this over the holidays. For one of my family Christmas gatherings, they decided to make a cold cut platter and have sandwiches, chips and desserts. It was a nice change of pace, in the midst of all of the turkey and ham dinners with all of the fixings. There were leftovers and we were offered some. I was wondering about freezing some of it for later use so nothing would go to waste. My two teenage sons took care of it over the school break though. Next time, I'll know a really neat way to freeze the lunch meat in smaller portions. Thanks! :)


Kris said...

Hooray for good deals! What a fun treat for you and your family. I love it when I stumble upon a bargain.

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
Oh, I can totally relate. I find when I'm making my own sandwich, I like way more than the serving size listed on the package, AND, I snack heavily on the lunchmeat while making the sandwich! But this price was awesome for the product. So we'll just enjoy it while it lasts!

Lili said...

Hi Angie,
At least your boys were able to put the leftovers to good use! It made their own lunch and snack prep easy, and kept them filled (which is hard to do with in boys!).

What a nice change, too, for your family get-together, to have a deli platter with chips! Yes, you totally could have frozen the cold cuts, and cheeses, too. Maybe another time . . .

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
My daughters were super thrilled to have ham sandwiches for their lunches today! And I made myself a really great ham and pickle sandwich for my lunch yesterday. Those unexpected bargains are a real thrill, aren't they?!! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Great find! I never really thought of freezing sandwich meat like that, but I have done it with meat I sliced myself --- why my mind wouldn't see them as the same is a

Lili said...

Thanks, Shara!
I sometimes find those small packets of lunchmeat marked down, the ones that only make 2 decent sandwiches per packet. With those, because the quantity is so small, I just toss the whole packet into the freezer as is.

ruthie said...

Great idea! I'll stop by my Walgreens and see if there doing the same thing.
I tried posting yesterday but I was having computer issues. Would you post your oatmeal cookie recipe?

Lili said...

Hi Ruthie,
bummer on the computer issues!
Sure, I'll try to get that typed up next week. It's a Southern Living recipe that I've modified slightly. Have a great weekend!

CTMOM said...

Awesome deals! Nice to be able to incorporate a treat, on a budget to break up the typical menus.

Lona said...

Hey Lili! Kroger had gallons of milk on sale for $1.99 here in Georgia. Limit 4. You may want to check for your area. I bought the limit and froze them. Great price on the lunch meat. Lona

DW said...

Awesome deal! My DM used to make and freeze entire sandwiches for her work lunches. They'd be thawed by lunch time, she said, so all she had to do was add the condiments.

Anne in the kitchen said...

Great deals and smart packaging idea. Never thought to put it into separated single serving packs.

Belinda said...

What a great deal, Lili. I would have stocked up too. I also like the way you packaged it for the freezer.

Anonymous said...

How much does the wax paper cost per wrapping?

Lili said...

That's what I was thinking, Carol. We'll meter this out over the course of a month or two, and enjoy a change of pace one per week.

Lili said...

Hi Lona,
Milk, $1.99/gallon -- our ad-type sales have been about $2.50/gallon. But If your Kroger had it at $1.99, I'm now wondering if we're about to see lower dairy prices. Wouldn't that be great!!!
It sounds like Kroger has generous limit amounts.

Lili said...

Hi DW,'
that's one of the tips from my mom's circa 1957 cookbook -- freezing sandwiches, wrapped and ready to go. I've done it a couple of times, but have never made it a regular thing. But what a great way to have your lunch ready to go in the morning!! Your mom was one smart cookie!

Lili said...

Hi Anne,
I think this is about a good a deal as I ever find on lunchmeat. Our Walgreen's just has a few dollar/cent amount preprinted on stickers, like 99 cents, or $1.99. That means that some things might not be as good deal (I saw loaves of bread for 99 cents each -- not a great price), and others might be better deals.

Lili said...

Hi Belinda,
This was a Walgreen's that I don't often frequent. It's near a more upscale neighborhood. But I think it's going to the top of my list for Thursday morning stops! I'm not sure if others have found this to be true, but I find better clearance markdowns in the more upscale neighborhoods. And they don't get snapped up so quickly.

Lili said...

Hi there,
this is a really good question, and with my math-y type mind, you can be sure that I had already thought this part out, as all part of the game.
So, here it is.

Dollar store waxed paper, $1 -- 75 feet -- roughly 6-inch tear-offs, so a roll gives me 150 of those sized pieces. Each 6-inch piece then cost a little over 1/2 cent.

I divided each package of lunchmeat into about 4 sandwich portions (I like a lot of meat on my sandwich, a little over 2 oz per sandwich), using four of those 1/2 cent pieces of waxed paper.

So, the waxed paper adds just over 2 cents to the total cost of the package of marked down lunchmeat.

And now you've seen what a huge budget geek I really am!!!!!!

Lona said...

We haven't seen milk prices that low in a couple of years. Gas here has decreased to around $1.99 a gallon. I am ready for the grocery prices to decrease some as well. Once upon a time, we flourished on $150.00 a month for grocies for our family of four. Now, at times, we struggle.

Lili said...

Our gas is around $2.30/gallon. But that is great for our area! I keep hearing rumors that it will dip below $2/gallon.

One of my kids was asking how we ever managed to buy several treat items at the grocery store, when they were younger. I had to remind her of the increase in both food prices, and our appetites over the years!

DW said...

She was indeed, Lil. She set a very good example for me.

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