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Here comes the Pork Price Crisis!

Remember when we warned that just about all foods – especially meats – were going to jump in price this year? And remember, just last week, when we reported that Beef prices were on the rise? Well, this time, it’s Pork’s turn – and my earlier suggestion that Pork would make a relatively low-cost substitute for Beef is taking a beating…

Pork Sausages - © publicdomainpictures.netPork products from Chops and Roasts to Bacon and Sausages are soaring in price.

It’s the same scenario described in my post last week about U.S. and Western Canada Beef prices spiking this spring. Bad weather last year caused a shortfall in winter feed supplies and, now, the herds are culled down and there’s a meat shortage.

You’ll notice that Pork prices at the meat counter are rising and packaged Pork products (like bacon and luncheon meats) are coming to the cooler with less weight for the same price. Not all packages this week, at my supermarket, were the same size, either. Make sure you check the price per 100g / lb. to comparison shop properly!

And there’s another tell-tale about the Pork price thing: Thursday is the day every week that we get all – and I mean ALL – the supermarket flyers in our morning paper. Whereas there’s usually a Pork ‘special’ offered on the front page of almost every flyer, as a low-price hook to get you into the store, this week there’s not a one. No Pork is advertised at all in over 100 pages of food advertising…

Shop smart!

Now, more than ever, it’s time to shop the meat specials when you can get them and make best use of them.

Earlier this week, I actually got a nice deal on a ‘Family Pack’ of boneless centre-cut Pork Chops – nine of them, at ‘just’ $3.50 per lb. Bagged them in threes and froze two bags. That was an unadvertised ‘manager’s Special’ at a local supermarket that prides itself on its meats. They’re usually priced nearer the high end than the big chain markets. But they do offer specials that the big stores don’t.

I’ll get the Medium (U.S. ’70-30′) ground beef ‘Family Pack’ at $3 per lb. at one market this week, make a big batch of Meatballs and Burger patties, and freeze them in meal-sized packages.

I’m also poised to pounce on the @2 per Lb. Whole Frying Chicken special at another local market. I’ll get half a dozen or so (or whatever the limit is) and break them down to boneless breasts, legs and wings which I’ll freeze in zipper bags in meat-sized portions.

The Chicken carcases I’ll roast for an hour at 350 F or so and then throw in a stock pot with Onions, Celery and Carrots, and Thyme and Rosemary and Bay Leaves, cover with water and let simmer for for three to four hours. I have a 32 L / qt. stock pot and can do all six chicken carcases at once making at least a dozen + litres / qts. of beautiful Chicken Stock for Soups, Stews, Braising and Sauces. I get all that chicken plus at least a dozen litres / qts. of rich, tasty stock (which I freeze in zipper bags) – which would have cost me $30 or more to buy at the store.

What a great deal, especially in these trying times of soaring prices!

And don’t forget to take advantage of monthly specials on staples such as Butter and Eggs. I got X-Large eggs for $1.99 a dozen earlier this week and butter for $2.88 / lb.!

Read the flyers, shop smart and eat well!

~ Maggie J.