Cheapest Meat Cuts: Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, And Turkey

Do you need tips for meat shopping? All you need to know is right here. I’ll be showing you how to buy the cheapest meat cuts, the cheapest beef, chicken, and turkey cuts, and how to cook these meat cuts into a luxurious meal.

Some types of meat and meat cuts are cheaper than others. This is not just about buying in bulk (this saves cost). I mean that there are ways you can buy meat and save money. Not many know this, but these meat cuts are delicious.

If you are ready to learn these helpful tips, continue reading.

Cheapest meat cuts

1. Cheapest beef cuts

Beef ribs

Beef ribs - millenora

Beef ribs are very cheap. To get the best of them, look for ribs with lots of meat and a small amount of fat. While you need the fat to keep the ribs moist as they cook, too much fat can be overwhelming and unpleasant.

Also, buy ribs with fewer bones and more meat to get the most bang for your buck.

Best recipes: BBQ ribs or air-fryer ribs.

Flat iron steak

Flat iron steak - millenora

Flat iron steak could be flank, skirt, and hanger cuts. These beef cuts are tough, but they are delicious. You can soften flat steak by marinating. Cut your meat into thin slices before cooking so there can be an even distribution of heat while it cooks.

Avoid cooking any flat steak cut beyond medium, otherwise, it might become too tough.

Best recipes: grilled flat iron steak, grilled flat iron steak tacos, and fajitas.

Ground beef

ground beef - millenora

Buying ground beef will help you save a lot of money. Ground beef is very versatile; you can buy it in large quantities and stock it up for months. Moreover, it is easy to use and will always be worth the price.

Best recipes: Meatballs, beef stroganoff burgers, meatloaf, shepherd pie, sloppy joes, and casserole dishes.

Beef brisket

brisket beef cut - millenora

Beef brisket comes from the lower chest or breast area of the cow. It is cheap and enough to feed a medium or large (depending on the size of the brisket) crowd on a budget. Beef brisket is a tough beef cut but you can get past this through low and slow cooking.

Slow and long hours of cooking help to break down the connective tissue and allow you to enjoy rich, tender meat.

Best recipes: Slow cooker beef brisket with BBQ sauce, red wine-braised beef brisket, smoked brisket, and brisket meatballs in tomato passata.

Chuck eye steak

chuck beef cut - millenora

If you are looking to eat steak on a budget, go for chuck eye steak. It is not as tender as ribeye or New York strip steaks, but you can tenderize it with a rich marinade. The marinade will also make the steak juicier and flavorful.

In your bid to soften the meat, be careful not to cook it beyond medium rare. So, you should have a food thermometer handy and be conversant with stages of steak doneness.

Best recipes: Lemon garlic chuck steak, chuck eye steak with herb butter, smoked chuck roast, and steak tacos.

2. Cheapest pork meat cuts

Pork shoulder

Pork shoulder - millenora

Pork shoulder is one of the cheapest pork meat cuts. It also allows you to get more for less. It is a tough cut, but you can tenderize it with a slow cook recipe. Pork shoulder is not a meat cut you can cook in a rush.

When making barbecue pulled pork, ensure you start BBQing early enough before your guests become hungry or have small chops on hand to serve them before pulled pork is ready.

Best recipes: BBQ pulled pork, pork carnitas, pork shoulder tacos, casseroles, and stews.

Pork chops

Pork chops - millenora

Pork chops come boneless or bone-in. However, like with chicken, bone-in pork chops are more affordable than boneless pork chops. If you know how to cook pork well, you can enjoy an extra depth of flavor from the bones.

Best recipes: Honey garlic pork chops, baked pork chops, breaded pork chops, chipotle orange glazed pork chops, and parmesan-crusted pork chops.

3. Cheapest chicken meat cuts

Whole chicken

Whole chicken - millenora

Most people think it costs a lot, but you will be saving good money by buying whole chicken, especially when you want to buy all the parts. You can cook it whole or cut it into different parts and use them for different meals.

Chicken thighs

Chicken thighs - millenora

Chicken thighs are also cheap chicken cuts. If you are very keen on saving a lot, buy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Chicken with bones and skin are minimally processed, so they are not as expensive as boneless, skinless cuts.

Furthermore, bone-in, skin-on chicken cuts are more flavorful and juicier because of the chicken-y flavor of the bone marrow. Also, there are so many delicious recipes you can make with chicken thighs. So, it’s always a win for you.

Chicken thighs absorb seasonings so well and can be made sweet, juicy, spicy, or tangy using a variety of cooking techniques.

Best recipes: Honey soy baked chicken recipes, crispy garlic chicken thighs, air fryer chicken thighs, teriyaki chicken thighs, and braised chicken thighs and apples.

Chicken legs

Chicken legs - millenora

Chicken legs or drumsticks are some of the cheapest meat cuts and they are readily available. However, they do not have so many applications like the thighs and leg quarters. They come bone-in which is one of the reasons why they are very flavorful.

Best recipes: Baked chicken thighs, spice-braised chicken legs, breaded oven-baked chicken legs, chicken Dijon, and Malaysian chicken curry.

Chicken quarters

Chicken quarters - millenora

Chicken quarters are a combination of the legs and thighs. It is a large piece and surprisingly inexpensive. These cuts take on seasoning well and come out juicy like the thighs and legs. Plus, you can cook them using different cooking techniques.

Best recipes: baked garlic chicken leg quarters, piri piri chicken, air fryer chicken leg quarters, grilled chicken leg quarters, crock pot chicken leg quarters, and tandoori chicken.

4. Cheapest lamb meat cuts

Lamb scrag or middle-neck

Lamb scrag - millenora

Lamb scrag comes from the top of the neck rather than lower down nearer the chest, which is from the neck. It is an inexpensive of lamb meat, but it is a very flavorful part if you cook it well.

Best recipes: Lamb scrag stew and spicy scrag end pie.

Lamb’s breast

Lamb breast - millenora

Lamb breast is one of the cheapest meat cuts, but it is not readily available. Whenever you find it in a store, ensure you buy a lot and freeze it for later. Lamb breast grills excellently and boasts a robust flavor.

However, it is a tough meat cut that needs a rich marinade to tenderize it.

Best recipes: Roasted lamb breast, slow cooker rolled lamb breast and fried lamb breast.

5. Cheapest turkey meat

Whole turkey

Whole turkey - millenora

Buying whole turkey will help you save a few cents and give you all cuts. One whole turkey can sufficiently feed a crowd. This is one of your best bets if you are looking to host a crowd but you’re trying to spend less.

Ground turkey

Ground turkey - millenora

Ground turkey is just like ground beef, except that it is made with turkey meat. It also has less fat than ground beef.

If you run out of ground beef, you can fill in with ground turkey and save your recipe. Yes, you can use it for all your ground beef recipes, from patties to meatballs.

Best recipes: Turkey meatballs, turkey burgers, tacos, turkey chili, breakfast patties, shepherd’s pie, turkey-stuffed peppers, and turkey lasagna.

6. Offal

Offal - millenora

You are not only saving money with organ meats, but you will also be getting lots of nutrients from these meats. of them all. The heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, tongue, brain, etc are some parts you should try.

How to cook cheap meat cuts

Low & slow cooking

Low and slow cooking may take a lot of time, but it is your best bet for tough cuts like brisket, flank, and pork shoulder. The low cooking temperature and slow cooking time help to break down the meat fibers, loosen the meat, and make it tender.

Marinate the meat

A rich marinade will be beneficial to your meat. The marinade tenderizes the meat, adds extra depth of flavor, and makes your meat juicy.

For best results, your marinade should contain ingredients like lemon, wine, and vinegar. Also, allow tough meat cuts to marinate properly.

Beat the meat before cooking

A meat tenderizer or mallet will help break down the tough muscle fibers and make the meat more tender and chewable. This process is time-consuming and uses a good deal of elbow grease, but it is worth it if you do not have a marinade.

Carve the meat

Carving is another way to tenderize meat. This is done by making small cuts on the meat against the direction of the muscle fibers (across the grain).

Why is beef more expensive than chicken?

Beef is more expensive than chicken because it costs more to raise one cow than it does to raise ten chickens. Raising cows for any purpose requires more land, feed, and labor.

Farm owners factor in this extra work when they are ready to sell beef. Moreover, one cow produces more meat than ten chickens.


What is the most popular turkey meat cut?

Turkey breast is the most popular and demanded turkey meat cut. It is the best-selling and most prized turkey cut. Turkey breast is highly preferred because it is a lean meat and has a luxurious taste.

Which is the most sold meat?

Chicken is the most consumed meat in the world. Statistics have it that over 50 billion chickens are farmed every year, and the United States alone consumes over 9 billion of this amount a year.

Is lamb more expensive than goat?

Goat meat is more expensive than lamb. It boasts more nutritional value than lamb (and all types of meat) and a lower cholesterol level.


Whether it’s beef, chicken, pork, or lamb, there is a cut that fits into your budget. As said earlier, a cheap meat cut doesn’t imply that it won’t taste great. These meat cuts can be made into different delectable dishes.

I’ll advise you to buy these cuts in bulk because of price fluctuations. Also, stay updated with the trends at your favorite grocery stores so you know when they are marking down on prices. Visit the store on these days and buy in bulk.

Keep your meat frozen for long-term storage and to preserve quality.

Finally, learn about the classification of chicken meat parts into white and dark meat.

Thanks for reading.