"There's other types of steaks out there that people aren't familiar with like the skirt steak," said Phil Kastel from the Daily Grill restaurant.
Kastel says flat, thin skirt steak is often the best type of meat to marinate because this meat offers more surface area for the marinade to flavor and tenderize. It is also a fraction of the price of fancier cuts.
"The skirt steak is a fairly thin steak and it's going to run you about half price. It's going to be around $8.00 a pound," said Kastel.
Kastel suggests making marinades and rubs using ingredients most of us have at home like onion, dry mustard, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, orange and pineapple juice.
When it comes to chicken, many choose low-cal white meat chicken breasts that are skinless and boneless, but you can save even more money if you buy chicken a different way.
"Do bone-in chicken breasts and that's half the price," said Kastel. "A bone-in chicken breast is roughly $3 a pound, where as skinless boneless chicken breast is $6 a pound. And cooking on the bone, you know, adds a lot more flavor too."
While shrimp can be pricey, Kastel recommends buying slightly smaller shrimp at $7 a pound versus $15. Give them a dry rub and put them on a skewer. They're easy to grill and provide each guest with the proper portion.
When it comes to preparation, remember marinades enhance the flavor of lean meat, vegetable and fruit up to 24 hours in the fridge. Otherwise marinade can literally "cook" the meats and make them tough.
Marinades shouldn't be confused with barbeque sauce. Sauce is something added to meat that is usually nearly cooked. Unlike marinades, sauces have a sweeter consistency and can burn if used throughout the cooking process so use sauce when meats are nearly done.
Chances are you have everything you need to make your own sauce in your fridge and your pantry. All you need is something with sweet, something with heat, something tomato, and something acidic.
- Recipe: Make Your Own Sauce
- Recipe: Grilled Skirt Steak and Marinade
- Recipe: Herb Chicken and Vegetables
- Recipe: New Orleans Shrimp
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