I buy most of my food on sale. In fact, I will not buy meats, cheeses, breads, lunchmeats, spices or any frozen foods unless they are on sale. Yet at home I always have a full selection of all of those things to choose from. What makes that possible is that I have a freezer. Here is how that works for me.
My "frugality without sacrifice"* approach to food selection involves 2 steps. The first is to buy when meats, etc are on sale and to buy more than I need. If chicken thighs are 99 cents a pound, I will buy 5 or 6 pounds. If chuck steak is $2.50 a pound, I will buy 5 or 6 pounds. If name brand 100% whole wheat bread is $1.25 a loaf, I will buy 3 or 4. Whether I already have some in stock or not.
The second step is to be able to store what I do not need until I do need it. And that is where the freezer comes in. I have found that a properly double-bagged cut of meat can be kept frozen for a year or more without freezer burn and without affecting its taste. The same holds for all the other food items I store frozen. And that means that I can eat anything I want any time I want** without ever having to pay regular prices (except for fresh fruits and vegetables).
But there just is not enough space in my refrigerator's freezer compartment to do this. I need a separate freezer. And, believe me, the investment is worth it. For about $200, upright or locker-style freezers can be had at places like Lowes and Costco. Upright ones allow better access to and organization of the contents. Locker-style ones maximize how much can be stored in the space. Either way, a freezer is my key to eating as well as I want while still saving a ton of money on what I eat.
*My Financial Independence Key:
**My $50-a-Week Food Expense: