Butcher at national grocery chain reveals which meats you should never buy

If you're a carnivore, maybe you start drooling even before you even approach the meat counter. You've barely pushed that shopping cart a few inches into the store and suddenly you want all the meats. Once you see the various cuts nestled in garnishes in the case — some a succulent pink, others a deep, ruby red — you can already smell the butter melting on that juicy, cooked steak. But not everything on display is worthy of your dinner plate. Since fresh meat is expensive, making the wrong choices can be a waste of money.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, a butcher (who chose to remain anonymous) who has worked at a large national grocery chain since 2013, shared some intel on which meats you should never buy at the grocery store. Because even if it looks good and is described with adjectives like "grass-fed" or "tender," not every meat makes the cut.

Don't buy these meats at the grocery store

Meat that's ready to fling on a grill appeals not only to our appetites, but to our busy schedules. But ready-to-cook meat is actually a waste of money. Instead, the butcher advises: "Pick out your meat option — look for something on sale — and then ask your butcher what his favorite seasoning or marinade is that they sell in the store."

Also, skip those ready-to-grill kabobs, which can be expensive, and don't offer a very creative selection of produce — usually just peppers and onion, he said. "I would recommend asking your butcher to cube the meat for you. If you make them yourself, you can add other options like mushrooms, pineapple, and cherry tomatoes."

What about if you're in the market for poultry? Make sure you avoid chicken labeled as "water chilled," he said. "It absorbs some of the water which evaporates when cooking, resulting in smaller and potentially-rubbery chicken. "

The most shocking item on his list is filet. "I know filet is typically known as an optimal cut of meat and traditionally priced for it, too, but it's pretty overrated when compared to other beef cuts," he said. "I would recommend purchasing a cut like teres major, which is also a lean and tender cut, but about a third of the price." Not sure you can score this cut at your supermarket? Opt for a New York strip steak instead.