Have you ever been at the supermarket at the checkout, all impressed with how little you’ve spent, only to remember they haven’t yet accounted for the meat? Within seconds your grocery bill can balloon as the price is counted. $10 here and there doesn’t seem like a lot but on the average grocery bill, it is a lot.
It mightn’t seem like there’s a lot you can do about the price of meat – that’s just how much it costs, right? Well, there are actually ways to reduce your spending without having to become a vegetarian.
So next time you go shopping, keep these tips in mind so you don’t get bill shock.
1. Freeze as much as you can
Not everyone is a bulk buyer but if you’re keen to save money, buying in bulk will do that. If you’re not going to use all the meat, just freeze what you can then place into freezer bags, label, stack, and store until it’s time to pull out for a lunch or dinner recipe. The worst thing that you could do is buy meat in bulk but then leave it in the fridge to spoil – this is common and is one way to waste money.
2. Shop at different supermarkets
Some smaller international stores sell meat, such as Chinese or Indian grocers. They can often be much cheaper than Coles or Woolies, and you may even be able to get them cut on the spot. At my local Japanese supermarket, they sell pork belly for a fraction of the cost of the supermarket.
3. Eat less
Meat lovers, don’t be upset! In fact eating less meat is good for you, and encouraged. Try to have at least one, if not two, meat free, veg or tofu only meals every week to see an improvement in your health and waistline.
4. Go for the cheaper cuts
Cuts of meat like Wagyu beef and pork belly are so delicious, but they’re very expensive.
Instead, go for cheaper cuts such as:
- Whole chook
5. Buy markdowns
Just because meat is close to its used by date doesn’t mean you can’t buy it. You can freeze it or use it straight away and save quite a bit. Supermarkets tend to mark down their meats in the early morning, and after 5pm.
7. Slice at the deli
The best way to save is to buy the whole roast, take it to the deli section and have them slice it for you.
It’s cheaper and easier! This way you can use what you need then freeze the rest.
8. Learn how to slow cook meats you don’t like
The most flavourful cuts are those don’t look the best. But instead of avoiding them, why not buy them then use them in a slow cooked meal? There are plenty of ways to cook chicken thighs and beef brisket.