Making the Most of Meat

Meat is often the most expensive grocery product we buy, but this healthy food staple doesn't have to break the bank.

Just because a recipe calls for an expensive cut of meat doesn't mean it is the only cut that will work.

Try these alternatives and top ten tips and see how much money you can save. 

Instead of...


Pre-diced premium beef
$18 / kg
Chuck steak
$12 / kg
Beef rib-eye roast
$30 / kg
Beef top side roast
$13 / kg
Lamb Shanks
$17 / kg
Lamb knuckles
$8 / kg
Frenched lamb rack roast
$29 / kg
forquarter lamb rack
$12 / kg
Chicken tenderloins
$19 / kg
Skinless chicken breast
$ 12 / kg
Lamb strips
$18 / kg
Diced lamb forquarter
$12 / kg
Lamb cutlets
$25 / kg
Lamb loin chops
$19 / kg
  1.  Adjust your servings. A serving of meat is 125-150g of raw weight per person, or the size of the person's palm. Be aware that meat shrinks during cooking by about 1/4 due to water loss - so you only think you're getting less.
  2. Try vegetarian meals once or twice a week. Research shows that eating red meat more than three times a week and eating processed meat can increase your risk of some cancers. Everyone will benefit from the extra vegies too.
  3. Shop at the butchers to take advantage of their specials and their specialised advice about cooking cheaper cuts of meat.
  4. Choose cheaper cuts of meat and change the way you quick. Quick-cooking meat is usually more expensive, but if you're prepared to take your time you can save money and increase flavour with slow cooked cheaper cuts.
  5. Make a meal of mince. Mince is a versatile cut of any meat which freezes well and is often on special.
  6. Choose lean cuts  with the least visible fat if you're buying steaks. Lean meat sometimes works out better value than cheaper meat trimmed of fat before cooking.
  7. Be on the lookout for specials. Supermarkets and meat outlets are competing for your dollars so make the most of meat specials when you see them. Split up bulk packs and freeze or share with family members.
  8. Extend your meat dishes with legumes. A cup of red lentils added to half a kilo of mince or diced stewing meat with make a dish go twice as far and give it a real health boost. The lentils will thicken the sauce too.
  9. Pre-crumbed, chopped and prepared meats cost more as you pay for the extra ingredients, time and processing. Buy regular meat cuts and do your own preparations.
  10. Cook in bulk and freeze left overs. Get creative in the kitchen and use up bulk meat and old vegies. Having meals in the freezer will save you the cost and inconvenience of buying takeaway when meals are needed quickly. 

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