Put meat costs on the chopping block
MEAT is one of the most expensive items on receipts when it comes to weekly grocery shopping, yet many of us still splash the cash to enjoy a decent steak.
Australian households spend $12.6 billion a year on meat, according to ASIC’s MoneySmart, while the 2019 ABARES Agricultural commodities report says up to 100kg is consumed per person per year.
If you want to score value for money, Arkaba Meats butcher Andrew Weatherald said you should steer clear of convenience and labels.
“People need to look for what’s on special in their area and form a relationship with their local butcher,” he said.
“You can save by sacrificing convenience. Supermarkets sell chicken schnitzel for $20 – it’s just a crumbed piece of meat which costs $39 per kilo. If you take the crumbs away you could make it for less than $6 a kilo.
“We sell chicken fillets for $5.99 but if you want it diced I’ll charge $12. Put in the effort yourself and you’ll avoid labour costs.”
Mr Weatherald said shoppers should examine the price per kilo.
“A piece of meat may cost $10 per 100 grams, but that converts to $100 per kilo,” he said.
An Aldi Australia spokeswoman said shoppers could save on meat through meal preparation.
“Customers should plan ahead how they intend to use the meat they’re buying,” she said.
Australian Meat Industry Council operations manager Oliver Stankovski said local butchers provided a better budgetary range than supermarkets.
“The butcher typically orders whole animals where they take apart the animals in a way to provide more versatility, where at the supermarket you’re limited to what’s there,” he said.
Mr Stankovski said it was important to be able to have a conversation to get more for your dollar. “At the butcher you can discuss the amount you want to spend,” he said.
A Coles spokesman said it was important to keep in mind how animals were raised, with Coles offering beef that was free from added growth hormones, sowstall-free pork and RSPCAapproved chicken.
SPECIAL DEALS: Butcher Andrew Weatherald says you pay for convenience and labels.