Budgeting. It’s an essential part of life that isn’t always very fun. But the weekly menu can be tight when we do the sums and land on what our spending allows.
And when meat prices fluctuate, it can be tricky to justify the expense in our regular shop.
So, here are my tips for buying nutritious, tasty meat that won’t break the bank.
But first, why is meat important?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that keeps us feeling full and keeps blood glucose stable. And we know that when we feel full, we’re less likely to binge and overeat.
Good sources of protein are things like meat, chicken, fish, eggs and some plant proteins like nuts and seeds.
Tip 1: Slow cooking is your friend
Relish cheaper cuts of meat and the slow cooker!!
You can turn cheap cuts of meat into something amazing, like chuck steak. It’s as cheap as it gets, yet it can be turned into fancy slow-cooked beef bourguignon.
Chuck steak can make an amazing beef stew, too. Plus, at around $9.00 for 500g, you could easily serve four to five people when loaded with low carb vegetables.
This is less than $2.50 per serve! And not only do you save money by slow-cooking these meats, but you also save time.
Tip 2: Embrace lamb shanks
Lamb shanks are another underused meat. They are cheap – about $12 for 500g – and make an amazing lamb shank red wine casserole when slow-cooked over the day.
That means you could easily feed four people for $12 worth of meat, making it $3 a serve! You can’t get much better than that.
Tip 3: Mince is more versatile than you think
Let’s not forget humble mince meat. At Defeat Diabetes, we’re all about using the one ingredient in many ways.
So, go on and buy the fatty, cheaper mince and create a masterpiece! Think meatballs, low carb cottage pie, bolognese sauce, hamburger patties, chilli con carne. I could go on and on!!
And when mince is $6-7 per 500g grams, it’s great value. Time to get creative, guys!
Tip 4: Simple is sometimes better
When it comes to meat, there is no need to get into a spin trying to make it as complicated as possible. Simple is best.
Try things like beef brisket and sausages or beef cheeks. These meats can be used for things like stews, sausage tray bakes, or a nice curry. They also freeze well, so portion them into containers and have them on hand in the freezer for a quick and easy meal.
Chicken wings are also super cheap and cheerful. And at $4 for 500g, whip up a salad to go with your wings, and you have a complete meal.
Tip 5: Wait for the specials!
When buying meat in the supermarket, they’re cheap if you can wait until things go on special!
And don’t worry that the meat is usually brown. This is just the breaking down of the meat’s protein, which makes the meat more tender.
Bulk buy cheap meats that are on sale, divide them into individual or family-sized portions and freeze them in separate containers for ready-to-go inexpensive protein hits!
Tip 6: Don’t forget the butcher
The supermarket is great, but don’t forget the local butcher!
They often keep the chicken carcass; don’t cringe, it makes great soup! And it is so cheap. You’ll be surprised how much chicken meat cooks off these.
You can load the soup up with lots of vegetables and have a great, hearty meal.
So there you go. It really is easy to include meat in your low carb Defeat Diabetes Program. I hope some of these tips help you save money – and time.