Tight meat budgets can be hard to meet. Especially when it’s a small budget.
For us we have a budget of $130 a month for meat. That’s all the meat for an entire month to feed 3 adults and 2 toddlers.
So as you can imagine it can be very tricky to get the right amount of meat for our meal plan all the while keeping it within budget.
But it can be done.
This is my top tips to meeting a tight meat budget:
Each month I write out the meal plan and then I sit down and write down how much meat is needed. Whether it be off the top of my mind or from the recipe. Sometimes with a recipe you can cut the meat down to suit you and your families needs.
I then do the meat shop exactly according to what I have written down.
This is what this months meat breakdown looked like:
I then measure out all of the meat into portions.
I then cling them wrap everything up and I write a label with what it is for and how much meat is in there.
And this is how I freeze the meat.
This way I am not over guessing how much is needed or defrosting a big pack and only using half and not needing the other half until over a week later.
Another thing I have learnt when it comes to working with a tight meat budget is bulking out.
With the mince we use 250g of mince and then use lentils and frozen or fresh vegetables to bulk out the pie.
Honestly I was so afraid to use lentils. The hubby isn’t a big fan of lentils (if he know’s they are in the meal) and I always thought that they would make the meal taste bland and I was also skeptical about how much lentils could actually bulk a meal out.
But I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t make the meal bland and it does bulk it out quiet a bit. If lentils aren’t your thing then use vegetables or beans to bulk out meals to help stretch the meat out.
These are the lentils we use:
The red lentils are $2.49
The brown lentils are $2.89
Both from Countdown and I have no idea why the brown lentils are a little more expensive.
So the top tips are:
- Always check your freezer before you leave the house.
- Always buy from a meat shop e.g. The Mad Butcher
- Always take a list with how much meat you need with you. A broken down list if possible.
- Make sure to portion your meat out before you place everything in the freezer.
- Don’t be afraid to cut meat portions down from what a recipe says if it will work for you and/or your families needs.
- Don’t be afraid to bulk out with lentils. If you have never tried them before you may be pleasantly surprised.
- If lentils aren’t your thing use grated up vegetables or frozen vegetables or even beans.
It’s whatever will work with you to help your meat budget go further for what you need 🙂
Hope these tips help.
-Just A Happy Mum