With meat prices ever increasing, it can be challenging to feed your family on a budget. I'll admit, we are not huge meat eaters. By that I mean we don't eat big portions of meat with our meals. On the weekends we eat simpler meals like toasted sandwiches, homemade chunky soups or leftovers. This does save us money on the food budget and gives us a chance to use things up.
I don't have a hard and fast rule for meat prices, but I do work to a limit of what I'll pay per kilo. My current limits are -
* Beef Mince - I pay no more than $8 a kilo for the Coles mince. I must admit, this seems like an expensive price. Tasman Meats had mince on sale in February for $5.99 kg and I bought four big trays with maybe 1.5 - 2 kilos per tray. I portioned the mince out into 250 g lots and bagged it up for the freezer. Some meals I use two portions eg - meat pie.
* Chicken Fillets - If I can get them down to $3.99 kg then I buy up really big. Maybe 10 kilos worth. The most I'd pay is $5.99 kg but at this price I'd have to be desperate for chicken and maybe only buy 1 kilo.
* Legs of Lamb - $7.99 kg is the only price I'll pay for legs of lamb. If it's any dearer then we go without and wait until next year's season. At $7.99kg I'll buy 3 or 4 legs and always try to get the smallest. This is enough to have lamb once a month with each leg giving the three of us 3 or 4 meals. When I cook up the leg, all leftovers are frozen in gravy for the following months.
* Fish - I pay no more than $10 a kilo for frozen fillets and are usually bought from Aldi. On the rare occasion I buy salmon from the deli section at Coles for $26 a kilo. As I said, it's saved for a rare treat. Buying from the deli section is cheaper than the pre packaged salmon at $44 per kilo.
* Corned Silverside - If I can get it for $5.99 then I'm happy and will buy 4 or 5. I'd probably pay $6.99 kg if the cuts looked good and I was running low.
* Roast Beef - I'll pay $7.99 kg if there is not too much fat on the meat and the cuts look good.
* Chicken Drumsticks - I'd be in heaven if I could pay $1.99 kg. I think those days are gone for now so the top price I'd pay is $3.99 kg.
* Lamb Chops - I'll pay no more than $8 a kilo but to get it at that price it would have to be on clearance in the supermarket. Regular prices for forequarter chops are now $16 a kilo. We eat one chop per person and it's now a rare treat.
* Whole Chickens - I'd pay $3.99 kilo but I rarely buy whole chickens. Drumsticks and fillets are quicker to cook and fillets can be stretched a long way in a meal.
* Diced Beef - $8 or $9 a kilo is my top price but I have to get it on clearance.
* Beef Steaks - Are rare in our house. We bought the Drovers pack from Coles for Australia Day and the steaks were delicious. I think we paid $22 per kilo but cut the steaks in half so our guests didn't eat too much in one hit ( I had other meat on offer ).
* Sausages - I buy from Coles for just over $5 a kilo.