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Help - how on earth do you afford good quality meat??

(21 Posts)
flashingnose Tue 29-Mar-05 16:34:18

Having become much more aware of the kind of foods we're eating, I've been looking into additive free/free range/organic meat. However, most of it seems to be £7.00 per kilo or more!! Has anyone managed to find anything cheaper? There's no way I could afford to buy all my meat at these prices - has anyone else had the same dilemma and what did you do? Have to say, the difference in quality & taste has been unbelieveable.

TIA

elliott Tue 29-Mar-05 16:58:23

I've only just started buying meat for the whole family - dh was veggie but has started eating meat as long as its organic - so I don't have anything to compare it to. We only have it once a week and I spend about £10 - which buys a whole chicken, or enough mince or stewing beef or lamb for a casserole/shepherd's pie etc. I sometimes also buy sausages. Basically I don't buy the more expensive cuts and we don't eat it very often.
I suppose if you are used to meat most days it would be prohibitive - but i think that's part of the point really, that meat should be an occasional luxury rather than an every day food.
I don't think per kg it is all that much more than fish or cheese though.

alicatsg Tue 29-Mar-05 17:02:35

We buy the cheaper cuts and get into long slow cooking and also eat meat less often. Things like oxtail and shin are actually really good if cooked for about 3 hours at a low temp.

Also game can work out quite cheap - I got a rabbit for £2 at a farmers market and made bunnny burgers which were fab.

Demented Tue 29-Mar-05 17:04:44

Corn fed free range chicken is beautiful but extortionate. I do buy it if I am feeling flush but the following week I will be scrimping again and into Iceland for two for £7.50.

It's a constant dilema for me.

poppyknot Tue 29-Mar-05 17:07:00

Do you have a local butcher? If they are good you can inquire where the meat comes from - is it is sourced locally etc.

They will often make their own sausages on the premises (which should have a higher meat content than brand ones) or cut the meat for your specifications.

Like elliot good meat as a treat rather than a daily 'non taste'

flashingnose Tue 29-Mar-05 17:10:28

Hmm, I think I may have to visit some more butchers. I tried looking on the web for meat sent directly from the farm but most of them charge more than the butchers . Does anyone have any views as to which types of meat/poultry should only be bought organically if a trade off has to be made?

Gizmo Tue 29-Mar-05 18:21:50

I find anything that requires a bit of labour & time comes out cheaper - so game (often you have to pluck and draw things)and all the joints which are good for slow cooking (breast of lamb, shin of beef, stewing lamb, mutton) can often be got for under 7.00.

Then there are the unfashionable things and those with the ick factor - offal! Also mutton is very good, but needs slow cooking and is hard to find.

Local butchers and/or farmers shops also worth a bit of research. I'm sure you'll find what you need in time - don't give up!

Gizmo Tue 29-Mar-05 18:21:51

I find anything that requires a bit of labour & time comes out cheaper - so game (often you have to pluck and draw things)and all the joints which are good for slow cooking (breast of lamb, shin of beef, stewing lamb, mutton) can often be got for under 7.00.

Then there are the unfashionable things and those with the ick factor - offal! Also mutton is very good, but needs slow cooking and is hard to find.

Local butchers and/or farmers shops also worth a bit of research. I'm sure you'll find what you need in time - don't give up!

Gizmo Tue 29-Mar-05 18:22:15

Bum. It's Groundhog day round here!

helsi Tue 29-Mar-05 18:25:23

I tend to buy meat from the butcher in the market. I find supermarket meat to expensive. I have got to know Charlie and he always gives me a good deal on the meat. He also saves me off cuts and beef bones for the dog. We don't eat much red meat (just once a week) so we get a couple of nice steaks and the rest we eat turkey mince, chicken, pork steaks. He is defo cheaper than supermarkets.

sahara Tue 29-Mar-05 18:44:12

I buy my meat from the butchers aswell. It is a lot cheaper.
I can buy 15 lamb chops for £5, and I like the fact that you can say give me £2 worth of so and so and they will get it for you.

helsi Tue 29-Mar-05 18:51:33

sahara, charlie does that too for me. He is also quite good at rounding things down so for example if it comes to £10.75 he will say "lets call it a straight tenner".

sophy Tue 29-Mar-05 21:42:55

flashingnose, if you can't afford to buy all your meat organically then the ones that I would go for are chicken and pork, because if you knew how the non-free-range or non-organic were reared you would never want to eat them again. I can get three meals for four out of 1 chicken which makes it seem more economical (roast, risotto, soup). I would also say that lamb is probably the safest one to go for non-organic as sheep aren't farmed very intensively.

jampots Tue 29-Mar-05 21:43:44

befriend a butcher (or his wife) like I have done

acnebride Tue 29-Mar-05 21:46:16

yeah, it's harsh. we tend to eat veggie monday to thursday and then have a joint at the weekend which lasts a while. also i have got into making stock etc to get the very most out of it. but sometimes i really do have to gasp when I pay up.

flashingnose Wed 30-Mar-05 08:33:43

Thanks for these - am off to find a friendly butcher

clary Wed 30-Mar-05 09:25:13

I try only to buy free range chicken and lamb, sausages made at a reliable butcher etc.
FR chicken to feed us all for dinner and then another meal with the leftovers is about £7 which I don't think is too bad.
We don't eat meat every day, I would rather have decent stuff once or twice a week then a veggie sauce with pasta on the other days.

jambo1707 Thu 31-Mar-05 20:46:55

Hi

I go to sunday market butcher who does fab offers.

I get the best of cuts, my choice of many many items for a fraction of the cost i was paying at my asda store.

Realisticly we really do pay for the fancy packaging, do yourself and the purse strings a favour and get to your local market butcher, ask around for the best reccommended on the market as there is normally a few.

I spens around £50 every 4-5 months before I go again to stock up, even at this i still have some of the previous buys left in the freezer

WideWebWitch Thu 31-Mar-05 21:09:05

I agree with everyone: buy good stuff but not as often, so a chicken at £10 say twice a month, rather than every week or more.

wobblyknicks Thu 31-Mar-05 21:12:55

Luckily I've got a good farm butcher fairly close by (well 10 miles away but hey) - and they seem to be fairly cheap comparitively. Can't remember the prices off the top of my head but can get 10lbs of lean steak mince for £10 and sausages for £2.50 a lb (not usually that much but I get a special batch with almost no cereal, no added salt and double washed skins, which gets the salt out, for dd).

If you could find someone like that, who raises their own livestock it might be reasonable and very good quality.

sasa15 Fri 01-Apr-05 21:07:30

there is a local organic butcher...in the area....and actually cost cheaper then supermarket......

we buy burgers,eggs, sausages, fillet steak, chicken.....

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