Tip 1: Eat Less Meat
This is the first in a new blog series on how to reduce your grocery bill and still eat healthily.
It’s no secret that meat can be one of the most expensive parts of your grocery budget. If you want to eat free range, organic meat you will already be paying a premium. If like me, you’ve waved goodbye to that luxury a while back you’ll also understand that finding good value (Irish) meat is difficult.
I’m not for one minute suggesting that you should buy anything other than Irish meat, although I’m sure you can find cheaper than I already do in supermarkets and some butchers around Ireland.
If you come from a dedicated family of carnivores you may find this difficult to start with, so to begin try cutting back to eating meat with just 1 meal a day. By 1 meal a day I mean no meat with your breakfast or lunch, for example in sandwiches or wraps. The actual amount of protein that we as humans need to survive is relatively low compared to the portion sizes of the meat that we are used to eating. Take your average chicken breast for example, you can easily feed 2 adults enough protein from 1 of these alone.
There are plenty of alternatives to meat proteins that you can eat instead of a slice of ham for your lunch or a sausage at breakfast time. Some of these would be eggs, cheese, fish, beans, pulses and lentils.
When considering how to eat less meat you also need to take a look at how you shop for meat. Instead of buying individual pieces of meat and poultry for the week ahead, then plan your meals out loosely and buy cuts of meat that will last for at least 2 meals.
A whole medium chicken roasted becomes one family dinner, then you pick it for leftover meat, make stock and then have a nourishing chicken noodle soup, savoury cupcakes or cold salad in a jar for dinner the following day. By feeding the family twice from 1 purchase you’re getting value for money along with great nourishment for just 1 chicken.
1.5kg piece of ham becomes a main meal and then maybe a ham hock terrine for the following day. Or perhaps the stock from the ham can be used to make a beautiful pea and ham soup? You can even reserve some sneaky slices for those who do like a ham sandwich every now and again!
I’m a big believer in the KISS method – Keep It Simple Stoopid………
There’s no need to complicate your food or your budget. Wholesome, beautiful homecooked food on a budget is within your reach. With just 1 chicken and 1 piece of ham you can feed your family 4 dinners in one week. Both of which can be bought for under €10 (for the chicken and ham together) in your local supermarket if you’re on a tight budget.
By buying your meat in this manner you’ll also reduce your food waste.
What’s not to love?
Some great tips there! I have never made stock before but I really must learn!
Thanks Chantelle, there are some stock making tips in the recipe link for the jar salad above if you’re interested. 😉
Great post! Will be watching for the next ones.
I do boiled ham dinner for a sunday and then carbonara with it for mondays dinner with garlic bread made from the left over bread from day before 😀
That’s the way to do it.
Great post. We only eat meat twice a week. That includes lunch! Just can’t afford it! Looking forward to next posts
Brilliant Peggy, you probably feel much better for it anyway!
excellent wisdom/advice. Most people, as you mentioned, eat way too much meat based protein in one day & all week. Our daily allowance is only at around. There are actually numerous sources of veg protein that can be incorporated into our food/family meal choices as well. So happy to see you taking this stand, Catriona 🙂
Exactly Kara that’s my point. People can be too focussed on meat protein & too much of it is bad for us anyway.
Kate Takes 5
So that’s this week sorted then! Thanks Catriona – looking forward to the rest in this series!
Not bad eh? There’s plenty more in the series to come!
Great tips but I’d deffo need a cooking lesson from you haha! x
Ah Glitter Mama there are plenty of simple recipes on the blog, don’t worry!