Cost of living crisis: Butcher reveals the best cut of meat to further stretch your grocery budget


There’s no denying that the cost of almost everything is on the rise right now.

For many, this is most evident in the shopping basket, with the consumer price index showing food prices rising 4.3% in the 12 months to March.

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But the news is worse for meat lovers, with beef prices up nearly 9% and lamb nearly 7% last year, according to analysis by Thomas Elder Markets.

While some people have turned to online butchers to save money, it’s not for everyone.

Budget cuts

So how can you stretch your money further at your local butcher?

“This time of year is a good time, it’s nice and cold, so we can do a lot of stews (and) casseroles,” said butcher Craig Munro of Munro’s Quality Meats. Sunrise.

Munro recommends the chuck, which is both inexpensive and great for one-pot winter dinners.

Chuck is a great value meat perfect for hearty winter meals. Credit: Sunrise

“When we cook it like this, we braise it, it will break down so those muscle fibers break down and make it really tender and that will also enhance the flavor of the sauce.”

You can find beef recipes on the Australian beef website.

Cost increase

Beef prices have risen four times the rate of headline inflation, rising about 26% since the end of 2019.

The spike in costs is due to the lingering effects of the 2017-2019 drought, rising grain and feed prices, and increased transport costs due to soaring fuel prices.

Inflation is affecting almost every product right now, and it’s happening all over the world.

“We are still seeing supply shortages due to COVID,” 7NEWS Network Finance Editor Gemma Acton said on the Let’s be fiscal podcast.

“A lot of supply chains [were] blocked, many transport and logistics systems broke down during this period, many workers on sick leave [and] couldn’t get to the factories,” Acton said.

“The most recent [issue] it’s Russia and Ukraine — they produce 25% of the world’s grain, so with Russia and Ukraine not operating as usual, a lot of the world’s grain has been taken out of supply.

“A lot of oil is being extracted…so we’re seeing that effect on gasoline prices.”

While prices are expected to continue to rise for some time to come, there are ways to save.

Some consumers are turning to online shopping to avoid impulse purchases, others are turning to house brands, while many are making the most of humble cans.


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