01 November 2013

The True Price of Meat

Sometimes those sale ads look too good to be true, so in true Cheapskate fashion we stock up. But how much are we really paying, especially when that meat is full of bones?

Bone-in or skin on chicken (breast or thigh fillets, whole chickens, wings, drumsticks, marylands etc.) is about one-third waste. Bone in red meat (steaks, chops etc.) is about one-fifth waste.  Minced beef is about 20% fat, unless you pay the premium for low-fat mince. You are paying for that waste, it's money in the bin unless you really are getting a great deal.

How do you calculate the true price of the meat?

The calculation is quite easy.
Chicken: multiply by 1.5 to get the boneless/skinless price
Beef: multiply by 1.25 to get the boneless price
Mince: multiply by 1.2 to account for the fat (you usually drain it off rather than eat it).

For example Store A has T-bone steak on sale for $7.99/kg while Store B has Porterhouse on sale for $8.99/kg. Which one is the best buy? Initially it looks like the T-bone as it's cheaper. But don't forget you are paying for the bone, and you can't eat bone so why pay for it?

To find the best buy do your sums:
Multiply the price of the T-bone by $7.99 x 1.25 = $9.99/kg

Looks, or rather price tags, can be deceiving. The porterhouse is actually the best buy with a saving of $1 per kilo.

Use the calculator on your phone to calculate the true cost of the meat you are buying (or carry a little calculator with you) to make sure that sale price really is going to give you more bang for your buck.

How do you save on meat? Share with us in the comments!

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I buy the cheapest cut from the butcher and if it has bones like chicken or some steaks, I use the bones to make stock by putting them in water with salt and pepper and boil for a while. You could add veges like onions, carrot and celery if you wish. I think more along the lines of no waste and you can put the stock in the fridge or freezer for later for use in soups, casseroles, sauces or whatever takes your fancy. I guess the cost savings would be whatever stock costs. I haven't bought that for a while.


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