July 14, 2024
One place in Australia to buy the best meat and save money


Aussie shoppers are always looking for the best quality food at the most affordable price and as the cost of living crisis continues to bite getting the most bang for your buck is more important than ever. This is why experts say the best place to buy your meat is at your local butcher.

Not only will you be supporting local small businesses, but you can also get the best quality meat to feed your family and it doesn’t have to break the bank. All Things Meat butcher Shannon Walker told Yahoo Lifestyle that if you want to buy the highest standard of meat (and the freshest) going to a butcher is the only way to go. Not only that, but with the wide variety of stock available you can always find a range of prices.

Walker said you’ll leave the butcher knowing exactly where your meat came from, what’s inside it and the best way to cook it.

All Things Meat butcher Shannon Walker has shared why meat is best purchased from your local butcher. Photo: Instagram/@allthingsmeat/Getty

Irish-Australian celebrity chef Alistair McLeod also chatted to Yahoo Lifestyle about which cuts can give you the best value and how to prepare them to wow the whole family.

Here are their top reasons to shop at the butchers:

Walker explained to Yahoo Lifestyle that all of the meat you see in a butcher shop is cut in-house daily, not pre-packaged, ensuring it’s as fresh as possible. There are also generally no preservatives or additives that you might find elsewhere.

A hand with a knife cutting meat (left) a butcher reaches into a meat case (right).

Many assume that going to a butcher is more expensive, but that’s not always the case. Photo: Getty

“The meats are also very easily adjustable to dietary requirements like gluten-free,” Walker noted. He added that the wide variety of meats and sausages available is another reason to buy from a butcher shop.

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And if they don’t have what you’re after, you can request a specific cut of meat. Walker said your butcher will either order it in for you or prepare it from the existing carcasses at the back.

Maybe you’re following a recipe from a niche corner of the internet that requires a specific type of meat, cut to a certain thickness and trimmed to perfection. You could try this at home, but you’re much better off getting a hand from your local butcher. After all, they know what they’re doing!

“If you’re having people over for a roast, for example, you can go into the butcher and get the exact size that you want,” Walker noted. “You don’t have to buy something that’s too big or too small — you can just say ‘I need something for 13 people’ and they’ll provide that for you.”

And don’t forget that butchers always prefer to sell every part of the animal possible. That means you might get a great deal on bones for your dog that will cost far less than any treats you might find in pet stores. They might not be on display, but don’t be afraid to ask!

An array of different cuts of meat.

If you want the freshest meat possible for your family, going to the butcher is the best bet. Photo: Getty

One of the best things about butchers is their knowledge. When you’re spending your hard-earned dollar on an expensive steak, you’ll want to ensure it’s cooked to perfection.

If you shop at a butcher, they’ll be able to provide expert tips and advice on how to cook your choice of meat properly to ensure the best possible results.

“Butchers are more than just butchers,” Walker said. “We’re a source of interaction for the everyday person — we build up relationships with our customers and have their order ready to go because we know what they like.”

Cuts of meat wrapped in plastic with yellow price tags.

The price of meat can be a deciding factor while shopping amid the cost of living crisis. Photo: Getty

Many Aussies assume they can get meat for cheaper at the supermarket, but that’s not always the case and some cheaper cuts can be just as affordable at a butcher and go much further.

McLeod explained to Yahoo Lifestyle that if you’re cooking for the family or a larger group of people, cuts like blade, brisket and chuck can be significantly less expensive than a prime cut — and a little goes a long way.

“The method of cooking for those cuts is more forgiving,’ McLeod said. “If you cook them slowly with half a bottle of red wine, some inexpensive vegetables and a little bit of stock, and leave them to simmer on the stove, you’ve got a number of meals.”

He also said cutting cheaper cuts of meat into thin slices and sprinkling it with bi-carb soda is another handy hack for making your meat taste as tender as it would if you had spent more on a higher-quality cut.

As for chicken, McLeod said to steer clear of breasts and opt for thighs or drumsticks instead — or better yet, buy the whole chicken!

Celebrity chef Alistair McLeod cooking on TV.

Celebrity chef Alistair McLeod has shared his top economic tips for shopping at the butcher. Photo: Instagram/Alistair McLeod

“It’s a more primal experience and probably the most economic choice of all,” he noted. “And you can use the bones to make a stock … we should try and leave as much out of the bin as possible.

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“Plus, most of the flavour is in the fat, so even if you don’t eat chicken skin, you should still cook with the skin on and then remove it afterwards.”

Last but not least, don’t forget about the humble snag! Sausages from the butcher are incredibly tasty, usually made by hand with simple ingredients, and contain no preservatives. And sausages are a great economical way to feed the whole family, according to McLeod.

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