budgeting 101

When it comes to food and budgeting, we know people sometimes associate that with boring meal choices such as cooking an extra-large batch of something on Sunday and eating the same thing, slightly varied all week. Surely it could be more appealing than that? Well you know what? It is.

We’ve put together a budgeting 101 guide of sorts to get you through this winter and keep your weekly meals extra interesting and enjoyable!

Talk to your local butcher: 

·          They’ll be glad to share with you what meat cuts are the best value for money. This is the list we got from one of our favourite butchers:

Quality Mark beef chuck steak

Quality Mark beef shin

Quality Mark beef / lamb Schnitzel

Quality Mark lamb shoulder chops

Quality Mark beef / lamb mince

·       Explore these cuts and ways to use them, here are some ideas:

Then it’s all about making a plan:

·         Plan which of these meals you want to include in your weeks menu – remember to keep in mind some of these meals can be eaten twice in the one week or are able to be frozen and pulled out on nights when time is not on your side.

·         Write a shopping list and stick to it 

Some extra tips:

·         Shop seasonal. Shopping for seasonal produce brings the price down due to high demand.

·         Don’t forget about frozen veg. Frozen fruit and veg are a great budget-friendly alternative. They’re great boiled straight out of the packet or added to stir-fries, casseroles or curries.

·         Try to avoid food shopping on an empty stomach – if you’re hungry you’rebound to think up any excuse to squeeze a couple of extra non-essential food items into your trolley.

·         Look out for specials – Quality Mark New Zealand beef and lamb are often on special at local supermarkets and butcheries. Keep an eye out for these and purchase as when you can – again like the cooked meals, you can freeze raw meat for a later date.

·         Beans, such as baked beans, lentils, rice and pasta are cheap and help make a dish go further. Add a can of baked beans to a pasta bake or shepherd's pie and you'll feed an extra mouth or two.

Brooke Campbell