How to save money on meat: Australians are turning vegetarian as grocery prices rise

How to save money on meat: Australians are turning vegetarian as grocery prices rise

Aussies are turning vegetarian to keep up with skyrocketing grocery bills as the lifestyle crisis continues to strain budgets across the country.

Sydney mum Steph Lewenska shared a post last week asking for advice on how to make affordable meals amid skyrocketing meat prices.

He said the price of Woolworths mince, currently $12 a kilo, made him ‘feel sick’ and questioned whether meat had become a luxury rather than a staple.

‘Is anyone else considering going vegan in the current lifestyle crisis?’ she asked.

‘I was feeling inspired to be a bit frugal and decided to make my own hamburger patty for dinner, walked down the mines aisle at Ulysses and felt sick inside.

‘I’ve never liked cooking meat, especially chicken, and with current prices it makes sense [to go vegetarian].

‘I would probably make an exception for tinned tuna.’

A Sydney mother says she is considering becoming a vegetarian to help cope with rising food costs (pictured, a woman shopping at Woolworths)

The mother says the price of meat has made her feel ‘sick’ and her family will eat more vegetarian food

Dozens of commenters said they’re also eating meat-free to save money.

‘We are not officially vegetarian but have definitely reduced the number of meals we have with meat. Tuna is excellent and good for mixing food,’ wrote one.

‘Beans, lentils, tofu and textured vegetable proteins are much cheaper than meat and so versatile,’ wrote another.

A third person wrote, ‘If you like Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Asian food including tofu, becoming a vegetarian is very easy and cheap.

One mum shared a range of meat-free recipes to try, writing: ‘Eating vegetarian is so cheap and it’s definitely not all beans and rice!

‘You can pick up an eggplant for $1.40 and make yourself a parmi with some breadcrumbs or you can chuck some miso and fry it up.

‘You can pick up a packet of tofu for $2.50 and make it [lettuce wraps]. You can make a quiche with some mushrooms and garlic, very cheap.

‘Some of the world’s most amazing food is vegetarian – like amazing South Indian food.’

Dozens of commenters said they eliminated most meat from their diets, excluding canned fish

Dozens of commenters suggested alternatives to Woolworths mince (right), such as tinned almonds (left).

Others suggested eating canned almonds at $6 for 415g and getting creative with ‘hearty soup’ as a meat substitute.

New data from Compare the Market shows rising food costs are having the biggest impact on a third of Australian budgets.

Of more than 1,000 Australians, 32 per cent labeled groceries as their biggest financial burden, followed by mortgage payments at 24 per cent, rent at 15 per cent and energy costs at 7.7 per cent.

Nearly half of those surveyed, 46 percent, said they regularly cut their grocery budget to afford other bills.

‘Our data shows the average Aussie spends $199.46 on groceries per week, which is about $864 a month or $10,372 a year’, compares Noemi Hadnagy of Bazaar.

‘Compared to just two years ago, Aussies are spending $1,565 more on groceries annually which really adds up when we factor in rising rents, repeated rate rises for mortgages, as well as higher energy bills and insurance renewals.

‘When you add it up, it’s enough to fund a weekend holiday, pay for your car’s annual registration, cover your internet bill for a year or buy a new smartphone.

‘It’s quite worrying.’

The data shows Australia spent an average of $169.35 per week on groceries in September 2021 compared to $199.46 per week in April this year.

A survey by Compare the Market found more than a third of Aussies see mounting grocery bills as their biggest financial burden and nearly half limit grocery shopping to cover other bills.

‘Gen Z is most concerned about rising grocery bills and spending the least amount of money at the supermarket. In contrast, it’s Gen Zs who spend the most per week on average at $225.32,’ Ms Hadnagy said.

‘Of course, this age group is more likely to have children and families and that means they are paying more than Gen Z or even baby boomers.

‘No matter what age you are, now is really the time to wake up. We know prices are rising across the board, but there are ways to save.

‘Planning to spend a little more time or comparing prices is one of the easiest ways to keep those grocery costs down.’

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Woolworths for comment.

How to save money on your weekly groceries

Do your research ahead of time

Shop where the discounts are as supermarkets run weekly specials You can even choose to split your store into multiple stores to maximize your savings.

Be loyal to the brand

You may be able to save significantly by purchasing a different brand.

Look at the unit price rather than the larger price displayed

This will help you determine whether it is cheaper to buy in bulk or in small quantities.

Flash your reward card and boost within the app

Every dollar spent earns you points. But don’t forget to boost between apps to earn more points and take advantage of available specials.

Shop outside the box

Discount stores or department stores may offer certain items, such as lollies, chips, drinks, and even cleaning supplies at low prices. It pays to compare.

Check whether you qualify for savings through your insurer or energy retailer

Check your insurance policies, energy plans, mobile phone deals and more, as you may be entitled to hidden rewards and discounts that you don’t know about.

For example, many insurers allow you to earn points that you can redeem at specialty rewards stores.

Meanwhile, Australian households with an insurance policy or mobile plan with Woolworths can enjoy a 10% discount on one store per month.

Source: Compare Markets

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