Buying protein on a budget…

Food is expensive right? Well what if I told you that it needn’t be if you utilise a few tricks that I use almost weekly?

For the most part, protein sources are pretty much the most expensive food item on your bill.  Protein provides the building blocks to support life and without it we would just waste away to nothing.  Go into any food retailer and you will notice that protein sources generally comes at a premium but we can stack the odds in our favour…

1. Build a relationship with a local food retailer

Supermarkets are convenient I get that, but what they have managed to do is push out the local retailers because they can’t compete.  Lately there has been a resurgence in smaller retailers fighting back.  Finding a retailer and building a relationship with them pays dividends in the long run.  I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘free stuff’ I get from my local butcher/fishmonger and the quality of the meat is so much better than its comparable item in a supermarket.  Case in point is Bacon…supermarket bacon is full of water and generally has a higher sodium content.  The stuff I get from the butcher doesn’t shrink to nothing and the taste is far superior, so source out your local retailer and build that relationship with them.

2. Farmers markets

There has been a rise in farmer markets of late and the array of foods on offer is staggering.  Find a local one and be prepared to strike a deal.  A key tactic I use is to drop down to my local farmers market around half an hour before the end, its a great opportunity to bag some fantastic deals (just make sure you have room in your fridge to store your purchases as food here is fresh and has a short shelf life

3. Supermarket reduced items

If you must use a supermarket, get accustomed to the time of day when they display reduced food items.  I have witnessed many times people milling around supermarkets around 8pm, as this is roughly when supermarket retailers try to sell those last remaining items with a short shelf life.  Its a great time to utilise that freezer if you can’t eat them in the short term.

4. Farms

Farms are a great place to buy cheap produce.  My local farm is organic and supplies the eggs I eat (I get through a LOT of them!).  Compared to supermarkets eggs, eggs from a farm are a lot cheaper too.  You can also bag some great deals on seasonal produce also.

5. Buy in bulk

With most things buying in bulk reduces the cost per item.  Splitting the cost with a small syndicate is another option as it increases your buying power and reduces the overall cost to you.  Costco is a great place to get buy in bulk but not everyone has the room for 30 chicken breasts or pork chops, so using a syndicate is a great way to reduce costs and storage space.

6. Food exchange

This is a great idea where you buy or produce in bulk then swap food items with neighbours / co-workers.  Many people commute to work yet they have someone they know locally who sells cheap food.  I used to know a guy that owned chickens and he used to bring in boxes of eggs that would be swapped with someone else that knew a cheap fishmonger local to them.  That relationship worked a treat for both parties.

There are many ways you can reduce costs and I hope this has given you a few ideas.  If you know other methods then feel free to post comments below…I’d love to know how you get on 🙂


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