Save money on meat

by Mrs Helen Love
(United Kingdom)

To save on high meat costs, with two carnivorous males in the household, I use a high protein flour mix.

2lbs (1kg) wholemeal self-raising flour
2lbs (1kg) plain self-raising flour
8ozs soy flour
8ozs wheatgerm
8ozs dried milk powder.
This is ready to bake with, and saves time as well as money. The idea isn't new: I got it from two sources - Adelle Davis's 'Let's Cook it Right' and The famous 'More with Less' cookery book. I can't recommend these highly enough for generally frugal and also scientific ways to cook.

I use the flour for breakfast muffins, pancakes, scones or 'biscuits', teabreads and cakes. Mixed with egg and milk, they make high-protein treats.
I use a plain/wholemeal non-self-raising for pastry and make it up in bulk for freezing, because I never feel like the fuss of pastry-making in the middle of other cooking.

Another way of saving on meat costs is to use an 'extender' - soya mince, mashed cooked beans with rice or breadcrumbs for a complete protein, or a cheaper meat.

Soya mince needs reconstituting in hot water with a stock cube added. It usually dilutes the flavour a lot, so extra seasoning and herbs are needed. The same with the beans/rice mix. A good rule of thumb is about a quarter of extender to threequarters of the meat.

A cheaper meat might be liver, heart or kidneys. Eggs too if you count them. These are very flavourful and can add greatly to meatloaf and burgers. Add a little in the beginning until your family becomes accustomed to (and likes) the extra flavour.
Tuna is indistinguishable from chicken in a casserole too; again experiment with a little to start with.

Egg, and breadcrumb/flour coating or batter will add a little more protein to fried meats.
Sauces like cheese sauce, mayonnaise, and nut dressing can also help.
Finally, make your burgers tender and juicy by adding cooked mashed vegetable like potato. Enjoy!

Comment from Kate
Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I am a vegetarian but i know many of my friends say it is getting harder and harder to afford to put meat on the table.

Lots of them are now cutting back on meat by not having a meat based meal every day. This is where my vegetarian recipes help them out.

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