Guest Post: Buying Meat on a Student Budget
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This is a guest post submitted by British reader Lucien Topp. He is a a first-year at King’s College in London studying English with Film Studies.
So you thought now you were at uni you had to wave goodbye to your favourite foods. Wrong. With this guide to buying meat you will no longer have to live off beans and frozen pizzas.
Buying meat is all about preparation and imagination. Here’s how to do it on the cheap without sacrificing deliciousness.
- Mince (or Ground Meet)
Mince, be it beef, pork or even turkey (yes, turkey) is a great idea for students. For starters one pack usually contains enough for at least two meals and it can be frozen to last for ages. Not only this but it’s very versatile. Use it to make meatballs, chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognaise, stir fry’s and pies. So buy the cheapest mince in the store (it will still be delicious), use half of it that day, wrap up the rest and freeze it until you want to use it again.
Sacrifice a bit of the convenience and chicken can be very cost effective for a student. Don’t get sucked in to paying more for the packs of chicken strips or pre-marinated chicken breasts – these are all things you can do yourself in the kitchen. Instead look for cheaper cuts of meat such as chicken drumsticks and thighs. You can usually get a large pack of these for not very much and again they can last you multiple meals. For stir-fry cut the meat off the bones in to strips yourself and fry it up, for curry do the same thing and add to your curry sauce. If you want it marinated then stick the meat in a bowl, throw over some lemon juice, salt and whatever else you like, stick in the fridge for a couple of hours and you’ll be in flavour heaven.
A staple of any breakfast and vitally important to hangover recovery. When buying bacon shops very often do a ‘two packs for x amount’ deal. You may look at the use-by-date and think there’s no way you’ll eat all that bacon in a few days however, stick one pack in the freezer and it will last weeks, literally. Then you make use of the discounts and will be safe in the knowledge that you have a good supply of bacon.
- Beef and Pork
Buying, for instance, a single beef steak is definitely not the most cost-effective meal for a student. It is expensive for what you get and you can only really get one meal out of it. However, occasionally you can get lucky and a supermarket will have good pieces of pork or beef that are just about to reach their use-by-date. Supermarkets will make these super cheap as they have to sell them otherwise they will just go in the bin. So keep a look out for deals but only buy if you are certain you are going to use it that day, otherwise it’ll just be you throwing it out not the supermarket.
If you still find meat expensive and too much effort to cook then, well, become a vegetarian.
Any other tips for the carnivorous student?