Anyone get sick of cooking on budget ! Page 2 / 2

uli, Aug 6, 3:32am
Have you two actually tried some "free" meat?
There is lots in the bush!

lythande1, Aug 6, 5:48am
You know - don't buy meat or veges from supermarkets.
veges from the growers stalls, meat in bulk. Aussie Butcher for instance.
Buy a whole lamb or even better a whole mutton - they'll cut it for you. And don't (except for the occasional roast) use large quantities. I only get them to do back leg roasts - and small ones. The rest into shoulder chops, racks, ribs etc. A small amount in a casserole or whatever goes a long way. Canned beans, veges, mash etc all make the meal, not just the meat. It's not that hard.

uli, Aug 6, 5:52am
Fully agree with you there lythande1 - you do not need much meat to give a meal a good flavour. Hence my question - why not use all the "free" meat around? ? ?

kay141, Aug 6, 5:53am
That's a great idea. Unfortunately there is no such thing as the Aussie butcher down here only the mad one. And not everybody has transport.

dian2, Aug 6, 8:53am
Perhaps you could have leg of lamb to celebrate a birthday or other celebration?
. . compared with going out to dinner it's a bargain!

Honestly, the best menus here have often come from the tightest budget. .
. . i've just started experimenting with making fritters. . very filling, tasty & economical!

ballito, Aug 6, 9:28pm
Uli - what exactly do you mean by "free" meat?

amazing_grace, Aug 6, 10:25pm
In our part of the world "free" meat, means rabbits that you shoot yourself, or the chickens from the coop that you have killed, or wild pork caught by our neighbours, or trout from our neighbour... in exchange for veges from our garden, and fresh eggs from our hens.

kob, Aug 6, 10:48pm
find out what day your supermarket reduces things ive just been into our local New World and they had twin packs of ham for $2 great for sammies and pizzas, pies for $1 each and garlic breads 2 for $2 so thats saved me abit and i got some for the kids freezer as well so check out reduction time cause it sure helps

ballito, Aug 6, 11:37pm
Quite right amazing grace that is what free meat means - food that you can either shoot yourself or exchange etc. We are lucky in our house that we have our own supply of meat and fish - in fact as we speak two males are out fishing and hopefully there will be fish cakes on the menu tonight or tomorrow. We eat a lot of venison either stir fried or casseroled, trout etc. I know this sounds extragavant to some of the posters here but we have also been in the position of having little money to go around. Good meals can be made out of things that you have at home. My point is that probably 95% of the people posting on this thread do not have access to "free" meat either because they do not own a fire arm or fishing rod or know people they can trade with and will have to make do with supermarket specials etc. 500g of mince can make 6 - 7 hamburger patties, shepherds pie, lasagne etc. 6 - 8 sausages can make curried sausages, devilled sausages (not out of a packet), sweet & sour sausages etc. There are also a lot of meatless meals you can make as well. Eating well can be achieved on a limited budget. Go to the library and have a look through the cooking section and get some ideas or have a look through the different threads on here. Use fruit and veg stalls as well and shop for meat at the butcher if you have one handy - these places are usually a lot cheaper.

greerg, Aug 7, 3:06am
Brown lentils in stews and casseroles, rolled oats and very finely chopped carrot and them stems from the broccoli hiding in the bolognese. My cousins grown-up family just discovered they had always eaten lentils in a particular casserole because their dog was given leftovers and left a neatly washed pile of lentils. The kids were outraged because they hate lentils but have always loved tyhe casserole and now they feel cheated.

uli, Aug 7, 5:37am
goats, pigs, possums, rabbits, pheasants, fish, shellfish, deer, etc etc ...

If like another poster has pointed out there is no coast, no fishing rod or rifle around then get friendly with a farmer and get a beast killed and fill the freezer.

There are so many options if you start looking outside the square - how many people have eaten our wonderful "beef" roasts only to be told that is was a very old wild buck we had slow roasted for 6 hours LOL :)

kay141, Aug 7, 5:47am
Do you get permission from the land owner etc to take all that free meat?

uli, Aug 7, 5:57am
Yes I do :)

ballito, Aug 7, 7:38am
Having eaten a few goat in my time I personally wouldn't touch an old buck even after cooking for 6 hours just to save a few dollars - give me a nice young animal made into a curry then that is superb. It is all very simple to say get friendly with a farmer but that is easier said than done. Most people wouldn't even know where to start and a lot of people could not afford in the present economic climate to pay someone to butcher it and then to pay a butcher to cut joint it. Can't imagine many of these posters whipping out the . 243 and shooting a beast in the head (no offence to posters who do).

kay141, Aug 7, 7:41am
You are fortunate in having very friendly neighbours. I doubt I would again eat possum or rabbit. Too much 1080 and TB around now.

toadfish, Aug 7, 7:45am
I am with KOB, treat it like a game. I purchased a 99c punnett of sliverbeet last year and we ate from the 6 plants a couple of times a week... then it went to seed and guess what... I have heaps of seedlings growing now so this year we will eat silverbeet 2-3 times a week for nothing.

Buy your leg of lamb but then schedule cheaper meals to make up for it. eg a macaroni cheese can be made for under $5 with enough left over for lunches. Beans on Toast... with the knowledge that the next night is roast lamb. . Try also to make you leg into 2 meals, eg the next night shepherds pie... or lamb stirfry. .

beaker59, Aug 7, 7:47am
We are having wild rabbit for dinner tomorrow and in a week or so the 2 young goats I shot on Friday will be aged enough to turn into sausages and roasts I will buy a couple of pigs heads to provide the fat content for those sausages.

Having said that I do have a better buget than many and my firearms and equipment is expensive also being an Aucklander hunting is an expensive occupation from the point of view of transport so probably not a buget breaker unless you already live close to the hunting areas. Same with fishing its no longer cheap for a townie due to transport costs.

Options for a coastal townie are fishing from the wharf for the humble yellowtail which is delicious and NZ's most underrated fish. Or Piper etc.

But planting a garden and having a few chooks ranks above everything. Its the best thing to do and I well remember when I was a humble student living on welfare with a wife and 3 babies the garden and chook house saved us on many weeks when the budget struggled to go as far as food.

Best things to grow for return over effort and cost are silverbeet, beans and potatoes :)

toadfish, Aug 7, 7:53am
I am also with Darlingmole... I had a friend who was into wealth creation... . Well they died at 60 from cancer... . can't spend it where they are now and I just hope they didn't sacrafice the important things in life along the way.

I also know people tunnel visioned on saving for their retirement... as much as I am into planning... I am living in the now also ... soon my girls will leave home and then it will be time for holidays to cost us half as much... . But at the moment they are still happy to come so I am still happy to budget hard so we all can go. In saying that I did a trip on my own last year... . amazing! ! and completey out of our reach to do as a family... also DH didn't want to do it AT ALL lol... But I had an opportunity and as life is short I grabbed it with both hands... then proceeded to worry if Iwas up to it lol.

So yes budgets can be a B#&*h but they can also bring about some amazing things... even if that amazing thing is to know you are living within your means... . That alone can bring happiness to know you don't have debts mounting everywhere.

uli, Aug 7, 7:56am
What have the neighbours to do with it?
I now how TB lesions look.
There is no 1080 here.

uli, Aug 7, 7:57am
Well - up to you.
I eat them young or old - just the cooking method changes - the result is always superb.

kay141, Aug 7, 8:01am
Sorry, I assumed the landowners who were giving you permission were nearby.
You are lucky with the 1080. TB lesions sometimes do not show until the later stages.

darlingmole, Aug 7, 8:46am
TB lessions?

Hi Toady~! sounds like you had a good holiday eh? Not only haven't my numbers at home decreased they've INCREASED (step children have returned). I have always appreciated everyones advice on hear and above their kindness and willingness to help. I still cook frugally, creatively and experiment! My kids are my guinea pigs ha!

bella95, Aug 8, 6:03am
I used to be miserable every time I looked at a leg of lamb 'cos they're my favorite and we could never afford to buy one, now I just pretend they're pets and pat them as I walk past, always say "later baby" in my head. Still doesn't put meat on the table but amuses me so not quite so gutted about it.
Here's a great budget stretcher I learned in Italy in a different life:Try these meatballs: bulk out the mince meat with bread crumbs soaked in milk and squeezed dry, finely chopped onion, grated carrot, celery etc - (about 2 parts meat to one part rest of ingredients)- the' wet' breadcrumbs also help to bind the mixture together. Roll into balls about the size of large walnuts. Brown them quickly over high heat in oil in a deepish pot then pour over a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, some herbs, chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer slowly long enough to cook some pasta.
NOW, This is where it gets clever: Lift the meat balls out with a slotted spoon leaving most of the sauce in the pot but some still stuck to the meat balls. Put the meat balls in a microwave safe dish and put aside. Eat the pasta and lovely meaty flavoured sauce with a salad tonight (bonus if some of the meat balls have broken into the sauce). A night or two later add a dash of milk (to make a nice creamy sauce) some fried onions and about a cupful of frozen peas to the meatballs and heat in the microwave, serve with lots of mashed spud. If you're having a 'company' dinner you can serve it as two courses, pasta first and salad and meatballs later (no spud though). Hope you enjoy!
Good luck with the struggle. Just remember, if it was easy anybody could do it.

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