Friday, November 25, 2016

Meat: The Most Expensive Food Group

Have you ever thought about how many dollars a year meat is costing your family? Meat is the most expensive food group there is. When I talk about this food group, I include all red meat, pork, ham, chicken, turkey, lamb, corned beef, veal, fish and all seafood. If you hunt, then you would also include what it costs to have that  meat processed.

Since Hubby and I want to eat healthy but also keep our meat costs down, I decided to do some research. These numbers are for two adults our ages. Our bodies need at a maximum 3-6 ounces of meat or protein a day. At the maximum of 6 ounces per day that equates to 2190 ounces annually per person or 136.875 pounds of meat per person or 273.75 pounds of meat for the two of us a year. 

If we spend an average of $ 3.50 per pound of meat, it would cost the two of us $ 958.12 a year. If we buy no meat over $2.00 a pound then it would cost us $ 547.50 a year. No matter what average dollar amount you spend, it is a hefty part of your food budget.

Most Americans eat way more than the 3-6 ounces of meat or protein that your body requires per day. Eating more than is required is not healthy for a number of reasons.  Red meat is a huge source of cholesterol and eating extra meat or protein is hard on the kidneys especially as you get older. The medical community has also linked it to cancer and other diseases.

We are meat eaters in this family. However there are many days that we can get our protein requirements by eating 3-6 ounces of nuts, eggs, or beans instead of meat. We also try to eat more turkey, chicken, and fish than red meat. If we have bacon or sausage for breakfast that will be included in our total for the day. The 6 ounce limit for each of us is per day not per meal.

By cutting back to the proper food portions, you will not only help your health but you will keep more dollars in your wallet. So if you are looking to cut costs and increase your net worth, this is a perfect way to do it.

We plan on trying to stick to no more than 274 pounds of meat for us in 2017. Sometime next month I will take inventory of how many pounds of meat I have stockpiled in my freezers. If I have more than that, I will not be buying any meat during 2017. If I have less then I will take advantage of rock bottom prices until we reach the limit. I will be tracking our consumption very carefully. 

With judicious planning for us and when we have company eat with us, I believe that we can stick to that amount. I can include company because we are planning on having one or two meatless meals a week. This should not only make us healthier in 2017 but put more money in our pocket to invest during 2017.

Do you want to be healthier in 2017? Do you want more money in your pocket to pay off debt or invest during 2017? Then join us as we go through this challenge next year.


  1. Interesting challenge! Thanks for sharing. We don't spend the majority of our budget on meat - fruit & vegetables are by far more expensive for us. We are still trying to reduce waste (the biggest crime with produce purchases). We are really good with fruit - we tend to freeze it for smoothies or turn it into something else. Vegetables get away from us a bit more. Good luck with your challenge!

    1. Hi Hawaii Planner,

      I would imagine a lot of foods are a lot more expensive where you love than ours. Thanks for sharing about your fruits and vegetables.

  2. I buy about four pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast every two weeks. I feed a friend a meal when he visits and send home another meal. My top price I will pay is $1.99/lb. Lots of times it is $1.59. My top spending would be $200/year for meat, probably less.

    I eat some peanut butter, not much, 10 pistachios every day, and beans but not so much lately.

    I will eat a bit of bacon and ground pork, but very little. my friend eats part of that, too. I average an egg per day, gotten from my hen in the yard.

  3. Hi Linda,

    That's a great way to keep meat prices down. I only wish Hubby would eat so little chicken a week but alas he would not. I love that you have your own hen for eggs. Thanks for sharing.