Would you consider becoming a Frugaltarian?

I don’t know if you are in the habit of checking your till receipts after every food shop, I know quite a few people just place them into their shopping bag or purse after packing and then forget about them. If you haven’t checked yours for a while, then I wonder if you could do me a favour just for arguments sake. Next time you do a big food shop take your receipt, have a quick scroll down it and tot up just how much money you have spent on meat in that one shop alone. I always find it shocking just how large the pound signs are next to those multi-packs of meat on our shopping receipts so my wife and I recently decided to – just for a couple of nights per week – kick meat out of our meal plan, we were pleasantly surprised at just how easy it was to do.

I’m sure we don’t need all that meat

There have been times in the past when I’ve thought about being a vegetarian, especially when I see some of the stuff that gets pumped into some animals and the conditions they are kept in. For some reason though vegetarianism has just never seemed truly practical and I know it sounds awful but I just love the taste of meat. Even though I enjoy meat, I do wonder if we really need it in every meal. I don’t think we do and I’m not so sure it’s even healthy, so we started thinking about alternative recipes for our new meat free days.

Take chilli for example. Chilli is a very easy meal to cook for the family and you can even stick it in the fridge, reheat it and have it over two nights if you want to make life a bit easier. With this one we decided that – instead of using mince – we would make a 5 bean chilli instead, it was gorgeous! Throw in a few fajita wraps, some guacamole, sour cream and salsa and boy was it a good meal. Another meal that I like is a simple chicken, leek and potato soup with dumplings. The thing is, does it really need the chicken? Personally after eating it without it I really don’t think it does, not every time anyway. Especially if you pay that little bit more attention to seasoning.

Do we buy meat as a force of habit?

So do we really need all that meat or do we just naturally buy it because we’re accustomed to doing so? If it could knock £10 or £20 a week off of your weekly shopping bill, would you consider becoming a Frugaltarian? Cutting out meat purely for budget reasons, even if it is just for a couple of nights a week? Even if you don’t need to cut your budget down, would you consider some meat austerity just to help with your savings and investments? With a saving of just £10 a week you could be saving or investing an extra £500+ a year. Is that worth a couple of nights a week without meat or are your carnivorous habits just too entrenched?

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20 Responses to Would you consider becoming a Frugaltarian?

  1. I check the receipt because there is almost always a mistake at the store’s favor! We buy meat killed in the village, kill our chickens or go to the local butcher, my boyfriend wants meat every day but when I am on my own I do with very little meat, more for health reasons than money. It is expensive but better eat good meat rather than a ready to microwave vegetarian dish. If you cook from scratch there are lots of recipes that do well with half the meat.
    Pauline @ Savvy Scot recently posted..A lifetime of savings part 3: saving money in your 40sMy Profile

  2. moneystepper says:

    We have almost cut out meat from our food at home (we get food at work for free) because of the price. Salads, vegetables, cheese, beans, lentils, etc at home. We sometimes buy steak as a treat, but meat only forms part of our meals maybe once every week.

    On the other hand, we do buy and eat fish more frequently at home, which is possibly even more expensive that meat…
    moneystepper recently posted..Investing my ISA allowance. Should I invest it all at once?My Profile

  3. We don’t omit meat from our meals on purpose, but we do have at least one pasta night during the week that does not include meat. When we do our meal planning we do more of a “inexpensive meal” vs “expensive meal” comparison. Many of our meals are on the inexpensive side (even if they do include a meat), with one or two of our meals being a little extra special (like a steak or pork chip) and thus costing a bit more.
    Brock @cleverdude recently posted..Success is All About ChoicesMy Profile

  4. I’m a vegetarian, and in my experience I think you’re exactly right that most folks just buy meat out of habit. As long as you educate yourself about nutrition, there’s no real reason why you need meat – and as you said, it’s not always a healthy option if you’re buying the cheapest products thanks to the way most commercial meats are raised for slaughter. One thing is for sure – it definitely saves money to skip the meat (at least sometimes)!
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted..3 Sneaky Ways to Save During CollegeMy Profile

    • Adam Buller says:

      My wife also mentioned the point about the health implications of buying cheap meat last night Kali. I suppose this could be one of those occasions where less really is more, at least where our health is concerned anyway.

  5. I love the idea of the Frugaltarian. You can find less expensive meat to purchase, but going vegetarian even just a few days a week can be a big money saver. I really like vegetarian burritos. They are quick and delicious!
    Leonard @ The Wallet Doctor recently posted..How to reduce your food costsMy Profile

  6. Alex says:

    Red meat is being revealed to bad for us in general. They contain preservatives and nitrates that are a vehicle for cancerous cells.

    They do however contain essential proteins and sulphur, but it’s mostly bad news for meat eaters. I’m one of them and it is completely normal, but whether you call it science or propaganda red meats are bad for us. AND EXPENSIVE.
    Still, for the most part I could not go without. I like the sound of your mince meat-free Chilli though. Yum.
    Alex recently posted..Do you have what it takes to be a strategic saver? Take the test!My Profile

  7. Daisy says:

    I am a vegetarian and always have been. This isn’t to save money; in fact, I became a vegetarian when I was three because my mom told my animal-loving self where the ham I was eating came from. As I grew into adulthood it became less of an animal thing and more of a social responsibility (and admittedly, taste and texture) thing.

    It does save a ton of money, and it’s much healthier too (provided, of course, that I’m eating a balanced vegetarian diet, which isn’t always the case).
    Daisy recently posted..How NOT to Use Your Credit CardMy Profile

  8. I’m seriously considering becoming veggie as I find I can’t digest meat as well as I used to, it makes me feel sluggish. Plus from a money viewpoint it’s certainly ‘food for thought’ lol. Hey, your idea to cut out the meats and save the difference could be the start of a new ‘Latte Factor’! Maybe the ‘Donner Kebab Factor’? Get that trademarked quick before someone pinches the idea ;-)

    Seriously though this is a really original post. As a dedicated carnivore all my life I’ve never thought about the financial impact of meat-buying in this way before.
    Wealth Tortoise recently posted..I Won The Lottery! Sorta…My Profile

    • Adam Buller says:

      I know that meaty sluggish feeling well. I do seem to feel so much more active both physically and mentally after the veggie meal, haven’t really thought about that until now. Ha, I wish I had the time to concentrate on another idea! I’ll be gutted if someone becomes a millionaire frugaltarian by coining my phrase. :-)

  9. Mark Murray says:

    I’m not exactly a frugaltarian but I spend money wisely and I rarely splurge.

  10. weenie says:

    For those who can’t give up meat totally (like me), I’ve just made my meat portions smaller.

    For example, in the past a pack of 2 large chicken breasts would make two meals for a single person (when I’m eating on my own). These days, on the day I buy the meat, I immediately dice it and then split it into 4 portions. I freeze 3 of them for future meals and cook the one, supplementing the smaller portion of meat with more veggies.

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