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How much should you spend on meat at the supermarket?

Fact Checked Fact Checked

It’s no secret that trimming the fat on your grocery bill goes a long way to beef up your savings. While meat can make up a large chunk of your supermarket spend, you don’t need to fork out big bucks to get some pork on your fork.

Below, we reveal how much Aussies spend on meat at the supermarket per shop for comparison. We also provide a guide that includes the average spend on meat by state, household size, income, age group, and supermarket, plus listed some budgeting tips.

How much do Aussies spend on meat per shop?

Aussie households spend an average of $37 on meat (including seafood) at the supermarket per shop, according to a Canstar Blue survey of supermarket shoppers*. If you do your grocery shopping weekly, this equates to about $148 a month or $1,924 a year. The cost of meat and seafood products per shop (assuming a weekly shop) would make up about a quarter of the average weekly grocery spend in Australia − $152.

Here are some other meaty facts about meat preferences, as found in our survey:

  • Nearly a quarter of Aussies (24%) eat meat every day, while nearly one-fifth (18%) have considered eating less meat for health or environmental reasons
  • 18% try to purchase ethically-sourced meat (i.e. free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, etc.)
  • Over a third of Aussies (38%) would eat more seafood or fish if it was less expensive
  • Another 37% try to cook different types of meats to experiment with meals/recipes.

Woolworths bags

Which supermarket is the cheapest for meat?

This table displays the average spend by supermarket, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 6,000 Australian shoppers.

Supermarket Average spend on meat per shop
ALDI $24
Woolworths $27
Coles $42

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2022.

Our survey found that Aussies who shop at ALDI tend to spend less on meat per shop ─ $24 ─ than those who shop at Woolworths or Coles which has an average meat spend of $42 per shop ─ nearly double that of ALDI. This may suggest that shoppers are willing to spend more on quality meat products sourced from local suppliers, with Coles having an advanced farm-to-store model. Just keep in mind that Australian meat retail costs will vary between supermarkets, based on factors like supply and demand, production costs (i.e price of grain, etc.), seasonality, and distributor pricing (what a supermarket pays to source and stock a particular product).

What’s the cheapest type of meat?

Aussie shoppers tend to spend less on chicken than on any other type of meat $15 per shop − which may explain why it’s the most commonly purchased type of meat, according to our survey. Meanwhile, people spend on average a whopping $48 on pork per shop, which is the least popular meat, according to our research.

  • The average spend for beef was $23 (per shop)
  • The average spend on lamb was $44 (per shop)
  • Seafood costs on average $47 (per shop), based on our consumer research.

Average meat spend by state

This table shows the average spend on supermarket meat and seafood products per shop across Australian states, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 6,000 shoppers.

State Average spend on meat per shop
South Australia $34
Tasmania $35
Western Australia $36
Victoria $36
New South Wales $37
Queensland $38

Source: Canstar Blue research, December 2022.

As outlined above, households in South Australia reported the lowest average spend on meat, while Aussies in Queensland and New South Wales spend the most on meat per shop, to the tune of $37 and $38 per shop ($4 more).

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Top 5 tips to save money on meat at the supermarket

  1. Shop meat at the end of the day: Supermarkets typically discount meat products nearing their used-by date at the end of each day to make way for fresher stock the following day. This means that shopping in the afternoon around 4pm or 5pm could save you big dollars on a rump steak or seafood! Keep your eye out for ‘reduced’ stickers.
  2. Try a meat-free meal once a week: Going meatless one day per week could save you about $40 a month and make family dinners healthier by substituting animal products with veggies and plant-based alternatives like tofu and lentils. Win-win.
  3. Buy meat in bulk: You can often bag a bargain by buying meat in bulk when it’s on sale and freezing the lot for later. You can also try buying meat in bulk from a wholesaler or butcher.
  4. Buy cheap cuts of meat: Buying cheap meat cuts like chuck steak and chicken drumsticks could not only save you loads of money in the long run but also help you whip up fancy dishes like Beef Bourguignon and Coq Au Vin to impress the family. Oui!
  5. Compare prices: Check out the price per kilogram of your favourite meat cuts and seafood (known as the unit price) and compare prices from different supermarkets and butcher shops. Keep in mind that supermarkets typically release their weekly specials on Wednesdays.

*Survey based on shoppers who have purchased and eaten a supermarket homebrand meat product (i.e. steak, mince, cutlets, etc.) from a supermarket in a four-week period – in this case, 6,000 people.
Megan Birot
Home & Lifestyle Editor
Megan Birot is an authority on the Australian consumer shopping industry, gaining her expertise from over five years in the comparison industry. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and Public Relations from Griffith University and has been featured on national media including 9 News and 7 News.

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