I love steak but for as long as I can remember, steak has been a ‘special treat’ food that I could afford maybe once a fortnight. Amazingly, with one tiny (and arguably more convenient) change to my shopping habits I can now afford to eat it when ever I like! Even for lunch! When the idea of buying a whole beef rump was first suggested to me, my initial thoughts went a little like this… no way! what on earth would I do with a whole chunk of cow?! anyway, there’s no way I could afford to spend $40 on a bit of steak!!. However, by the end of the three hour car journey, I had been well and truly convinced to give it a go and made it my mission to acquire a reasonably priced piece of arse (the mythical budget rump) on my next trip to town. Of course the idea behind buying in bulk is to get good value for money so it only made sense to shop around. There are only three choices of rump retailer in my closest (220Km away!) town.
1. Woolworths – As a large chain supermarket with a brimming fresh produce section, it would only be logical to assume that Woolworths would offer the best price for a whole rump. When I arrived in the store they only had pre-cut and packed rump steaks on the shelf but I asked and the deli staff who were more than happy to package me up an uncut rump from the back. I was offered a choice of two sizes, both priced at $11.99/kg. This seemed a little pricey at $49 for the large rump so I moved on and I’m glad I did.
2. Richie’s Butchers – A small, independent, local butchers shop that stocks only meat from local farmers. Richie’s had about 25 rumps of different sizes to choose from that ranged from about $28-$50. All were priced at $7.89/kg. As you can see in the picture, this is where I bought my rump.
3. Super I.G.A. – At a later date I visited the Independent Grocers of Australia (I.G.A.) to check out their arse selection and I have to say, I was quite impressed by their wide chioce of rumps and even more impressed with the price at only $5.99/kg!
Being someone who loves a good bargain, I tend to shop around alot. Up until now I have always found (in the UK at least) the chain supermarkets to be the cheapest but perhaps lacking in value areas such as animal welfare and offering local produce. Here in Australia this seems quite the contrary. My rump hunt pleasantly surprised me in that the big chain brand was actually trying to rip me off whereas by visiting the IGA or the independent butchers I could actually support local businesses, local farmers, eat local produce raised to high welfare standards AND still pay the cheapest price!
So how much cheaper is it?
As a quick comparison of value for money, Woolworths sells three ranges of packaged pre-cut rump steaks. The cheapest, their ‘market value’ range, would set you back $16.99/kg or $8.99 for just two steaks. If you’d like to pay more however, they also offer a rump roast for an enormous $21.99/kg! (as can be seen here: Woolworths Beef Rump). By way of comparison, I.G.A. offers for sale THE EXACT SAME CUT OF MEAT (bought in a bigger chunk for $5.99/kg. That’s almost four times cheaper not to mention the added value of supporting local farmers and high animal welfare.
To be perfectly honest, as I had never even seen one before, it was pretty daunting to be faced with the task of cutting up a whole rump (it looks pretty gross with the fat still on and it was bigger than my head!). I probably went a bit over the top but I laid some plastic bags down on the work surface to catch any blood and carefully removed the rump from the plastic wrapping. From this point on I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but magically, about half and hour later, I had steaks and lot’s of them. Luckily I have a big deep freeze so packaged them in two’s and stored them in the freezer.
As a final thought, had I bought my meat from Woolworths, for $37.82, I could have had a maximum of one rump roast and four steaks. Instead I ended up with no less than 26 steaks AND a rump roast. That’s like getting 12 free steaks and all I had to do was cut it up! This just goes to show how one tiny change to my shopping habits has made the absolute most of my budget and you can do the same!