Can you still afford to eat red meat?

The cost of red meat has increased at the highest rate of all food products 1  – can you still afford to buy it in 2018?

As The South African reminds us, ‘food prices have absolutely skyrocketed over the last few years’ 2.  A nation of meat-lovers, we are now starting to feel the effects. Food costs are rising, and with some regret, sales of red meat in South Africa are dwindling. The impact of financial pressures has, it seems, reached the kitchen table.

A report by Caterwings found that ‘the rise in meat prices’ had led to a ‘20%’ decrease in meat consumption across South Africa last year 3. In 2018, The South African predicts that VAT hikes mean that high food prices are not going to go away.

The daily struggle to keep things going

Fin24 summed up the difficult financial situation that South African householders faced last year: ‘a high unemployment rate also fuelled higher levels of uncertainty regarding job and income security, … the same time a decline in credit extension by banks and retailers led to households having to adjust their purchasing and spending habits’. 2

The result is that many households across South Africa are facing financial challenges in 2018. The impact of price increases on things that we use daily and take for granted we will be able to afford, like petrol, bank charges and food, means that consumers are facing a struggle to maintain their established financial habits.

We have all had to be more creative with how we spend our earnings and maintain our daily financial demands. The rise in the use of alternatives to traditional banks is a prime example of customers utilizing the full range of resources at their disposal; modern alternatives for finance, such as Wonga, are seeing huge growth, as we are left to explore new ways to respond to an ever-increasing demand on our personal finances. Meanwhile, many of our more-traditional financial institutions appear to be doing little to ease our growing financial burdens.

Creativity and choice are the new financial order

Thus, it is no surprise that personal debt is on the rise and banks are out of favour. Left to face a daily crisis, consumers are looking for immediate and practical solutions to increased financial demands. Making the decision to find alternatives to red meat is indicative of the benefits that increased consumer choice has on a difficult economic situation.

Although a forced economy, a reduction in the consumption of red meat has its benefits in 2018. As well as more money in your pocket, you could also consider the potential health benefits that eating less red meat can bring.

Proteins have experienced a growth in popularity in recent years, and there are many nutritious products that have significantly reduced in price as they have become more widely consumed. The choice of grains and pulses on the supermarket shelves is also much richer and far more inviting than the offerings available a few years ago. Further, with the surge in more plant-based diets across the globe, there are a vast range of new alternatives to red meat on the market.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the weekly shop and see if you can make some welcome savings?

Are you still eating red meat or have you found cheaper alternatives? What are your best tips for making savings on household costs? We’d love to hear from you.



The South African