Yesterday I took a blogging break. My parents are here visiting and I had a busy morning planned. Due to my parents being here I also haven’t done any normal grocery shopping. However, I still have a fun deal to share with you all!
A few months ago, after watching the movie Food, Inc, Nick and I felt compelled to buy only grass fed, locally raised beef and hormone free chicken (we prefer free-range but that’s been harder to find). I made myself a little spreadsheet of organic and all natural food prices at area stores in order to keep track of various prices and was shocked at how much this meat was going to cost us.
Every once in a while I would find some (at Hen House usually) for around $3.50 a pound and I would buy several pounds. I know the cheapest way to go is to buy part of a cow (whole, half, quarter), but we don’t have a chest freezer so don’t have the space for all of that beef.
A couple of weeks ago I started searching online for farms near Kansas City that raise and sell their own grass fed beef by the pound. I actually found quite a few! Most of the sites listed prices and the difference between the various farms was staggering. I finally found one farm though (North KC) that had fantastic prices! I contacted them early this week to confirm their prices and that they had meat on hand and arranged to pick up 14 pounds of beef on Thursday morning when I was up north at the airport anyway.
The price of ground beef is only $3.10 a pound and the rest of his meat prices are quite good too! I highly recommend checking out Long Livestock Company. Mike, the owner, was great to work with! He did warn me that business is picking up and I’ll need to place orders further in advance probably next time because he’s been selling out quickly. Hope this little tip is helpful to you and your family!
(Oh, and the tenderloin we grilled up last night was really good!)
If you have room for it, a chest freezer is awesome. I think ours has paid for itself many times over in bulk food savings. It was about $300. There are probably deals to be had on craigslist.
When I was pregnant with my twins, I made 25 casseroles and crockpot meals and froze them so we wouldn't have to really cook for months when the babies arrived, it was fantastic. And every fall we buy a side of beef from a local farmer, much cheaper than retail, and we get ground beef, roasts, steaks, soup bones, etc. All grass-fed and local and delicious.
It's still an ordeal with two infants out running errands, so I tend to stock up once or twice a month rather than weekly, it's so handy to to have the freezer space.
Our chest freezer is in the garage, and I can't remember what life was like without it, we surely didn't have room for all stockpiled food.
We found a local meat CSA (Community Supported Agriculture group) here in the KC area. Twice a month, we get a variety of meat and a dozen eggs that they raised on their farm. It's Parker Farms, and the website is parkerfarmsmeats.com. I think they still have openings for full or half shares. We've been really happy with everything we've gotten from them, and the cost. Also, because you get delivery twice a month, you don't need a huge freezer for it all.
Andrea, thank you for that tip! I hadn't heard of that CSA!