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Don’t Have a Cow, a half will do: How to purchase organic beef by the half or whole animal

After grumbling and complaining about the prices of organic meat, we got together with friends to look into the buying half a cattle (black angus beef).  Here is what we found:

Cattle from Librock Farms in Western NY

1. Quality:
a) We first tried the beef by way of a small package of ground meat that we made into the juiciest burgers I’ve ever consumed. So, infinitely higher quality than what I’m used to.
b) Keep in mind that after a year in the freezer beef will start to lose it’s flavor and nutritional value, so make sure you don’t buy more than you can use in that period of time. We went in on our purchase with 2 other families to manage the amount.
c) Find out what the animal is being fed. Ours is grass fed, grain finished to ensure the beef has just the right amount of marbling. It was also raised naturally with no growth hormones or antibiotics.

2. Economy:
a) Typically your beef will be about $3 per pound. You will not come anywhere near that in a store.
b) You will need to have a separate freezer. Take that into consideration in your investment.
c) Be smart about how it’s processed. If you have it all turned into hamburger you will probably pay more than if you bought it at the grocery store. You want your beef broken down into steaks, roasts, ground beef, prime rib, filet Mignon, skirt steak, London broil, etc.

3. Convenience:
a) For your initial purchase, you’ll need to make an appointment with the farmer, or meet them at their booth at the local farmer’s market.
b) Once you get the meat home, 99% of it will be frozen so you’ll need to plan meals ahead for the week so that you can allow time for defrosting.

c) I find it extremely convenient to always have meat on hand at home and not have to worry about extra trips to the grocery store.

If you feel you’d like to save money on organic meat, have the capacity to store a year’s worth of meat and you consume enough beef that it’s worth your while, take a trip to your local farmer’s market to meet the source of the meat and get all the specifics on cattle feed, processing, inspection and packaging.

And hey, if you think you’ll get bored of beef, get half a pig while you’re at it – we did!

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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  1. 10 Ways to Be Healthy on a Budget - LEAF Lifestyle - November 5, 2013

    […] are popular for fresh, local fruits and veggies, but they may also be able to supply your meat. Buying a whole animal, or going in on one with friends is a sure way to slash your meat costs and still get high quality […]

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