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Super cheap ground beef - Page 3

post #41 of 75
We do buy locally, and it is very expensive, no way around it. The meat we buy for the freezer has to last the season-once it's gone we have to wait for when the farmer is butchering/selling more. But, this is our choice.
post #42 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
We do buy locally, and it is very expensive, no way around it. The meat we buy for the freezer has to last the season-once it's gone we have to wait for when the farmer is butchering/selling more. But, this is our choice.
Especially with meat, I've found the opposite to be true. We've averaged probably $2.25 per pound for beef over the years... locally raised, grass-fed, non-certified organic. I can't even buy ground chuck for that price, let alone steaks and roasts. Last year, I was able to get a side at a total cost (including processing) of $1.89/lb. If local is very expensive, I'd look for a different cattle farmer/rancher. Right now cattle on livestock markets are only about 85 cents per pound.
post #43 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Especially with meat, I've found the opposite to be true. We've averaged probably $2.25 per pound for beef over the years... locally raised, grass-fed, non-certified organic. I can't even buy ground chuck for that price, let alone steaks and roasts. Last year, I was able to get a side at a total cost (including processing) of $1.89/lb. If local is very expensive, I'd look for a different cattle farmer/rancher. Right now cattle on livestock markets are only about 85 cents per pound.
I think that would likely depend on the area as well. I have been searching for grassfed meat at a price I could afford for years now, this I am getting at $3.63 lb(final weight) is by far the cheapest I have found. The other 2 closest farms that sell 100% grassfed are around double that cost. I could get cheaper from a local cow man. However, his is not 100% grassfed, they are fed grain as well and considering the benefits of grassfed I would much prefer to pay a bit more and get a better quality. Around here there are very few farmers that don't feed some grain, it is really a speciality around here- even though lots raise cows. It is still thought that you have to feed grains to put weight on the cow. However, I am very happy w/ the price for the quality- as you said that is the cost of steaks as well which is a steal.
post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Especially with meat, I've found the opposite to be true. We've averaged probably $2.25 per pound for beef over the years... locally raised, grass-fed, non-certified organic. I can't even buy ground chuck for that price, let alone steaks and roasts. Last year, I was able to get a side at a total cost (including processing) of $1.89/lb. If local is very expensive, I'd look for a different cattle farmer/rancher. Right now cattle on livestock markets are only about 85 cents per pound.
Wow that is really awesome. Do you have to have a deep freeze? I'm not sure how many pounds a side is? What area are you in? We are in Delaware. Obviously we have the Amish Farmer's market. There meat is a little higher than what I pay at the grocery store, but maybe it is an option in the future.

I still appreciate the info from the original poster. I appreciate everyone who posted the other options as well.
post #45 of 75
I've never seen prices like that. We can't get better than $3-4/lb for a side of beef. You can get cheaper at Walmart.
post #46 of 75
I am glad that going to your local farmer, pointing out a bird or a pig or a cow, and then walking out with your meat at a reasonable price is a viable option for some people here. But I think assuming everyone can or should be able to do it is a bit of a stretch.

For one thing, around here you can only get a good price if you order in bulk. So to come up with $100-$250 at a time for meat can be a bit difficult when you're living paycheck to paycheck with bills to pay.

Additionally, while I can believe cheap, local, organic, ethically-raised meat is easy to come by in some places, it's not that simple depending on where you live.

I understand the ethical concerns, but I think if it was between feeding my kids or not feeding my kids, I'd feed my kids.

I also understand the health and safety concerns, and would love to hear more about mitigating those if one has no other choice than to buy cheap boxstore meat.

I'd also love to hear other practical, frugal alternatives.
post #47 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
There are more than two choices.....organic or Walmart.

As I mentioned, Costco (if you have one nearby and happen to have a membership) still has cheap hamburger, but it is tested more than Walmart hamburger is.
But not everyone has a Costco. Or the $50 to put towards a membership once a year. Also, Costco ground meat, around here, is around $2.99/lb. Great price, considering they double test their meat. Still out of reach for a family barely making it, though. And regular grocery store meat is the same as Walmart meat. All are processed the same way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post
This has very much not been my experience. The vast majority of my household meat was processed at a local locker. The one main exception to that is the chicken we eat. We go to the farm and help the farmer butcher one weekend every summer. The locker employs just a few people (who all seem to like their jobs). My DH has had many conversations with the owner. I feel I can go and check out the locker just as I could check out the farm where my meat is raised. They also are highly skilled and get the order right every time. I also know the meat came from the animal I purchased not 100 cows all mixed together. Anyway all meat is not the processed the same way anymore than it is raised the same.

And before I get branded as an elitist that pays $75 a pork chop. We paid about $1.25 per lbs for the last 1/2 of a hog we bought and they also take food stamps. There are other choices in the marketplace.
And that is an excellent price! Unfortunately, I only see that price in a super store sale. As in, once a year, maybe. Around here the cheapest I've seen is $3/lb for a whole hog, conventionally raised. Otherwise we are talking $5lb+. Without processing fees. And it's great you have a local locker to do the slaughtering for you. We don't. As for getting the animal you picked, I didn't say they would mix it at the big slaughterhouse, just that the nasty stuff will go on even with your organic meat. They don't change knives or slaughtering practices just because it's organic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I am glad that going to your local farmer, pointing out a bird or a pig or a cow, and then walking out with your meat at a reasonable price is a viable option for some people here. But I think assuming everyone can or should be able to do it is a bit of a stretch.

For one thing, around here you can only get a good price if you order in bulk. So to come up with $100-$250 at a time for meat can be a bit difficult when you're living paycheck to paycheck with bills to pay.

Additionally, while I can believe cheap, local, organic, ethically-raised meat is easy to come by in some places, it's not that simple depending on where you live.

I understand the ethical concerns, but I think if it was between feeding my kids or not feeding my kids, I'd feed my kids.

I also understand the health and safety concerns, and would love to hear more about mitigating those if one has no other choice than to buy cheap boxstore meat.

I'd also love to hear other practical, frugal alternatives.
Thank you, AnnetteMarie! I was starting to think I was crazy or living in a crappy area with no options. I've looked and looked and looked for inexpensive organic meat. Even at buying the whole animal, it's STILL more costly than sale meat. I know I can get steaks for super cheap, but I never get steaks. What do you say to families that can only get the super cheap cuts of meat? Telling them, 'well, you are paying more per lb for ground meat, but less for your filet mignon' means nothing, since they don't get the filet mignon.

Ami
post #48 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
But not everyone has a Costco. Or the $50 to put towards a membership once a year. Also, Costco ground meat, around here, is around $2.99/lb. Great price, considering they double test their meat. Still out of reach for a family barely making it, though. And regular grocery store meat is the same as Walmart meat. All are processed the same way.



And that is an excellent price! Unfortunately, I only see that price in a super store sale. As in, once a year, maybe. Around here the cheapest I've seen is $3/lb for a whole hog, conventionally raised. Otherwise we are talking $5lb+. Without processing fees. And it's great you have a local locker to do the slaughtering for you. We don't. As for getting the animal you picked, I didn't say they would mix it at the big slaughterhouse, just that the nasty stuff will go on even with your organic meat. They don't change knives or slaughtering practices just because it's organic.



Thank you, AnnetteMarie! I was starting to think I was crazy or living in a crappy area with no options. I've looked and looked and looked for inexpensive organic meat. Even at buying the whole animal, it's STILL more costly than sale meat. I know I can get steaks for super cheap, but I never get steaks. What do you say to families that can only get the super cheap cuts of meat? Telling them, 'well, you are paying more per lb for ground meat, but less for your filet mignon' means nothing, since they don't get the filet mignon.

Ami
And we all do the best we can, I say no guilt. There are different options in different areas and different dietary needs/restrictions for different people. My mom is currently getting raw milk for free as my uncle is just throwing it away as he gets too much, really how many have that option? Some people are great friends w/ farmers raising veggies and get some fruits and veggies for free, many people don't have that option either. I doubt anyone here on MDC is just sticking their head in the sand and not trying to exhaust every opportunity to get the healthiest food that they can afford for their family.
post #49 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
I think that would likely depend on the area as well. I have been searching for grassfed meat at a price I could afford for years now, this I am getting at $3.63 lb(final weight) is by far the cheapest I have found.
One thing that ties into this is the area in which you live. Where I live (north GA), it's considered "lazy" to do grass fed beef. So, sometimes, you can find a farmer that'll sell you grass fed for pretty cheap. It has to be someone that doesn't realize it's trendy, though. They have the mindset that grain fed is better, and so, more expensive.

All that said, I still struggle coming up with the money for a side/whole beef and the extra freezer I'd need to store it, so we buy grocery store meat.
post #50 of 75
It's hard to be in a place where you have to choose between eating grocery store meat or eating at all. BTDT. For a year I fed my kiddo Tyson chicken thighs as his main protein. Just tonight I read on a blog about the working poor:

"I’ve also seen a sister quit a job pulling visibly diseased tissue off of Tyson chickens on a production line rather than get campylobacter one more time."

:Puke
post #51 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
I think that would likely depend on the area as well. I have been searching for grassfed meat at a price I could afford for years now, this I am getting at $3.63 lb(final weight) is by far the cheapest I have found. The other 2 closest farms that sell 100% grassfed are around double that cost.
You should see a considerable drop in the cost of beef. In the past it cost me $1.00 a pound (including cut and wrap) to raise a steer. It would be less if I had more but we only raise one steer at a time. This upcoming year the price of beef to buy a calf has come down so much that it will be less then 50cents a pound including cut and wrap to raise.
post #52 of 75
For those mamas having a tough time finding local organic beef, ask around for small farmers who raise beef.

We get nearly organic beef at less than $2.00 pound (including the butchering fee). We only buy 1/4 steer at a time.

It's not fully organic as the farmer does use non-organic corn at the end to finish the steer, but it's primarily grass fed on grass that is not sprayed, etc.

I know this isn't an option for all mamas in all areas, but I never imagined we could get beef this healthy (and tasty) at such a low price until we did start asking small farmers if they raised steers for sale to the public.

Our farmer raises just a few for their own consumption and it's not a big deal for him to add in another for us.

ETA: I just had another thought, too! Check around next year at your county fairs. We noticed this year that the market steers sold for under $2.00/lb. These are steers raised by FHA/4-H kids. Your end cost would be higher because you'd have the butchering fees. I raised steers as a kid and would often have 2-3 buyers go in and then they'd split the meat (because a full steer was too much for their families).
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
All that said, I still struggle coming up with the money for a side/whole beef and the extra freezer I'd need to store it, so we buy grocery store meat.
A freezer, a place to put it (garage? basement? storage room?), and the electricity to run it. And, in some areas, a generator to keep the freezer running in the event of likely power outage (in FL, we could easily lose power for a week if a hurricane came close by)--or else you are bbq-ing your year's stock of meat for the neighbors before it goes bad

Those are some significant start up costs!

I do hope to be in the position to buy meat this way in the future, but it is not my reality atm.

As it is, we limit meat. We eat a lot of beans and eggs. Meat is often added to those meals for flavor, but in small amts.
post #54 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
A freezer, a place to put it (garage? basement? storage room?), and the electricity to run it. And, in some areas, a generator to keep the freezer running in the event of likely power outage (in FL, we could easily lose power for a week if a hurricane came close by)--or else you are bbq-ing your year's stock of meat for the neighbors before it goes bad

Those are some significant start up costs!

I do hope to be in the position to buy meat this way in the future, but it is not my reality atm.

As it is, we limit meat. We eat a lot of beans and eggs. Meat is often added to those meals for flavor, but in small amts.
If I was starting to make the transition from Wal-Mart meat to humane/locally raised/pastured meat I would start with chickens.
1.They should be easier to source locally in most places.
2. You can buy just a couple and put them in the freezer.
3. They taste so much better.
4. Sometimes people will sell necks and backs for cheap (they make the best stock.)

I have found the premium over conventional to be the highest (about 3X even after we help butcher), but still the cheapest overall per lbs.

I am a meat as flavor gal too. We make pho with chicken or shrimp stock, but no actual chicken or shrimp. I'll also make white bean soup with ham stock and no actual ham.
post #55 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post
I am a meat as flavor gal too. We make pho with chicken or shrimp stock, but no actual chicken or shrimp. I'll also make white bean soup with ham stock and no actual ham.
See though, dh and I don't do well on a low meat diet. I've been vegetarian before (closer to vegan, since I'm allergic to dairy). Did NOT do well on it. I have issues with hypoglycemia and even 'good' carbs like steelcut oats, I just can't have alone. So while using meat as flavor might work for others, it doesn't work for me. One, I'd need to use obscene amounts of fat to try to counterbalance the carbs or just add some protein, like a couple eggs.

For some people, eating a grain/carb heavy diet isn't doable. I don't do low carb, but I need much more protein than someone else. Getting the shakes and brain fog just isn't a healthy way to live. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get the cheap source of protein in dairy (well, not cheese, but yogurt & such). Maybe that's why my forays into a low meat diet have been unsuccessful?

Ami
post #56 of 75
I was a vegan for many many years & I can't do carb heavy meals anymore either.

Would love to see a thread on how to eat healthy frugal meals w/out the carbage. It was easy in the summer when produce & greens were plentiful but out here in a new hampshire small town, the frugal pickings get slim in the winter.
post #57 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KariM View Post
ETA: I just had another thought, too! Check around next year at your county fairs. We noticed this year that the market steers sold for under $2.00/lb. These are steers raised by FHA/4-H kids. Your end cost would be higher because you'd have the butchering fees. I raised steers as a kid and would often have 2-3 buyers go in and then they'd split the meat (because a full steer was too much for their families).
All 4-H/FFA steers here are fed almost solely grain. It's pretty much impossible to finish a steer that starts at 600 lbs in 4-5 months without grain. One of my projects while I was in 4-H was figuring out rations to get the highest yield. I actually won an award my first year for my steer having the highest average daily gain. Of 4+ pounds. Way off topic, but just so people know, those steers are rarely grass fed in my experience.
post #58 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
See though, dh and I don't do well on a low meat diet. I've been vegetarian before (closer to vegan, since I'm allergic to dairy). Did NOT do well on it. I have issues with hypoglycemia and even 'good' carbs like steelcut oats, I just can't have alone. So while using meat as flavor might work for others, it doesn't work for me. One, I'd need to use obscene amounts of fat to try to counterbalance the carbs or just add some protein, like a couple eggs.

For some people, eating a grain/carb heavy diet isn't doable. I don't do low carb, but I need much more protein than someone else. Getting the shakes and brain fog just isn't a healthy way to live. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get the cheap source of protein in dairy (well, not cheese, but yogurt & such). Maybe that's why my forays into a low meat diet have been unsuccessful?

Ami
I guess I'm not sure I consider either of those dishes are high carb (that's different than they would work for you too). The pho does have rice noodle made with white rice, but also mung bean shoots, often tofu, and greens plus enough hot sauce to make your nose run. The bean soup has ham broth, beans, onions, carrots, garlic, and greens too. Anyway both have plenty of protein just not from animals. Dh also makes a dish with sauted greens, lentils and veggies, and then a poached egg. It sound a bit strange, but it's a super good dish. The blog dishing up delights had a version I cut and pasted in here


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Friday, October 23, 2009


Don't forget about my agave giveaway!

Braised Lentils with Swiss Chard and a Poached Egg
(Lightly adapted from Serious Eats who adapted from Last Night's Dinner)

Makes 2 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup French green lentils
1 bunch winter greens, such as kale, chard, collards, etc. (I used swiss chard)
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
Splash of lemon juice or sherry vinegar (optional, I forgot and it was fine)
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 eggs
post #59 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
We've averaged probably $2.25 per pound for beef over the years... locally raised, grass-fed, non-certified organic. .
Dang, for real? The price quotes I've been getting are over $6/lb!!
post #60 of 75
I don't think our WM sells meat. We have smaller WMs here, not Super WMs. We shop there less and less anyway (less to do with finances and more to do with ethics).

I recently read Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel. I found it at our public library (free) and WOW! I learned a whole lot about our current food systems and the history that has brought them to current day. I highly recommend everyone read this book to educate oneself. Poor people, rich people, everyone. The author addresses poor people's needs more than any other author I have read thus far on the "food" topic.
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