I see the beef by the half or quarter topic come up once in a while so I thought I would post about my November 2011 costs.
We buy a side of beef each year from a friend fo the family. It is grass-fed and while not organic, the farmer strives to keep it close to natural as possible.
My total cost this year was $1,108.44 which worked out to $2.86 per pound cut and wrapped in butcher paper. Vac-wrap was a $0.40 per pound up charge.
Live weight was north of 550 pounds, I can't remember the exact weight and the side finished out at 387 pounds. Processing was $276.94.
Ground beef typically accounts for 50% of a side of beef. I like chuck roasts, which are usually made into ground beef. Of the 387 pounds, 147 was ground beef and the remainder was roasts and steaks.
I hope this info is helpful to anyone researching buying beef by the half or the quarter.