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.
That seems like a really good price - would you say that is higher or lower than average?
I buy commercial store beef, and consider anything less than $4/lb a good price, even on ground beef.
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I live in farm country, many people raise beef cattle so I have no doubt the supply keeps the price down.
I asked about cost at the processor. The processor sells beef but doesn't have a retail store, people just know to call and place an order. The processor buys from local farmers. Their sides are $2.59 per pound for regular beef, not specifically grass-fed or organic.
I would guess both of the prices are lower than average. The beef I bought is from a farm that raises them as a gentleman's farming type of hobby. They have a small herd (20 or so at a time) and sell only to people they know.
The processor's price is likely below market average for a side. Like I said, they don't have a retail store so their costs are low.
Ground beef in our local stores is around $2.75 for the fattier mixes and up to $4 per pound for ground round.
That's a great price. It's a tad more here with the local ranch but it's certified organic and vac-sealed packages. I'd totally do it but need a freezer first!!!
My place here though always sells organic ground beef for $3.75 a pound in individual packages. Not bad. It's 80/20 though but I am absolutely fine with that, not a fat-o-phobe, I'm more a carbophobe ;)
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