How much do you spend on meat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-31-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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We eat meat, but we're certainly willing to eat less.  My husband is looking for a new career, and currently not receiving a regular pay check.  We're trying to sort out our budget, and looking at places to save money.  We buy ethically sourced meat, which is most often more expensive.


If you buy meat, what do you spend weekly or monthly?


What % of your weekly/monthly grocery budget is spent on meat?


We have two solid food eating kiddos and one nursling.

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#2 of 15 Old 08-31-2013, 07:30 PM
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We are big meat eaters here. It is one area we are trying to cut down on. We currently buy a meat box with 50 lbs of meat for $109 that last usually a month and a half. We also buy 10 lb boxes of fish for $26 since we eat that every Friday. The meat box has all sorts of cuts like steak,pork chop,hamburger,etc. Forgot to say that the fish should last us at least 2 months.

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#3 of 15 Old 09-01-2013, 03:27 AM
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I think we are not big meat eaters.  We have about 1 - 2 lbs per day for the 4 of us.  I would actually like to increase it but DH and my boys don't seem to be interested. (They all have type A blood and I have type O.)  Local ethical beef cost over $5 a lb here, so it's over $300 for a 60 lbs box. :o Even conventional stuff aren't exactly cheap either, probably $4 - 5 a pound.  Chicken is $3 a pound for whole bird, boneless meat cost more. Eggs are about $3 a dozen and fish cost similar to beef.   I would say about 1/4 of our grocery budget is spent on meat or alternatives. 


My mom lives in California and always have sticker shock when she comes here. :) But it's not too bad.  I've been to many smaller cities and towns in Canada and groceries cost up to 50% more.


*Ah, found some data.  This chart shows the average retail prices of groceries.  Just look at the last column for the latest.  I guess I was right our prices are average to slightly below average in Canada. :)

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#4 of 15 Old 09-01-2013, 07:20 AM
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I purchase all our meat at Costco.   Here's what I usually buy for a month.

2 packs of chicken breast organic(12 chicken breast each pack) -45

2 packs of ground beef organic( 3 packs per pack) -34

Bacon 14

Sausage 6

Steaks 40

2 London Broil roast 25 

Around 164 a month.

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#5 of 15 Old 09-01-2013, 09:08 AM
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My little one is gluten and dairy free so we eat a lot of meat...I usually spend about $100 on meat a month...We eat a lot of chicken but I do buy pork and beef and some roast and seafood if on sale...


I am on a strict budget for food and when I go the meat if the first thing I shop and stock up for...Then I base my meals around that...

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#6 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 11:55 AM
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We don't eat a ton of meat...I like to cook mostly vegetarian meals and sprinkle in a little bit of meat here and there.  It's me, DD (9) and DS (7).  I will usually split a package of ground beef or buffalo in half and use half for something like tacos and the other half in meat sauce or chili.  I feel like I cook WAY more balanced when I'm cooking vegetarian, so I like to keep most meals that way and add in meat 1 or 2 times a week.  That being said, I probably spend less than $50/mo on meat.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 01:58 PM
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I'm vegetarian but my kids are omni.  We do probably 3lbs of ground beef and one whole chicken in the crockpot a month.  That's it.  We only do organic chicken and organic grass-fed beef.  It's so expensive that we can only afford a little so they eat mostly vegetarian.  They would prefer more meat but I'm unwilling to buy them conventional meat now.

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#8 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 04:16 PM
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If I put my mind to it, I could be vegetarian, but my husband grew up on a ranch/farm and loves meat.  But he likes to buy it in bulk on sale if he can't get it straight from his parents' ranch (which I think is the best way to go).  Perhaps spend $20 a month on it?

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#9 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 04:37 PM
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I will only buy ethically raised meat and then only beef and chicken.  We are happy to eat less meat but have better quality.  I would be fine with a meat dish maybe 1x per week or less.  Kids and DH want more.  It has taken almost 20 years to get DH to admit he does not need meat every day :) 


The best prices I found were when we bought 1/2 a cow from a local farmer.  Totally pasture/grass fed.  I think last fall we paid about $500 for half a cow.  I wish I could remember exact per pound but we figured it out and it was cheaper then buying the feed lot stuff in the store.  And I cannot even begin to imagine what the porterhouse steaks would have cost in the store.  We actually still have about a third left.   We are a family of 4.  The farmer we buy from only allows a whole or half cow but I know many places let you order a 1/4.  Plus you can always go in on half a cow with someone else.  It is a lot up front, but can certainly work out in the long run.  


We have also raised our own meat birds but skipped last year because of all the beef.  I don't know if raising meat birds saved us any money as we fed organic feed.  But on the other hand the best chicken ever.  


Normally to save on chicken I buy whole birds.  My DH has become quite good at cutting them up into parts after our meat bird year.  So if I do not plan to cook the whole thing he will cut up into parts to freeze and use as needed.  Legs, wings, breasts, tenders etc.  

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#10 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 05:22 PM
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We are big meat eaters- in fact it is most of what we eat.  Last year we went through 3 hogs (one was free but I had to pay the processing- the total for all three was $900), 80 chickens (I raised them- they all weighed 7#s and it cost $550 total), 5 ducks (3 were free but I had to pay processing and I bought 2 so the total was $55) and 1 steer (I don't know exactly but I believe it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 to raise it and butcher).  So that ends up being $2505 for the year so a bit over $200/mo.  The only thing I buy at the store for meat is the very occasional salmon or scallops.  Otherwise we eat absolutely no conventional meat.  

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#11 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 06:01 PM
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For cost - I paid $5.79 for a 1lb. chub of grass-fed ground beef today. Sometimes we can find it on sale for $4.99/lb.


If cost was no object we would probably eat upwards of 3 to 4lbs a day for a family of eight. We can't currently afford to do that, so it is closer to 2lbs a day right now and we still eat some conventional.

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#12 of 15 Old 09-02-2013, 07:04 PM
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I buy two chickens a week - about $12 for 2.  I cut them up and make them into several dinners.  These are normal, conventional birds.  Twice a month or so, I buy a pound of sliced ham for sandwiches.  Sometimes, I will  get 2 pounds of ground turkey for about $6.  That adds up to about $75 a month for a family of 6. 


Since I do not buy grass-fed meat, it is not a large portion of our budget.   Produce is our biggest grocery expense.   We eat a mountain of fruits and veggies and those will run $60-$80 a week.  We also eat a lot of nuts, about $10-$15 a week.  

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#13 of 15 Old 09-03-2013, 07:56 PM
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Around appropriate holidays, I buy turkeys and hams to freeze. Always less than $1/lb., sometimes "free with $50 purchase" or whatever. My little chest freezer will hold about 5 or 6, so I need to use up the Thanksgiving turkeys in time for the Easter hams. Each one feeds my family for several dinners, plus soup, plus sandwiches, plus some cubed, back into the freezer. That is the majority of our meat purchase for the year. Occasionally, I will buy a large bag of frozen skinless, boneless chicken thighs. These are never a main course - more like a minor ingredient of a casserole or stir-fry. Maybe once in 2 months, I will buy the roasted chicken at the market - it costs about the same as the raw whole chicken. That makes the entree one lazy night, in stir-fry the next night, and soup on the 3rd. 


BigGirl and I would be happy to be vegetarian, but YoungSon is 17, and very physically active. He works out at the gym daily, in addition to playing basketball. I think he needs the concentrated protein of meat, and I can rarely be bothered to cook separate meals. So we do eat some meat nearly every meal, but not always as a main course. I imagine I spend $25/month on meat, if you average it out.

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#14 of 15 Old 09-04-2013, 06:36 AM
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I do what Mamarhu does and save large turkeys or hams. We just roasted a ham that had been in the deep freeze for some time. It's less than $1 per pound, but the bone & fat is part of that, so maybe $1 per pound of usable meat. We used the bones as flavoring in slow-cooked green beans. In the past we have used them for ham soup.


I have stopped keeping really close track of what we spend on groceries since I'm pregnant and starving and I figure anything we cook at home is still cheaper than eating out. So I'm not sure about the other costs to our family right now. We did buy a bulk box of meat from a local butcher (they have packages that you can choose from, and you can customize, to make sure you get items you will eat). 


We buy meat when it is marked down and freeze it for later.


I make a chili recipe that calls for 2 lbs of ground beef, but I use 1 lb of ground beef and some TVP. It's cheaper and you can't taste the difference since the TVP absorbs the flavors from the spices. 

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#15 of 15 Old 09-11-2013, 07:17 AM
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If you are able, buying beef by the half is a good deal.  I recently paid $4.30 per pound for natural, family-farm raised (went straight from the farm to the butcher) beef.  The per pound price included the processing.

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