We have always purchased our meat in the grocery store at rock bottom sale prices. So if ground beef is on sale at $ 1.99 a lb., we would buy 10-20 lbs. and freeze it. If we happened on a mark down on organic we would grab whatever they had. Lately I have been buying ground turkey to replace ground beef which I have done sporadically over the years. We do have about 2 lbs. left of ground beef in our freezer.
I don't know if you have noticed but we have over the past couple of years. The ground beef that we buy in our area is awful unless we buy 93-97% lean. For most of all of the years we have been married, we always bought ground chuck and it was wonderful. It had good flavor and good taste. For a few years now, the ground meat has not been marked ground chuck. It says ground beef. So what is that? It's anyone's guess.
The butchers don't even grind it more than once. Half the time I get it in large chunks and regrind it myself with my Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment on my mixer.
I have a lot of allergies and digestive issues since we returned from Arizona. I had some before we went there but they seem to be worse since we came back to New York. We have done some research on those and have found that some of them might be relieved by buying grass fed, no antibiotic, no hormone, no animal part fed meat. It seems that some of my allergies could be being caused by what the animals I eat are being fed. I am not a doctor but Hubby seems to think that it would be worth the cost of buying this grass fed meat because of these problems. So we are thinking about taking the plunge this fall.
My son has always purchased his meat this way. He has bought a 1/2 cow every year until he found that they had lots of meat left at the end of that year. So this year he ordered 1/4 cow. He orders it from the same place every summer and then picks it up in the Fall. This year he paid $ 4.65 a lb. no matter whether it was ground beef or T Bone steaks. We are seriously considering placing an order along with him come summer. Perhaps we could even get a better price if we ordered the 1/2 cow and then just split it. Of course I realize that prices fluctuate every year, so it could be more expensive come Fall but so will the meat in the market then. I believe this is the most cost effective way to get the beef that we want.
Since we eat less beef than other things like chicken, turkey, and fish, that 1/4 cow might last us two years which is fine. It keeps very well in the deep freeze for that long. My son has done it and so have I.
You all know that we have been eating from our stockpile to save on groceries. We just buy what we really need each week. Now we will definitely be eating from our freezers so that we will have the room next Fall. My son's 1/4 cow took up 1/2 of his freezer space and since we have the same size freezer that is how much space I will need.
So meat will definitely cost us more this year. However we think it is worth it for our health. While we are eating down the freezer, I will be saving the money to buy that 1/4 cow from our grocery budget.
I have also found the cheapest source at a market in another town in case we run out of beef before we order the 1/4 cow.
Now I need to research pork (which we eat very little of and may give it up or not), chicken, and fish. I know very little about those meats.
Do any of you buy grass fed beef? If so what kind of chickens and fish do you buy? I am very interested.