Saturday, July 31, 2010

Save Money: Buy More Meat!

As you know, meat is a big part of a performance and health diet, but it can get expensive to keep the cuts of meat constantly varied! One solution is to buy bigger parts of the animal to cut down on cost and the number of trips you need to make to a butcher or store. Some people will buy a whole cow while others will split parts of the animal with groups of people. While the cost upfront can be steep (upwards of $2,000 for a whole cow), it will save you money in the long run because the cost per cut goes down. Plus, you don't have to head out to the store as much. All you need is some planning and enough freezer space. Deep freezers are ideal if you have the room for one. 

Here is an excellent guide by Iowa State on what cuts of beef and pork look like and what to expect when buying in bulk. It's very thorough and goes through things like the differences among live weight vs. hang weight vs. cut weight; plus it has colorful pictures of different cuts of beef so you can actually know what the difference between a NY strip and T-bone are: Beef and Pork Whole Animal Guide

Eat Wild has a listing by state of farms that will sell whole-eighth of animals, here is the link for my Pennsylvania friends, but you can get to any state from here: Eat Wild - PA

Have you bought animals in bulk? Would you consider doing it if a group of people went in on one?


  1. Hey Chris, I started research on this same subject a month or so ago. I haven't found anyone else willing to purchase an animal with me, yet.

    I'm trying to provide people with numbers to justify the purchase. I used this site: to estimate the edible meat take at 400 pounds (6400 ounces, conservative). I figure my family would eat about 24 ounces a day. So, I'm looking at a cost of $7 a day or so for top-notch beef (using your $2000 figure above), and enough meat to last my family for 266 days. Does that seem right to you?

  2. been thinking about this for a while now. gonna have to do it, get me some good ole grassfed.

  3. I'm up for going in on a group purchase.


  4. Why did this make me think about The Oregon Trail?

  5. Has anyone ever considered keeping chickens for eggs?

  6. Timmy G,
    Not sure how big your family is, but it seems about right. Do you even have the space for something like that??

    All you need is a shotgun and a thousand rounds! Or at least that's what I bought in the store before heading out on the Oregon Trail.

    I actually looked into keeping chickens for eggs (not that I have enough space to do that, but I did it out of curiosity) Turns out you need a whole lot of chickens to make it worth it. Between the cost of land and the actual space for them to live, (even if they lay an egg a day) it's not worth it unless you have a whole bunch or if you only have a few eggs a week. Good question though!


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