Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saving money on Beef...

So, the decision to go organic and grass-fed was an easy decision to make. Doing it on a budget? Not so easy.

Now, we are definitely carnivores in this family. If I told my husband we were going vegetarian, he might seriously consider leaving! (I kid, of course). But he'd seriously be unhappy about it!
My issue is that grass-fed beef is EXPENSIVE. The cheapest ground beef in our area is $4.99 a pound. Compared to mass produced beef that we can get for around $1.89 a pound, it's a HUGE difference.

My solution? Bulk Beef.

Living in Virginia, we have many local farms all over the state. A little research shows that there are a ton of them that offer "bulk beef". Basically, you buy a portion of a cow - a quarter, a half, or the whole thing! It can be quite confusing, especially if you (like me) are unfamiliar with butchering cuts and other things of that nature.
We have a local farm that offers packages that already have the cuts picked out for you (perfect for newbies like me!) and for around $5-6 a pound, depending on the package! Now, it's still a lot more expensive than standard ground beef (and equal to the grocery store grass-fed organic), but the $5 a pound gives you approximately the following meat:
Ground beef, T-bones, Porterhouse, Top Sirloin, Rib Steak, Top Round, Ground Beef, and Sirloin Tips, just to name a few!
The $6/lb package gives you:
Filet Mignon, Sirloin, Delmonico, New York Strip, Top Round, Ground, Eye of Round, Sirloin Tip, Bottom Roast, Chuck Roast, and 20-30 lbs of ground beef.
I find it hard to find good cuts of beef (even grain fed-mass produced beef) for around $5 a pound. And when was the last time you saw a Delmonico for $6/lb? (Especially not in the DC area!)
So I will be doing research on recipes, as I've never cooked many of these beef cuts before... but it should be an interesting experiment!
I'll be picking up our beef in early June, when I will document exactly what we get for our quarter of beef, and hopefully the recipes I use to cook it!
~~** D **~~

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sister Torture...

So my 10 month old got a hold of a fairy wand from Ave's 4th birthday party last summer. Next thing I know, I'm being called into the room to "see something".
And I'm treated to this...

I think Avery is going to really love being the big sister. Who doesn't love making their baby sister a "fairy princess". But I'm told she's just missing her fairy wings. Maybe tomorrow!

~~** D **~~

Friday, May 14, 2010

The diaper scheme...

So, I just have to say I am blessed with a husband who is willing to go along with all of my seemingly random money-saving schemes. We recently (this week) made the switch to cloth diapers. I am in LOVE with my diapers. They are so cute and soft, and not nearly as hard to take care of as I would have thought. My grandmother tells stories of cloth diapering her kids back before she had a washing machine - It's amazing just how far we've come!

My husband, on the other hand, is very much put off by the 'eew' factor that cloth diapering has. But I've found 2 things. 1 - changing a cloth diaper isn't really all that more gross than changing a disposable. And if you've ever potty trained a kid - it's LESS gross than that!
2 - to get him on the bandwagon I've bribed him, just a bit. By setting aside the money we WOULD have spent on disposables, we'll be able to take a pretty sweet vacation at the end! I think that was the main selling point for him. That, and me offering to do the diaper laundry. :)

~~** D **~~