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 **~~

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