Oh, the excitement! We have half a cow in our freezer. AND the crazy thing is the freezer is still half full with a large block of ice that we froze inside it to help keep things cool. Which means we could theoretically put an entire cow in our freezer. Oh, the possibilities!
After talking with Mike K. about how they had purchased grass-fed beef in bulk, I decided I wanted to do the same. This was soon after we had plugged the 1951 freezer in again and it worked, which meant that storing meat was actually a possibility.
I found a local guy who raises 100% grass-fed beef and has actually had the nutritional analysis done on his beef to show the omega-3 content, which I think is very cool and very smart. I initially wanted to buy a quarter of a cow, but then found out that he only sells them by the half. After realizing just how much meat was in a quarter, I decided that just splitting a half would be too much.
I eventually found three other people to share with me, and we started the process. We were able to have it processed to our exact specifications, which meant that I had to learn about the different cuts of meat. I’m still pretty clueless but after some coaching from the seller I was able to place our order.
We picked it up tonight and all 241 pounds of it is now safely sorted and packed away in our 60-year old gigantic freezer. Very exciting.
So, the numbers. Part of the reason I wanted to look into buying in bulk was because I had been buying local grass-fed beef from Hy-Vee anyway, and it was $5-6/lb. That’s pretty pricey, but still manageable for us since we don’t eat a ton of meat. This stuff, which took maybe 4 hours of my time to research and coordinate? $2.92/lb, including processing. Without processing it was $2.35/lb. That seems pretty cheap to me.
I just did a quick Google Shopping search for ground beef, and it looks like grass-fed beef is going for upwards of $7-8/lb on Amazon. Ouch.
And this isn’t just ground beef, either. We each got 21 lb of ground beef, but the other 40 pounds of our share is steaks and roasts. So considering everything, and especially that it’s nutritionally better AND locally raised, I’m pretty happy with our purchase. 🙂