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  • Buying Meat



    So I have seen people post some extremely inexpensive meat prices that they have reportedly paid by buying in bulk. My wife just bought me a 14.9 cubic foot freezer for my birthday. Now we have to fill the damn thing up.


    I live in Sacramento, CA which I would have thought would predispose me to finding better deals on meat. All the ranches and farms in this area charge excessive amounts for even their halves and quarters. We are talking $7 to $8 a pound for non-grass fed beef. The grass fed beef is going for something closer to $11 or $12 a pound. I am not paying $700 to $1400 to fill up my freezer with a few steaks, a couple of roasts and some ground beef. It just doesn't make sense.


    So, anyone with experience in this area, please lend me some advice.


  • #2
    1



    Wow, for non-grassfed??

    I'm in California and have found several places that end up being about 3.50-5.00 per pound (grassfed) but they were sold out through 2009... would take orders in Jan 2010, but the beef wouldn't be ready till June or July. I didn't want to wait that long.


    I found another farmer through a "guy who knows a guy" situation, who has grassfed cows and he's going to sell for 5.00 a pound but we had to find people to split up the cow ourselves, because he doesn't have a waiting list of people who want halves, quarters, etc.


    Talk to some people and let them know what you want, maybe post something on Craigslist to see if there's a "guy who knows a guy" haha. Good luck!

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

    Comment


    • #3
      1



      Definitely ask around. You should be able to do better than that in Sacramento. But if all else fails, order online in bulk. Check out US Wellness and Slanker's. They'll ship nationwide. Ground beef is slightly cheaper at US Wellness, while cuts of beef are cheaper at Slanker's.


      US Wellness

      http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok


      Slanker's

      http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        1



        oh yeah, I was planning on ordering from Slanker's before I found this guy - their cost works out to be roughly $6/pound for a 1/4 cow. Not bad.

        Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

        Comment


        • #5
          1



          Up here in Alberta, Canada, I paid $3.89/lb CAD for grassfed/finished bison. You are getting ripped off. Search online, being a US resident you have many more options for online grassfed beef than us in Canada. If I could order organic grass fed beef from the US I would. Keep shopping, you will have to look beyond your local butcher. Order a whole cow and split it with friends or order by the quarter section.

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            trypleight, I don't think "ripped off" is the right term... it's a supply/demand thing. And if the farmer can get those prices for his meat, because there isn't a lot of local grass-fed beef, and people are willing to pay those prices, why not? But a bargain shopper will look around and compare prices and seek out other sources... that's capitalism, not "Scamming" or ripping anyone off.

            Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              1



              10 minutes and here is grass fed for $5.49/lb to $6.99/lb...shipped.

              http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/grass-fed-beef-whole.asp


              Just one site.

              Comment


              • #8
                1



                I don't think anyone else here is in NM, but you can get a grass fed cow from Keller's in Albuquerque for under $4/lb.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  FlyNavyWife I'm bot here to argue economics, the post relates to a forum member looking for a feasable/economical retailer to purchase healthy meat. Compared to what the average person is paying per pound of meat on this forum, Maleficarum is getting "ripped off". Stay on topic, we are here to help not criticize.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1



                    tryp, I am aware of what this post is about. But as a business-owning daughter of a business-owner, I'm acutely aware of the OTHER end of things too.

                    And if the farmer can get $20/pound for his beef but sells it for $4/pound while the guy next door is selling his for $20/pound (and still selling all of it since demand isn't an issue in this case... people want grassfed beef!)... isn't that having the farmer be "ripped off" in a sense too?


                    I offered suggestions for finding a "feasible/economical retailer to purchase healthy meat" before responding to your comment. So it's not like I'm just trolling around trying to make trouble or anything. Just responding to something that I felt needed a response. You can ignore me if you want. I'm okay with it.

                    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      Pikaia and trypleight,


                      thank you for your internet suggestions. All three sites are outside the price range of what I consider to be reasonable. I am not interested in paying $600+ for a split-half (quarter) of a cow.


                      I would raise a few myself if i had any land available. Seeing as i am in an apartment for the new few years and i dont see any long, lost aunts gifting my family a nice farm in Montana, i will have to wait a few years to own farm animals.


                      To clarify, what I was looking for was advice on "cow pooling" especially in Northern California and/or advice on finding a small scale (possibly a hobby farm) that sells meat at a reasonable price. Mark's coverage of cow-pooling only illustrates my problem. The two farm's he lists either do not have any livestock available for slaughter, or list prices that are above the average (compared to Slankers and US Wellness).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        If you're looking for cowpooling, I would start asking around with your neighbors, even post on Craigslist, get it out there that you are looking to split a cow. Say that by splitting the cow you can get a better price per pound than the store for the quality of meat that you're getting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          I am getting 1/2 a grass fed beef delivered today. I will be paying 3.69/pound delivered in Amarillo, TX (major beef country so our prices may be lower).


                          I found this on EatWild.com


                          Winterport Farm, operated by Dan and Susan Port, offers grass-fed beef from our ranch near Ione in Amador County, California (31 miles from Sacramento). Susanís family, the Winters, have been farming in the Ione Valley since 1867.


                          Our cattle are on pasture year-round. In the spring they are on upland pasture; in the summer and fall they graze Sudangrass grown on our farm; and in the winter dry pasture is supplemented with hay, which is also grown on our farm. We use no hormones, and animals needing treatment with antibiotics are not sold in our grass-fed beef program.


                          Our beef is offered by the split-half, half, or whole. A split half is a combination of both the front and rear quarters, and includes everything from lean ground beef to T-bone steaks. Split halves generally run from 80 to 115 lbs and require 6-7 cubic ft of freezer space. Delivery is available.


                          For more information or to order, please call or e-mail.


                          Winterport Farm, Dan Port, 2690 Highway 104, Ione CA 95640. (209) 274-4351. E-mail: ports@winterportfarm.com.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1



                            Merm,


                            I have already contacted Dan at Winterport Farm. He seems like a nice enough guy, and their farm seems respectable.


                            My issue is that they have all of their meat processed at a place called Roseville Meat Company (http://rosevillemeats.com/) and the prices are set at $6.99 / lb. My wife and I also figured out that they they way they butcher tends to "remove" the better cuts and leave you with the less desirable roasts and LOTS of ground beef. Not very helpful in this case.


                            I have done a fair bit of research into this and i am in generally very frustrated by the information i am discovering. It all sounds well and good in theory... but in practice unless you are willing to pay a sizable chunk of change for meat shipped across country it just does not seem possible to A) find a local farmer, who B) sells at an affordable rate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              So i got the following email from a local farm:
                              [quote]

                              Hi Mr. Stevens,

                              Thanks for your email.

                              We currently have two black angus steer available. We take orders now for the spring. We will butcher based on your order. Please order in 1/4,1/2, or whole steer. Instructions for special cuts can be done for orders above 1/2 steer . Pick up will be by you at a specified date in the spring after the steer have had plenty of the spring pasture grasses. If you want I can send pictures of the available steeer in there natural setting on our ranch. We are located about 30-40 minutes from Carmichael, not a long drive.

                              Please let me know if you need to make other arrangement for pick up. Cost is $5.50 / pound of cut meat. Typically a quarter of a steer would weigh about 75lbs and take up about a 7 cu ft freezer. The meat is vacuum packed and flash frozen ready for you to pick up. I hope this was helpful if you have any more questions please get back to me. Hope to do business with you in the future.


                              Thanks again for your interest

                              Sincerely,

                              Jeff Olson</blockquote>


                              This seems more reasonable that most of the farms I have found locally. At least I can actually get all of the cow that I am buying. One of the places I found actually lists the cuts they give you from a 1/4 and a 1/2 which just so happens to eliminate all of the choice cuts. But you get plenty of hamburger. *sigh*

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