What to do when you can't get grassfed butter...
I'm new around here, but read The Primal Blueprint a little over a year ago. At the time I was vegan (and had been for over ten years), but was looking into other things because I just wasn't thriving on it despite eating very healthy (by conventional terms at least). But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
I currently feed a family of three on $200 per month. That is all that we can afford to have when it comes to a grocery budget. We don't spend money on other frivolous things such as cable, though we do have internet because it's needed for me to work. Up until about five months ago I was managing the local organic market, because of this I was getting a huge discount between my employee discount and my ability to bulk-buy from our distributors. I was able to stock up on a lot of great things, and that market is the only place in town that sells anything like grassfed butter. I still have a pound in my freezer, and I have a jar of coconut oil, however, I simply don't have the money to continue to buy their grassfed butter now that I no longer work there and am not getting heavy discounts. A package of 4-sticks of grassfed butter is a little over $8 there. The next place to get it, which is a little cheaper, is an hour's drive and obviously if I can't afford groceries I can't afford the gas to travel that far right now.
My question is...what would you do in such a situation? This isn't a case where I can pull the money from other areas, we simply don't have the money. I also tend to use my butter to make ghee. Obviously my choices are use the coconut oil (not a great substitute for every use of butter!), use traditional butter (maybe still make into ghee)...or...buy online if I can find it cheaper. I just hate this because I've done insanely well in my grocery budgeting to the point that our freezer is full of great local grassfed meats so we don't need to buy any for a while...it's only the butter.
So again, what would you do?
Sorry for the rambling >_<
Do you have a Costco you could go to? They carry 3-packs of Kerrygold for ~$7.
Nope . I also was reading an article about them and how the 10%ish that isn't grassfed may be given feed that is genetically engineered -- which is something I have been avoiding for about five years now. But...if I have to make a sacrifice it's better to go to that than traditional butter that could contain 100% GE feed. Ugh I hate this! I'm normally great about "shopping in round." I buy things like butter and veggies/fruit (which I then freeze part of) one month, then the next I focus my budget on the meats. It has meant not having to compromise anything this past year. The good thing is that I'm starting a better job and our grocery budget will be increasing once we pay some things off...to about $350 (maybe more) per month. But for now...this stupid butter issue.
Originally Posted by quikky
I wonder if the commissary has it -- maybe one of my military friends can look and maybe get it for me there.
Well, making ghee will certainly help, but isn't this expensive? You lose so much. If you are using coconut oil as a sub on many butter uses, and you are not spreading butter on bread and potatoes, are you really using that much butter? Do you think that the amount you are using really will affect your health? I am just putting out questions for thought. I use kerrygold. But when I run out, or are given some food by a neighbor (such as in a potluck), I just don't sweat it and eat the regular stuff.
I typically make ghee because my body seems to tolerate it better than using straight butter (even butter made from raw milk), and I also love the increase in shelf life. The coconut oil I really only using for things like sauteeing vegetables. With my two older kids coming this month (making us a family of five) and the holidays coming up before we will be able to increase our grocery budget -- I will be needing more butter. If it was going to be a stick or two I wouldn't mind just using conventional, but I hate to use conventional when I'm going to need at least a couple of pounds over the course of the holidays cooking for our family of five plus my husband's family (both sides). Argh I may just have to give his family the cheap stuff and make him give up some of his gross food (this guy lives on Hot Pockets and Cinnamon Toast Crunch) for us to get the grassfed butter.
Originally Posted by mjahrens
Is there maybe a cheaper source online where I'm not spending $8 a pound? Or maybe of ghee since it would ship easier?
Wanted to clear up that it's not that I'd give them the cheap stuff because I don't care, but because they don't :-/. They already think I'm a quack.
Butter is roughly 80% fat, 1% solids, the rest is air and water. Making ghee is losing air + water + 1% non fat solids. You don't lose much ...
Originally Posted by mjahrens
If you aren't aware most grassfed butters allow for a small percentage of grain feed... Buy Kerrygold its quite cheap and is readily available. I too was only eating fresh never frozen pastured everything between my girlfriend and I we were easily spending $1,000+ a month on food. I still only buy grass fed beef but I primarily buy ground beef not 24.99 a lb steaks. Eating good food is outrageously expensive.
I mean I've had no trouble affording things -- I shop in "rounds." One month I spend the bulk of my budget on things like veggies, fruit (both of which I freeze some of and other I buy frozen), butter, gelatin, nuts, etc. Then the next month I focus on meats. I've found that it's the best way to afford eating well. I've been feeding my family on the $200 per month and eating almost 100% organic and grassfed. But that, again, was also getting discounts at work which I really am hurting without right now lol. It gave me about 20% off. I think I will be able to make it when we go up to $300-$350 per month, but right now...no way.
Originally Posted by paint94979
I also didn't know that about grassfed thank you for letting me know, however I still have never seen Kerrygold around town here anywhere. I'm going to see if the commissary has it, but if they don't I know nowhere else does .
It's been a while since I shopped at our Commissary but when I did they kept the kerry gold in the section by the deli with the fancier cheeses not next to the dairy section where the other butter/shredded cheeses and such were located.
Originally Posted by ConsciousChristi
ConsciousChristi: What about other alternatives? Last time I purchased a 1/4 grass fed cow, I asked the farmer to throw in some beef fat, and they gladly gave me 20 lbs of beef fat free of charge, which I rendered into tallow. I'm sure they would have given more but that was plenty for me!
Another option would be pastured pork fat rendered into lard. Can't get much healthier than naturally fed animal fat
The only drawback to this would be that there will be some residual flavors, but it isn't too extreme. I'd imagine that trimming the fat down to mitigate the leftover skin/meat connected to the fat chunks would help with this somewhat, but I kinda like the flavor myself. You may just have to be cognizant of this when using in taste-sensitive dishes.
Try to contact local butchers, or grass fed/pasture farmers, and see if they'd be willing to give you extra fat trimmings for free, or at a very low cost (since these items would likely just end up being trash otherwise).
Rendering@home is dirt simple: add fat to a slow cooker or large pan, leave on low heat until the fat melts. Filter it through some cheese cloth into a cooking tray or other container lined with parchament paper and let it harden. I took my 20# and broke it into rough ~.5-1lb chunks, and wrapper these individually. I keep the bag of chunks in the freezer, and pull one out at a time to use for my cooking needs.