“I’d love to quit eating confinement raised beef, but grass-fed is just too expensive!”
Being a farm girl, this statement used to make me scratch my head …until the first time I actually looked at grass-fed meat prices at a popular organic food chain.
Yikes! Now I know. And now I sympathize.
Eating healthy sure takes a chunk out of your pocketbook. Well, really, eating anything at all does.
But with most things, there are ways to make that chunk a little smaller. Grass-fed beef can’t be any different, right?
- Eat less. I’m guessing this isn the solution you’re looking for, but hear me out. I’m one of those “eat more protein” kinds of people, so far be it from me to ever say you’re eating too much of it, but did you know that bone broth enables you’re body to better more efficiently utilize protein? That means that you won’t need as much of it. And of course, there’s the old standby of beans, eggs, and such as cheaper protein sources. (Check out this article for some great ways to eat more beans).
- Find a farmer. Many grass-fed beef farmers -ourselves included – keep beef on hand to sell by the pound, and it’s most likely going to be cheaper than (not to name names, but…) Wholefoods.
- Join a CSA. Many farmers offer a CSA on their meats. Which means that you pay a monthly subscription for a certain number of pounds. The details vary from program to program of course. The Benefit of joining a CSA is that you get a better price per pound, and you don’t have to have a ginormous freezer to store half a beef. A CSA will be cheaper than buying it by the cut, but probably no as cheap as the next option.
- Buy beef by the 1/4, 1/2, or whole. If you have the freezer space, this is probably going to be the new price per pound that you can get. If you’re afraid that even a quarter beef might overfill your freezer, check out this article to see a break down of weights on a beef we took in. If it won’t fit, I posit that buying a freezer just for beef, will pay for itself in the long run.
- Buy cheaper cuts. Why buy a sirloin tip roast when you can get round roast for little more than half the price? Look, maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot here, but the chuck roast tastes just as good y’all. And do you really need filet mignon? The first time I ever had one was last year – and then only because we raise our own beef. Sure it’s tender, but it doesn’t taste any different.
- Make bone broth. Soup bones are cheap, and if your lucky, your butcher, or your farmer’s butcher will save bones for you. As I said above, bone broth not only contains protein, it enables your body to better utilize other proteins you ingest. It’s also super nutritious in general. There’s a reason why everyone tells you to drink broth or eat soup when you’re sick. (NOT canned broth from the store – that’s different.)
- Bonus Tip: Go hunting! Here we are, coming up on hunting season. Deer meat is cheap, and all natural. Don’t be squeamish! Try it!
Your turn! Do you eat grass-fed beef? And if so, what are your money-saving strategies?