How to Buy Grass-fed Beef in Bulk from Your Local Farmer

how to buy beef in bulk

I had first heard about purchasing beef directly from the farmer, from a friend.  I was concerned about the high price of organic/grass-fed beef in store, and was looking for other options.  It sounded like a great idea but I wasn’t sure where to start.  After looking around, I was able to find a local farmer and we’ve purchased from them several times.

Here are some tips from my experience on how to buy beef from a local farmer:

  1. Search the internet.  It was difficult to even find a farmer locally to purchase from.  I turned to Craigslist, searched “beef/cow” in my area and came across a local farm that sold by the 1/4, 1/2 and full.  You can also google it and there should be local farms or forums with information on where to buy.
  2. Prepare to travel.  Unless you live in a rural area, you may have to drive a bit to pick up the beef.  We drive about an hour away, but we purchase 1/4 to 1/2 each time, which lasts us 6-12 months, so we figure the drive is worth the amount we save on the beef.
  3. Decide the amount of beef you need.  Grass fed cows tend to be smaller than grain fed cows, so keep that in mind when deciding if you want a 1/4, 1/2 or full.  A 1/4 cow net us about 120 lbs hanging weight, so about 96 pounds of meat.  I figure about 1/4 pound per serving, so that would yield about 384 servings of beef.
  4. Calculate price per pound.  Farmers will quote you the hanging weight price, usually anywhere from $2.80 to $6.00 per pound.  You will generally yield 80% of that, making the true price range $3.50 to $7.50 per pound.  Many farms also charge a “kill” fee, ranging from $15-$100.
  5. Tour the farm.  You’ll want to be sure that the animals are truly grass-fed.  Most farmers will allow you to come out and tour the farm.  This is a good way to check on the health of the animals as well as the farm conditions.
  6. Pick  your cut. You can choose how thick the steaks are cut, how many steaks per package, the size of the roasts, the amount of pounds per package of ground beef and if you want hamburger patties made.  Be prepared, they will ask if you would like the liver or the tongue, which we always opt out of!  When we bought a 1/2 we were able to make a special request for prime rib at no charge.  You also may be able to request filets.  If there are certain cuts of steak/roasts you don’t need,  you can have them grind it into ground beef.
  7. Buy a deep freezer.  A deep freezer will help your meat last longer and will provide enough room for the beef.  We were able to purchase a freezer from Lowe’s on sale for $150 and it has worked great for us.  If you have an extra refrigerator/freezer, the top freezer portion should fit a 1/4 cow, but if you buy any larger, you’ll want a deep freezer.
  8. Request no fillers.  You’ll likely talk directly to the butcher in the process. Be sure that he does not add any fillers to the ground beef.
  9. Go lean.  If you prefer your meat lean, you can request this directly from the butcher at no extra charge.  The steaks and roasts will have a little less fat since grass-fed cows are less fatty than grain fed.
  10. Marinate.  Grass fed beef is a touch gamier tasting than grain fed.  We always marinate our steaks and roasts overnight in red wine vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic sea salt.  We add a little garlic sea salt to the ground beef and patties and they taste great!

Grass fed beef is a healthier alternative to store-bought beef and tends to run much cheaper than store-bought organic beef.  What are your tips on buying from a local farmer?

 

* Image taken with permission from stock.xchng

Whole Wheat “Blueberries and Cream” Muffins

blueberry muffins 001

I’ve given up dairy while I nurse Silas, as he doesn’t do well when I eat it. Though I don’t generally eat much dairy anyway, there are two foods that I really miss: cheese and whipped cream. I was thrilled to find a recipe for whipped coconut milk. It even beats real whipped cream in taste! I use it for many things, but it works great as a frosting for this whole wheat blueberry muffin recipe I came up with.

ITBHL recipes 001

 

Whole Wheat “Blueberries and Cream” Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Earth Balance spread (or butter if you can have dairy)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cup organic sugar (or 1 cup of Xylitol for a no sugar recipe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cups soymilk (regular milk works, too)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar free vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups of organic sugar free frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. 2. Cream spread (butter) and sugar in a mixer and add eggs, vanilla and milk.
  3. 3. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until all lumps disappear.
  4. 4. Mix in blueberries on low
  5. 5. Pour directly into muffin pan or use unbleached muffin liners
  6. 6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  7. 7. Cool on baking rack
https://allnaturalsavings.com/whole-wheat-blueberries-and-cream-muffins/

 

Frost with Whipped Coconut cream frosting. I use Trader Joe’s thick, canned coconut milk and discard any liquid. (To make this sugar free use 1/4 cup of xylitol instead of sugar.)

Sprinkle with blueberries and enjoy!

Natural and Organic Kroger Matchups- 5/19/13

Kroger_logo

UPDATED 5/22

Here are the best natural and organic deals at Kroger this week (5/20-5/27)

 

Simple Truth organic peeled carrots $2

Organic broccoli $1.99

 

Simple Truth frozen organic peas, green beans and corn $1.89 (reg. $2.19)

 

Dream rice milk (vanilla and chocolate) 32 oz. $1.99

$2 coupon here (they will need to adjust this down)

FREE!

 

Simple Truth organic milk half gallon $2.99

Horizon organic milk 6 pack 8 oz servings $5.99

Simple Truth organic butter 16 oz. $3.99

Silk Soymilk and Almond milk 64 oz. $2.99 (reg. $3.09- check for coupon machine with $.55 off coupon)

Simple Truth cage free eggs $2.50

Simple Truth organic and greek yogurt $1

 

Go Veggie non dairy cream cheese $2.79 (reg. $2.99)

$1.25 coupon here

$1.74 after coupon

 

Go Veggie Shreds $2.59 (reg. $2.79)

$1.25 coupon here

$1.34 after coupon

 

Select Amy’s entrees, frozen $3.39

$1.50 off any Amy’s frozen meal here

$1.89 each after coupon

 

Amy’s breakfast burritos (excludes gluten free) $2.39

$1.50 off any Amy’s frozen meal here

$.89 after coupon

 

Assorted Back to Nature cookies or crackers $2.50

Select Nature’s Path organic cereal $2.69

 

Mom’s Best Cereal $2 (through 5/26)

-$1.50 off 3 here

$1.50 per box after coupon

 

Van’s Gluten free/Whole Grain waffles $2.99

$2.00 coupon here

$.99 each after coupon

 

World’s Best all natural cat litter $8.29

Try me free rebate here

FREE after rebate

 

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Amazon Natural and Organic Deals 5/21/13

amazonHere are the best Amazon deals of the week! Hurry, their prices can change quickly!

 

All prices reflect Amazon’s Subscribe and Save price.  See below for details.

 

Happy Baby Organic Baby Food 2 Simple Combos, Broccoli, Peas and Pear, 3.5-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 16) $16.29 ($1.02 per pouch) or $15.33 ($.96 per pouch) with Amazon Mom and with 4 other Subscribe and Save (S&S) items

 

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats Rolled Regular, 32-Ounce (Pack of 4) $15.02 ($3.75 per bag) or $12.65 ($3.16 per bag) with Amazon Mom and with the purchase of 4 other S&S items

 

Madhava Organic Coconut Sugar, 16-Ounce (Pack of 6) $23.74 ($3.96 per bag) or $19.99 ($3.33 per bag) with Amazon Mom and with the purchase of 4 other S&S items

 

Luna Bars, Nutz Over Chocolate, 1.69-Ounce Bars, 15 Count $13.25 ($.88 per bar) or $11.16 ($.74 per bar) with Amazon Mom and with the purchase of 4 other S&S items

 

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flaxseed Meal, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) $12.42 ($3.11 per bag) or $10.46 ($2.62 per bag) with Amazon Mom and with the purchase of 4 other S&S items

 

Annie’s Homegrown Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, 4-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) $13.57 ($3.39 per box) or $11.42 ($2.86 per box) with Amazon Mom and with the purchase of 4 other S&S items

 

Subscribe and Save is a FREE discount program through Amazon.  When adding the item to your cart, choose “Subscribe and Save” and the time period for the next shipment.  Keep in mind, you can cancel at any time.  Once your item is delivered, and if you choose to cancel, just sign into Amazon, go to Your Account, Your Subscribe and Save items and choose cancel.  Subscribe and Save generally offers a discount of 5%.  If you are part of Amazon Mom AND you purchase 5 or more Subscribe and Save items in one month, you may be eligible to save 20% on the entire order.

Amazon Mom is a program which saves you 20% on diapers, wipes and subscribe and save items of 5 or more.  Sign up at Amazon Mom for a 3 month FREE trial period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural and Organic Meijer Matchups 5/19/13

 

Meijer

Here are the best natural and organic deals at Meijer this week!

Meijer (5/19-5/25)

*Check your MPerks account for additional savings.  See my post here on how to sign up for MPerks. Coupons may vary per account.

*Remember, most coupons can be printed twice!

 

Buy 3 Meijer Organics or Naturals items, get $1 off your next Meijer Organics or Naturals purchase, but 4, save $2, or buy 5+ save $3 off your next purchase.

 

Organic raspberries $3

Meijer Organics portabella, baby bella  or grill cap mushrooms $2.50

Organic strawberries $2.99

 

Go Veggie shreds $2.50

$1.25 coupon here

$1.25 each after coupon

 

Select Kashi cereals $3.00

$2/2 coupon here or here on Recyclebank

$2.00 each after coupon

 

Newman’s Own organic salad dressing $3.59

$.50 coupon here (Meijer will double to $1)

$2.59 each after coupon

 

Deboles gluten free angel hair pasta $2.39 (reg. $2.79)

 

Maple Groves sugar free pancake and waffle mix or gluten free mix $2.99 (reg. $3.29)

$1 off 2 Maple Grove products here

$2.49 each after coupon

 

Maple Groves dark amber maple syrup $7.49 (reg. $7.99

$1 off 2 Maple Grove products here

$6.99 each after coupon

 

Meijer Naturals Whole Wheat pasta $.99 (thanks Bargains to Bounty!  For more Meijer deals go here.)

Deal idea:

Buy 5 Meijer Naturals Whole Wheat pasta $.99 each

Pay $4.95

Get $3 back to spend on your next Meijer Naturals or Organics purchase

$.39 each item after $3 back!

 

Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic Food pouch $1.10

$.50 off any Happy Family item (Meijer will double to $1)

$.10 each after coupon (thanks Bargains to Bounty! For more Meijer deals go here.)

 

Seventh Generation liquid laundry detergent 100 oz. $10.99 (reg. $12.99)

 

Don’t miss the weekly deals, follow me on Facebook!

 

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