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Old 02-23-2004, 09:08 PM
Amanda's Avatar
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Location: southeast Wisconsin
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Buying a side or whole beef

I wondered if anyone here has ever thought of buying a side of beef, or even the whole thing? I just did this, and while it was a lot to come up with at once, it is going to save me TONS of money at the grocery store!

There's a local farm here (amongst the many farms) that the family has been in the area since the 1800's. Their farm is very clean, the animals are well fed and clean and it's a complete family affair. Anyway, I ordered a whole beef. They charged me FMV (fair market value) for the beef and I had to pay separately for the cutting and packaging.

The cow weighed in at 1,448 when it went to the packing house. He told me that you usually get about 55% of the live weight. We ended up with 778 pounds.

The price to the farmer was $1,056, but he said if we paid cash we could round it to an even $1,000.

The price for the meat packing house to cut it to our specs, package it, label it, and box it was $352.

So we paid $1,352 for 778 pounds of beef = $1.74/lb!!

Man you can't even get good hamburger for $1.74/lb! Out of that we received 8 standing rib roasts. Those roasts are $20-30 each in the grocery stores. We received tons of round, sirloin, t-bone, and porterhouse steaks. We received rump roasts, chuck roasts, chuck arm roasts, beef stew meat, and boatloads of hamburger.

We sold half of it to my stepbrother, the other half fit perfectly into our chest freezer. And let me tell you, this is the BEST beef I have ever eaten. in fact, I don't think I will ever buy from the grocery store again!
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:26 AM
Jenna's Avatar
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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WOW! What a great deal, Amanda!

We have been considering doing the same thing, but we don't have a freezer right now. We are seriously considering buying one though.

With the BSC problem here in Alberta, farmers are having a tough time. Many of them are resorting to selling their own animals, rather than losing 2/3's of what they used to get paid on the open market. The farmers are passing on the deals to the customer directly. Apparently, you can go to a farm and chose the animal you want. It is then sent to slaughter, properly inspected and handled and you can chose how you want it cut. There are a number of farms in my area that sell beef without the use of antibiotics and hormones. We eat as much natural food as we can, so this option really appeals to us!

Better get looking for the best deal on a freezer!

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Old 02-24-2004, 07:50 AM
Abear's Avatar
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Location: Heart of Cajun Country
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Way to go Amanda!

My parents used to do that...until they bought a big deep freeze, they only bought a side of beef. As soon as we got the big deep freeze, they started buying the whole beef. I don't remember noticing a difference in the ground beef but those steaks & roasts sure were better than any from the grocery store!

I know we have a place not far from here that slaughters hogs. Never heard of them doing beef.....after your post, I need to check into that!

FIL has been wanting to give us his deep freeze as it is twice the size of ours. Looks like I may be taking him up on his offer!
Hook 'Em Horns!!!!
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:35 AM
Amanda's Avatar
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Funny thing is, even if you factored in the cost of a new freezer at say $400, the cost per pound would still be $2.25 per pound, still a far cry from the $7.98/lb for a t-bone
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,238
Wow Amanda-

That is quite an awesome deal. Makes me almost wish we ate beef again. Now if I could just find a farmer who raises chickens or turkeys. Found one for goats but other than milk for soap, they wouldn't do me much good... although I 've heard they are really good natural lawnmowers!

Too bad you don't live closer, I could've used the extra beef parts for tallow. You wouldn't believe how expensive it is to buy that.

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