Lets start with this plain and simple fact. When I eat ethically- pasture raised meat I feel like this..
But when I realize the toll it takes on my wallet I feel like this:
At $5 lb for just grass fed ground beef. I can’t do it. I have about $80 a week budgeted for groceries for two people. That may seem like a lot, but I make food a priority and make cuts other places just to be able to afford that much. I get a CSA box every week for $30, which leaves me $50 a week for meat and other groceries. When I factor in the other groceries I end up with about $40 a week for meat. (give or take) Now comes the nitty gritty math. My SO and I eat 3 meals from home most days a week. We rarely go out. Everything we eat comes from this grocery shop. I also count on us eating between 4 and 5 ounces of meat at each one of these meals. So..
(4.5 ounces x 3 meals a day x 7 days a week)/(16 ounces per pound) =Pounds of meat needed
Which comes out to 5.9 lbs or 6 lbs of meat per person per week. For each week I need to buy appropriately 12 lbs of meat a week to feed both my SO and me. That means..
$40 per week/12 lbs= $3.33 per lb
I can spend $3.33 per lb on meat a week. I know that might’ve been boring, but I needed to make the point that even $5 lb for grass fed ground beef is out of the question. After watching “Food Inc.” and reading Don’t Eat this Book along with It Starts With Food I can’t bring myself to buy conventional meat. I know what is healthiest for me and for me, buy spending a bit more on groceries I sidestep more then $500 a year in doctors bills and painful visits. These are my choices and I do whatever I can to make them.
Back to the title. I started trying to find a better way to buy cheap meat. I started at this blogger page: Figuring Out the True Cost of Meat. This Awesome post gave me an idea of what to ask for when I got the information for the local butcher. When I got the information for the local butcher, I emailed him asking about value cuts of ethically raised meat. When I got the email back, he told me I could get pasture raised lamb necks and ribs for $1.99 lb. Seriously, $1.99 lb! Along with turkey necks for $1.99 lb and pasture-raised center-cut beef shanks for $3.49 lb. Amazing. These aren’t the promo cuts of meat that most people think of when they think of lamb or beef or turkey, but the price is right and taste really good when slow cooked. It requires a little planning, you may have to start a couple hours before dinner or pop it in the crockpot before you head to school or work, but if this kind of meat is important to you, then it is well worth it. I am including steps below to help you figure out how to make this work for you.
How to Acquire Ethically Raised Meat for Much, Much Less:
1) Google it. Google your city, town or state and grass fed, pasture raised meat. Find a local farm, c0-0p or health food store with information on how to get ahold of them.
2) Email or call the butcher. Ask them about “Butcher Cuts” or specific cuts of meat that you know to be tougher or less popular. They will most likely have them or be able to get them pretty easily. You will probably have to special order them through a co-op or health store.
3) Pick up these special cuts (you may have to contact a few butchers or co-ops or stores to find a good price but, it is well worth it).
4) Find good recipes, cook and eat.
I will be posting recipes for these odd cuts, as paleo recipes for these cuts seem to be fewer and further between on the internet. There are many ethnic recipes for these cuts and I will be “paleoizing” them for uses of these meats.
Hopefully that is a help!!