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Old 01-05-2013, 06:00 PM   #21
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We found a farm on Eat Wild.com.

We just got our second half of a cow, second half of a pig, and our first lamb from them. The cow half had a hanging weight of 194.5 lbs. The pig half was 123 lbs (hanging weight) and the lamb was 50 lbs hanging weight. All told we paid $1810.88 for our meat that will likely last us 18+ months. I should point out that this is grass fed beef, pastured pork and lamb. We got it 1 hour from us this time, but the last time we got it about 2.5 hours away (at the farm... they have a drop point in a nearby major city that we got it from this time). We transported it in the boxes and honestly that is fine unless you pick up on an unusually hot day. They have it in deep freeze so it has to rise in temp just to get to freezing (if that makes sense). If you were really concerned, bring a heavy blanket to put on top and that should help. If you have access to a LARGE cooler then that might be good too. But if not you should be fine. We were when we got our last side in April.

http://www.ourunplannedlife.com/2012...l-of-food.html This basically shows how we did things this time. You can see the box size based on my 4 year old. Our freezer had lots of veggies from our CSA in it from last year. So basically we have 3/4 of our freezer is meat and the rest is veggies or the few randoms that we have in there. We have a 19 cubic foot chest freezer. I HIGHLY recommend that you get a chest freezer as opposed to the upright kind. The upright kind are normally frost free and this can wreck havoc with your meat long term. The chest freezers need to be defrosted (about once a year is what we have found) but do a better job and preserving food. The con is you have to dig for things. I personally can't go into our freezer right now. DH put it all in there and he knows where everything is. The day he brought it home I was in the throws of morning sickness so I didn't even pay attention. We did have to remove the sliding baskets from our freezer to make everything fit.

I am a HUGE advocate of eating this way. When DH was laid off in 2011, our food bill was very little because we had this. It really was "food insurance" for us. Also I can't believe how much normal meat is in the grocery store! I would never want to pay those prices for something that isn't even organic. I think when I was in Florida over Thanksgiving I saw beef stew meat for $6 or $7!! I don't know how families do it!

Good luck!

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:09 PM   #22
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Okay so it's all based on yields, varies by animal and by butcher.

The average hot carcass weight is 62.5% of live weight.

The average take home weight is 75% of that.

So say you have a 1200lb steer, now weighs 750 lbs on the rack. Then he weighs 562.5 lbs packaged and ready for the grill.

Once you start dividing into halves and quarters things don't always come out exactly 1/4 or 1/2 but they should be pretty close.

At 4.99/lb I would think you're looking at around 140 lbs or $700.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:48 PM   #23
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

Check around with small meat processors. T
hey will know of the farmers that sell for the best price.

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Originally Posted by 3 ladybugs View Post
We found a farm on Eat Wild.com.

We just got our second half of a cow, second half of a pig, and our first lamb from them. The cow half had a hanging weight of 194.5 lbs. The pig half was 123 lbs (hanging weight) and the lamb was 50 lbs hanging weight. All told we paid $1810.88 for our meat that will likely last us 18+ months. I should point out that this is grass fed beef, pastured pork and lamb. We got it 1 hour from us this time, but the last time we got it about 2.5 hours away (at the farm... they have a drop point in a nearby major city that we got it from this time). We transported it in the boxes and honestly that is fine unless you pick up on an unusually hot day. They have it in deep freeze so it has to rise in temp just to get to freezing (if that makes sense). If you were really concerned, bring a heavy blanket to put on top and that should help. If you have access to a LARGE cooler then that might be good too. But if not you should be fine. We were when we got our last side in April.

http://www.ourunplannedlife.com/2012...l-of-food.html This basically shows how we did things this time. You can see the box size based on my 4 year old. Our freezer had lots of veggies from our CSA in it from last year. So basically we have 3/4 of our freezer is meat and the rest is veggies or the few randoms that we have in there. We have a 19 cubic foot chest freezer. I HIGHLY recommend that you get a chest freezer as opposed to the upright kind. The upright kind are normally frost free and this can wreck havoc with your meat long term. The chest freezers need to be defrosted (about once a year is what we have found) but do a better job and preserving food. The con is you have to dig for things. I personally can't go into our freezer right now. DH put it all in there and he knows where everything is. The day he brought it home I was in the throws of morning sickness so I didn't even pay attention. We did have to remove the sliding baskets from our freezer to make everything fit.

I am a HUGE advocate of eating this way. When DH was laid off in 2011, our food bill was very little because we had this. It really was "food insurance" for us. Also I can't believe how much normal meat is in the grocery store! I would never want to pay those prices for something that isn't even organic. I think when I was in Florida over Thanksgiving I saw beef stew meat for $6 or $7!! I don't know how families do it!

Good luck!

We were having that problem too. I found some sturdy,rectangle shaped boxes at a local grocery. I taped the top and bottom of the box securely and then put them in the freezer with the smaller end pointing up. Cut that end open. Fill each boxed section with different cuts of meat. It makes it really easy to find what you want!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:17 PM   #24
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

Our farm charges by hanging weight. I just looked up last year's, and for our 1/4 the hanging weight was 151 lbs. They charged us $3.25/lb, so we paid $491 to the farm for the meat. I believe the butcher charged us around $75 for the cutting, if I remember right.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotmywings
I use to do it. i prefer grass fed but grass fed here in Arizona is like 9 bucks a pound compared to I us to only pay around $4 so I stopped. I do however buy hormone free beef for around 4 bucks a lb. Look for a coop in your area who does this. google will be your friend?
I'm in az too. Where do you buy it?
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:15 PM   #26
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We buy from Beaver Dam Beef (Bill Dunlap). Grass-fed beef, small farm, and he delivers it to your door for a delivery fee that is about what you'd spend in gas picking it up yourself anyway. Based in Roseboro, NC and delivers to Raleigh area.
I can pm you his contact info if you are interested.

A small chest freezer can accommodate a half just fine.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #27
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

We used to buy a 1/4 beef, but we eat way more chicken and pork so we now share a 1/4 with my MIL.

I first contacted a farmer whose grassfed beef I was buying at a local coop.

The next year, the farm that raises our pigs and chickens started raising beef for sale so now we get all of our stuff from the same farmer.

We used to buy chicken from a different farm. I found them at a local farmer's market.

The butcher freezes everything and it takes at least a day to thaw. You'll make it home from a two hour trip (especially at this time of the year) no problem without anything special to pack the meat in.

We take our meat on our trips to NC (from VT). We put them in a cooler and literally, after that 16 hrs drive, they are still frozen.

Trust me, you won't have to worry about thawing.

Our grassfed beef works out to about $4/lb (once any butchering and curing/brining costs are added in). So worth it. Way cheaper than the store and you know you are giving your kids great meat. Also you are supporting another family's business and continued health of your local environment.

A win-win if you ask me.

ETA: ITA with the "food insurance" idea. We absolutely know even if money gets tight for the next 6 mos, we will have something decent to eat. It is a good and safe feeling.

I would just say that if you live in a place where you lose power, now is the time to think of a back up plan (someone's home where you can take your meat so it won't spoil) or back up power. You don't want to invest this much money in your insurance only to lose a chunk of it. You could cook some to save it, but not all of it if you just picked up a 1/4 to a 1/2 beef. Just keep that in mind.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:48 AM   #28
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

What cuts do you all get? I don't really cook roasts. I use some ground but wouldn't want more than way 50 lb packages. I make beef stew a good bit and was thinking a stir fry cut would be useful.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #29
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Re: Where did you find your side of beef? Looking to buy half a cow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by syfitz View Post
We buy from Beaver Dam Beef (Bill Dunlap). Grass-fed beef, small farm, and he delivers it to your door for a delivery fee that is about what you'd spend in gas picking it up yourself anyway. Based in Roseboro, NC and delivers to Raleigh area.
I can pm you his contact info if you are interested.

A small chest freezer can accommodate a half just fine.
If only we still lived in Raleigh! We had to move about a year and a half ago. Otherwise, I would totally take you up on this. Sounds like a really convenient set up.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #30
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My most prized cut is flank steak. I think I get 2 with my half. I love it. It used to be a cheaper cut but I guess its popularity has risen and so has the price. A few unusual cuts we look foward to are the hanger steak (diaphragm ) and the tri tip (sirloin).

I also really appreciate an eye of round roast because its uniform shape makes it perfect for slow, low heat cooking.
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