One of the money saving & time-saving tips our family has been doing for several years is to buy 1/2 a cow. Many years ago I stopped buying grocery store beef and started using ground turkey. My family never fully embraced the move to turkey. It just wasn’t “the same” to them. Then, several years ago, a family we know from church introduced us to a man that sells cows! (The kids still enjoy me saying, “We are buying a cow!”)
My husband loves the money savings. I love the clean eats.
The cows the man raises are antibiotic free, hormone free and grass fed. The way God intended. This is beef I feel okay feeding my family. Each 1/2 cow lasts our family for well over a year. And, on our budget, we’d never be able to enjoy hormone free, grass fed beef at the price that we are able to buy the cow. The taste and freshness of this beef is something that you just don’t get in the grocery store. When you buy a package of cow meat from the store there might be a number of cows mixed together in one package.
When you buy a package of cow meat from the store there might be a number of cows mixed together in one package.
Ewww!!! I prefer to eat my one cow. All. Year. Long.
I take advantage of acquiring such a large amount of meat all at once by cooking a lot of it and making a variety of recipes to freeze. I always ask the processor not to freeze all of my ground beef. (The steaks and roasts are shrink wrapped and frozen at pickup.) Some of the things you can make ahead with the fresh meat are:
Some of the things you can make ahead with the fresh meat are:
- Mexican seasoned meat pre-cooked (great for quick tacos or other Mexican dishes. You can find my homemade taco seasoning here.)
- Spaghetti sauce (I use this for spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, etc.)
- Pre-patted hamburgers (In a pinch you can put these on the grill frozen)
- plain cooked ground beef (I cook some of the meat with just a few seasonings added and store in freezer bags for quick meals like sloppy joes.)
- Bone broth with the meat bones
- Beef burritos (the friends we split the cow with this year are making these for freezing)
Helpful cow buying tips:
- Unless you want to purchase a whole cow, you will want to find a friend to purchase the cow with you.
- You can usually buy 1/4, 1/2 or a whole cow.
- Each person can choose how their cow will be processed. The processor will give you a sheet where you can select the various cuts of meat.
- You will pay the processor a separate fee
- The price of the beef fluctuates due to the current market. We have paid anywhere from $1.79 – $2.00 a pound hanging weight.
- Ask the farmer how the cow was raised. Know what you are getting.
- Ask the processor to keep part of your ground beef fresh at pickup.
- 1/2 of a cow is a lot of meat. This week our half was 90 pounds of ground beef, plus a freezer full of steaks and roasts. You will want to be sure you have a separate freezer to store your meat. It will be worth the investment.
Do you buy beef this way? What are some of your favorite recipes to use ground beef in? I’d love for you to share your tips or recipes in the comments.