a reply to: Darkblade71
If you have a lot of people to feed, it is definitely worth a person's while to buy quarters or even halves of beef.
If its just you and a partner, it might not be worth the hassle. Personally, I've got my own tribe, what with grandparents and family friends, and
various in-laws and outlaws who stay here with me.
Pick up a couple of freezers used. Upright or chest, whatever you can get for cheap. I have one small chest freezer I got nearly 10 years ago for
$45. Don't let a freezer set empty. It wears the thing out to make it try to freeze air. If you have nothing for a month or so, then fill some bags
with water or buy bag ice. The thing won't work so hard, and you can always throw the ice away once you get valuable food. Until then, you have
extra water prepped!
Then find someone who will sell you a share of a beef.
At worst, go through the phone book or whatever online contrivance you kids are using these days. Find a stand-alone butcher shop and ask about their
package deals. I knew one independent butcher who had 10 "specials". They often included milk or eggs every week for a couple of months as part of
the deal. And in exchange for part of your beef quarter, he'd exchange you a couple of whole chickens or 4 racks of baby back ribs, etc. Or he may
sell you a quarter beef. It'll probably be a buck a pound less than the grocery. That's like $250 or so, easy.
Better is to find a local slaughterhouse. I have lived most of my life within an easy drive of the boondocks. But look for "meat packer". "meat
locker". "game processing," etc. They will have better prices than the lone butcher, usually.
If you live around hispanic culture, look for "carneceria". it's the Mexican butcher, and the prices are usually a hell of a lot better since he
isn't selling to anglo food snobs who will pay 12 bucks for a Cornish game hen. Their English is always excellent. Se Bizee-nees, señor.
The best is to find a rancher connection. These folks have 5+ cattle, enough for family plus a few friends. Become one of the friends. The rancher
gets a couple of bucks more per pound than if he sold it to the butcher, and you get it for a couple of bucks less per pound than if you bought it
from a butcher.
Usually the rancher will connect you with pork meat, game meat, and probably a free range heritage turkey for thanksgiving.
I keep two freezers in the garage full, plus one in the house as well. Between buying beef quarters, deer season, fishing in the summer, dressing our
own chickens, and freezing the garden produce we don't can, we keep the freezers busy and happy.
When you think about it, the single item you can reduce most in your budget is food. Cooking from scratch, from your own source (butcher or hunting
or whatevs) will cost a quarter of food from the grocery, or a sixteenth of the cost of dining out.
IF the grid goes down, you have a big shindig. grill everything and give it to the neighborhood in an orgy of carnivorism and gluttony. You will be
popular enough to run for mayor if that ever does happen. In the meantime, you just formed your own survival community, with you as the boss.
all the best.