Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beef: Its What's For Dinner Tonight!

Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee. By the way, Don't forget the yummy piece of pie. I want to chat with you about having meat in your freezer. I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to have our own cow in our freezer. This year is the first year we have ever butchered a cow. It seems like we waited forever to get to this point here on our farm. I am amazed at how much our grocery bill has already decreased. I plan my menu around the beef that we already have on hand.



I know for many of you raising and slaughtering a cow just can't happen in your life right now. I understand that. I have lived that for most of my married life. I encourage you to ask some farmers in your area about purchasing a half or quarter of a cow. If they will only sell a whole cow, then find some other families willing to go in with you to purchase that cow. Divide up the meat and the cost.



If money or circumstances still prevent you from buying in bulk, I encourage you to watch the grocery store fliers for meat sales. This is the best way to save money. I had a friend call me the other day to tell me that chicken was on sale at our grocery store. This is the hormone antibiotic free chicken. I spent about $60, but got enough chicken breasts to last several months. I am now watching for it to come on sale again because I will want to restock soon. I always glance at our store's meat sale section. A few months back I was able to purchase a whole rib eye for $70. I KNOW that is a lot of money for meat, but it was a way for our family to enjoy steaks and a rib roast without spending a ton of money per meal. I brought home the whole rib eye, and I cut it according to my meal plans.



I also remember the days early in our marriage when there just wasn't enough money to buy the great big sale items. Unless they had given the meat away for free, we just couldn't afford to take advantage of buying sale items in bulk. During that time in our life, I would get the grocery store fliers and plan my menu around what was on sale. I would purchase small amounts of the discounted meat in order to save money on that week's menu. I didn't stock up extra. I only purchased meat that was on sale and I only purchased enough for our needs for that two week period. This was a way that I could stretch my money and make it go further.



Another money saving idea is to make things that require shredded meat. I can still use two large chicken breasts and make enough chicken enchiladas to feed my whole family. I usually have leftovers. It does require tortilla shells, cheese, and other ingredients, but it is a way to make the meat go farther.



For now, since we have the cow in the freezer we eat beef for dinner. Since I love chicken, I am thankful we have that in the freezer too. Perhaps our son will get a deer this year. I don't eat deer meat, but everybody else does. That too helps keep the grocery bill down a good bit!



By the way, if you want to save extra money, don't be making too many desserts. They are costly and as we all know not very nutritious. I almost always have a special dessert on Sunday. One of my kids asked me the other day why I make dessert every Sunday. I shared that we went to my grandparents' house on Sunday a lot when I was young. My grandmother ALWAYS had several desserts to choose from, and it was something I enjoyed. Serving dessert on Sunday just feels right!

grace and peace,
julie





5 comments:

Jenny said...

We are expecting to get our first half cow in January. I am very excited for health reasons and especially for the savings we will see each month. What kind of chicken do you buy that is hormone and antibiotic free? Is it a specific brand? We live near Chattanooga so just maybe we have it here too.

Carmen C. said...

I'm not a big meat eater, but those are some great tips for saving money!I do like to stock up when things are on sale, especially the buy one get one sales:)

Marci said...

We do raise our own meat and it is a blessing.

I just have to comment on the title with that luscious picture just under it. Our first words were... That's not beef!!! :)

TnFullQuiver said...

Jenny,
I am excited for you about getting your half cow! I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed having a freezer full of meat. I buy Sanderson Farms chicken. Our local Food City carries it. My friend who is super careful about what her and her family eat told me about this brand of chicken. I probably will never raise meat birds again now that I know I can buy good chicken. Hope you can find it!

Carmen,
I could live without meat. I just can't get thee rest of my family to cooperate!

Marci,
you are so right about the picture..it is much better than beef! I don't like to look at pictures of the actual cow that we are eating. All of my other pictures were of our jersey cows instead of our angus cows! Truth be told, I would choose pie anyday over beef, but my family wouldn't agree!!!

grace and peace,
julie

Jenny said...

Thanks for this info. I'm going to look into who sells it around here, if anyone.