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Buying Meat from the Butcher

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Beth Life

A good butcher can be a vast resource of fabulous health beneficial savings. We travel about a 45 minute drive a couple of times a year for the butcher we have settled on for price, cleanliness, health conscious recipes for meat for our family.

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I found a used deep freezer on craigslist and fill it with beef, pork, chicken and venison from our butcher. He sells meat raised on his farm or from farms he uses as resources at a price cheaper than store cost for a non-hormone, non-antibiotic, non-preservative injected product. The taste is fabulous, the cuts and recipes (sausage/cured products etc.) are to my specifications as well as the package sizes.

For additional savings I check in with him on occasion to take advantage of orders that customers have not picked up at additional discounts to me. Often customers fail to pick up orders for lack of funds so the butcher sells these discounted to save his freezer space.

I don't get to choose my cuts and package sizes as they are already cut to someone else's specifications but at the discounted prices I can afford to be creative with what I get or give the cuts away that I don't like. These customers bring in live animals for processing but fail to retrieve them. This is especially true during hunting season. These cuts are sold at butchering cost without the price of the live animal purchase; in other words half off.

Using the butcher I never pay more than $2 a pound for our meat including beef, pork, venison and chicken.

With the freezer heavily stocked I am able to pack our pantry with treats I normally would forgo at the grocery using coupons to spread the funds further.

To find a good butcher in your area, the usual means of finding a business of course would be useful; Yellow Pages, Internet, etc. But honestly the best means of evaluating butchers would be by word of mouth from local hunters. Even those who process their own often use a butcher for blending sausages for them.

Another resource would be the game warden as it is his responsibility to monitor what is being processed. Hunters are required to tag their kills and butchers are held liable if found processing meat that has not been tagged.

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