Everything you need to know about how to save money on grass fed beef by buying in bulk direct from the farmer, including info on hanging weight, freezer size, & prices. Hint: This is the cheapest grass fed steak by far!
I f you’re starting out on a journey to eat healthy real food, the cost of grass fed beef can be overwhelming at first.
I’m always on the look out for ways to save money on healthy groceries, and I’ve found, there is a way to make grass fed beef more affordable.
No, you still won’t be able to match the cut-rate Walmart prices on conventional factory farmed meat, but I can promise there is really no comparison.
How to Save Money on Grass Fed Beef
Here’s how I pay only about $5 per pound for grass fed beef (in Seattle prices)…
Where to Find Grass Fed Beef
Buy in bulk straight from local farmers.
Spring is the time of year to start thinking about reserving a quarter or side of beef to be delivered in the fall.Check out Local Harvest or Eat Wild to find a local grass fed farm in your area.
We actually found ours through the recommendation of a friend of a friend who had bought beef from this particular farm for years.
If you happen to be in the Seattle area, we highly recommend Meadowfed Farms. Their product and their customer service are fantastic!
BabyE and I had a fun adventure driving up to Lynden to pick up our meat. After we stopped in Bellingham for a picnic, we made it to Lynden Meats just 15 minutes before closing!
If you’re in the Spokane or North Idaho area, I recommend Teddy Bear Farm in Mead, WA. We have purchased beef from them three years in a row now.
How much beef do you get from hanging weight?
A quarter beef lasts our family of two adults and one meat-loving toddler about one year.
You typically pay for hanging weight, the weight of the animal before cutting. After cutting and wrapping you’re left with about two-thirds of the hanging weight.
How much meat is in a quarter cow?
For our quarter beef, the hanging weight was 201.5 pounds. That transferred into 137 pounds of packaged meat.
Of course, we got lots of steaks, ground beef, ribs, stew meat, and roasts. We also got soup bones and organ meat. Typically the choice is yours as to the size of the packages based on how much we use in a typical meal.
Another perk, we got 9 pounds of liver, we assume we actually got the entire liver plus maybe some from other cows. Many people don’t know the health benefits or how to cook liver, so they didn’t choose to take it.
I must admit, I did leave the tongue meat behind. I might be more adventurous next time.
How big of a freezer do you need for a quarter cow?
We bought a 7.1 cubic foot chest freezer by Haier to hold our quarter beef. I packed it fairly efficiently and we still had a little bit of room left over for other food.
How much does a quarter beef cost?
A lot will depend on your location when it comes to pricing. Here’s how much we paid for our quarter cow in 2012 in the Seattle area.
We did buy a freezer and cooler this year for transporting and storing the meat. I’m not counting that into the costs as we’ll be able to use it long term.
I also spent around $34 in gas to pick up the meat, but your cost will also vary on that, so I didn’t include it in my calculation.
$2.50 per pound x 201.5 pounds hanging weight = $503.75
Estimated Energy for Freezer = $30.00
Cutting and Packaging = 157.79
Total Cost $691.54 / 137 pounds = $5.04 per pound
How Much Do You Save?
Just for reference, you can buy grass fed beef online at Costco in a variety pack for around $15 per pound. They charge $7.50 per pound for ground beef.
Other online sources of grass fed beef I found range from $10-15 per pound for steaks, $5-10 for roasts, and $5.50 for ground beef not including tax and shipping.
With our $5.04 per pound we got lots of steaks, roasts, as well as ground beef. While it is a big investment, we saved a ton of money on our grass fed beef!
20 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Grass Fed Beef”
Interesting. We have been thinking of purchasing a quarter cow. My husband’s family used to do it every year he was growing up.
I’m interested to see what the cost difference will be seeing that we are in Alberta.
Pinned! I’m sure there will be many families who will appreciate this.
We’ve planned on buying half a half a cow for some time now. Does Meadowfed Farms grass finish, too? They might be too far a drive for us. I was leaning towards 3 Sisters Cattle.
Yes, I believe they do grass finish too. :)
Love this post! I’m such a big fan of grass-fed beef (and pastured piggys). We have a great farm we buy ours from here in Michigan. I figured up once that our meat comes out to about $4.50/lb. That is after butchering, cut to our specification, vacuum packed, and delivered to our door. I think it’s quite a bargain. Sure you can get ground beef for cheaper…. but once you add in all of the steaks, roasts, and other cuts. I really think you make out better than purchasing meat from the grocery store! I hope you’ll link this up to our Wellness Wednesday Link-up next week!
Right on! It’s nice to get some perspective on grass fed beef prices in other parts of the country.
Where do you get your meat in Mi. I live there to and am looking for a place I don’t have to give my first born to buy. Please text me your response I don’t look at my email much .
GCC Organics in Mount Pleasant is certified organic grass fed, grass finished.
Wow! I wish I lived somewhere where this was possible. Maybe someday. As of right now I don’t eat meat, but I wouldn’t be opposed to eating meat like this! Thanks for sharing!
When we lived in Uruguay, we were so spoiled! It was just a few bucks a pound for grassfed beef and it was amazing. I have been trying to figure out a way to afford more grassfed beef in US, so I appreciate the inspiration!
Great post topic! We have been thinking about buying a cow for meat and I appreciate your information! Right now I get our meat at a local farm stand or at our farmers’ market, but not in bulk.
Great blog post! We have been thinking about buying a cow in whole or part for meat and I really appreciate your information! Currently I get our beef at a local farm stand or at our farmers’ market.
Great post! My aunt raises grass fed beef in Eastern Washington and paid us back on a loan one year with a quarter cow. The meat was very good, but getting it back across the country to Massachusetts was a bit of a challenge.
This is actually really good information on finding affordable grass-fed beef! I’m vegetarian, but the hubs loves beef. Thanks for the info!
I know this is an older post, but I’d love to hear of what online sources you found for grass-fed beef. Maybe some of them are still around.
I am a grass fed/finished beef producer in Texas, may I share your blog post on our Facebook page?
Hi Sarah! You may share a link, but please don’t share the whole article. Thanks!
Do take the tongue, it takes some trimming so don’t open it when pregnant, it looks like a tongue, but it is such a tender cut of meat.
Thanks for the advice Karla! Next time we order beef, I’ll have to try it out.
I love the advice to buy local meat in bulk from farmers in your area. If I could do this for all my meat and produce, I would! However, I don’t cook often or really have the size of kitchen needed to keep all this on hand. In order to promote local farms, I think it would be a good idea to eat at restaurants that use locally sourced food.