One of my absolute favorite things from The Butcher’s Guide To Well-Raised Meat is where we explain how to afford well-raised meat. So many people lament it can’t be done. I disagree. Here’s how I do it, excerpted from the book. Enjoy!
People often complain that grass-fed and organic meat (and everything else organic) is too expensive, that they can’t afford it, that it’s not for them, or that it’s elitist. We firmly believe that well-raised meat is for everyone. If you share any of these concerns, first consider the amount of meat you eat- generally Americans buy and eat too much meat. You don’t need mountains of sausages or pounds of ground beef to make a sauce. Reduce portion sizes. It’s better for you, and it will make well-raised meat affordable. If you would like to try something like filet but can’t get over the sticker shock, buy 1/4 pound of it and don’t make it the centerpiece of your meal. Beyond eating less and shrinking portion size, you can also lower costs by buying cheaper cuts instead of rib eyes and strips. And plan for leftovers – a big roast can be dinner tonight and sandwiches tomorrow. If you buy smart and cook smart, you can make up the price difference between conventional and pastured meat. When people say our prices are too high, Jess invites them to throw $50 on the counter and watch her work. She can get them ten meals for half a bill. When she first made the claim, I must admit even I didn’t believe her. But she proved me wrong.
Ten Meals for Half a Bill
Here is Jessica’s list of ten quick, delicious, easy-to-prepare meals for four. The meat costs only $50 and change. If you don’t eat meat every day, that means enough meals for two weeks.
1. Ground Beef (1/2 pound) $3 Beef and Bean Enchiladas
2. Bacon (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices) $3 Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
3. More Bacon and Eggs (1/4 pound, or about 3 slices, and 3 eggs) $5 Spaghetti alla Carbonara
4. Sausages (3/4 pound, or 3 sausages) $6 Chinese Broccoli with Sausage and Polenta
5. Chicken Thighs (1 pound) $5 Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Vegetables
6. Pork Stew Meat (1 pound) $8 Quick Pork and Chile Stew with Hominy
7. Stir-fry Beef (1/2 pound) $4.50 Stir-fry Beef with Rice Noodles
8. Whole Chicken (3 to 4 pounds) $12 Roast Chicken
9. Eggs $4 Frittata
10. Roast Chicken Bones $0 Chicken Soup