Tame inflation with these great ideas to help you fit pastured meats into your 2022 grocery budget.
We have talked in the past about the hidden costs of conventionally produced meats (and now, throw in some serious inflation) and the relative value of pastured meats, but that doesn’t change your monthly grocery budget. How do you make the shift to pastured meats in 2022 when your expenses have so far reflected the conventional price tags + that darn “I” word?
We, at Rafter W Ranch, truly believe meat produced as we produce it is best for your family, and beneficial to the health of the earth. We don’t want it to be available only to a “select elite”, but since we don’t pass on the costs of our production to the taxpayers, the environment, your health, or society, we can’t possibly compete, dollar for dollar, with an industrial model … that’s very unrealistic. Right now, with inflation hitting your local grocery stores we can just about GUARANTEE we are the BETTER VALUE now.
Fitting The Best Meats Into Your Budget
In a nutshell, it’s quite simple … BUY FROM THE PRODUCER. Whether a local CSA or direct order, cutting out the middle man keeps the cost down, way down!
Here are those ideas we promised:
1) Buy in bulk, if possible.
Share an order with family or friends, or buy a whole or half beef to keep your freezer stocked for the year. If you don’t have that much space, consider a bulk package of ground beef. There’s less variety but you get all the advantages of pastured meat and a very versatile product.
2) If possible, and you’re buying a whole animal, use a custom butcher.
Contact us for info and local recommendations.
3) Embrace nose-to-tail usage (seriously).
If you’re having an entire animal processed, ask about organ meats, tongue, soup bones. These may not sound great when spoken out loud but with the right recipes (and even without) these are some of the tastiest and most nutritious part of the animal. Honestly. Do not knock it until you try it.
4) Nose-to-tail usage adds very little to the processing cost, and can be powerhouses of nutrition.
With chickens, make an easy, superfood broth after your first meal is done.
5) Use less meat per meal. The nutrient density of pastured meats often satisfies your appetite before you might expect. Include soups, chilis, and other mixed dishes that don’t require a cut of meat for every plate in your meal rotation. This is also an easy way to increase vegetable intake.
$$$ Dollar Management $$$
For actual dollar management, these are some things that can be done (yes, more ideas for you to save $$$):
1) Prioritize your own values.
Some families spend more per year on carbonated beverages or at the coffee shop than what it would cost to fill their freezer once. Decide what is important for you, and spend with purpose.
2) Set aside a portion of money each month to go towards a yearly or bulk purchase.
Maybe that idea above doesn’t help you eat in the meantime though, so …
3) Use your windfall.
If have the best possible meats on your table is important than a holiday bonus or tax refund or something similar can help you make that initial purchase possible. And, again, team up with another family or friends. This lessens the cost and quantity of the order … plus you can pass along recipes to one another!
Overall, we completely understand families have to carefully consider their expenses these days … now more than ever. Everyone should be able to enjoy and afford safe, clean food, and we firmly believe that pastured meats like ours are an incredible value.
We hope these ideas open up some possibilities for your menu planning in 2022 and beyond!
Happy holidays from the Wheeler’s and Rafter W Ranch.