Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Buying Organic Meat on a Budget

Trying to eat all natural and organic on a small budget is tough. But not impossible. It takes some planning, discipline and getting to know your options. If you read my grocery lists or Weekly Shopping Wrap Ups regularly, you'll see very little meat on them. That's because I try to limit our meat consumption to once or twice a week. The meat that we do eat, is usually all natural, organic and hopefully free-range. Same for our eggs and dairy (as much as possible). Here are the ways I get our organic meat for cheap(er).

1.) Look for Manager Markdowns at the Grocery. This is the easiest way I've found so far. Get to know your butcher at your grocery store. After speaking with my butcher, I learned their markdown schedule. He also told me how much it would be marked down. In the case of one of my stores, I know to look at the sell by date and I know that organic free range chicken that normally sells for $14 a pack, will go on markdown the day BEFORE the sell by date. The butcher also clued me in on what time of day they do the markdowns. He told me everything must be marked down by 4:00pm, but I've found that most of the time, the markdowns are done before noon. Also, another helpful tip: If you have a grumpy butcher that doesn't want to share this information, look for another one. I had this happen to me. I simply kept asking until I found a friendly, chatty butcher.

Whenever I run upon a great markdown deal on organic meats, I buy as much as my budget will allow and then freeze the meat for later.

2.) Check out the farmer's market. Often you can get some good deals from small family farmer's on their organic/free range and LOCAL meat. Some farms will offer a sample pack that will contain a variety of cuts of meat. The sample pack price often works out to be much less per pound than if you bought the cuts of meat separately. I recommend bringing your calculator (unless you're a math genius) and shop around the farmer's market before making a purchase. The prices on the same cut of meat can vary widely from farmer to farmer.

3.) Warehouse Clubs. I can't say I have any real experience with purchasing organic meat from a warehouse club because we let our membership expire a long time ago when I discovered the joy of couponing! But I've read others' blogs and heard from friends that Costco, in particular, has some good deals on organics. If you're a member, you should definitely compare prices.

Have you found a good way to get organic meat or other products for less? Please let me know! I'm always on the lookout for a good organic deal.

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We are That Family.
and The Coupon Teacher's Thrifty Thursday

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Blogger tyofa said...

I'm jealous of the prices on your marked down meat! I'll have to keep my eyes open a little wider though. I often buy marked down meat (we use chicken and ground turkey mostly) but the organic is still out of my price range at our stores. I'm hoping to incorporate more lentil and meatless dishes though so with less meat bought (not that we eat it every meal), I will be able to afford better meat.

August 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Coupon Teacher said...

I get a 1/4 beef for Christmas. That really helps our meat prices and consumption. We know exactly where that cow came from!

August 19, 2010 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

That's a great idea about the beef. I've been looking into buying a large amount from a local farmer. I've just got to figure out how to store it. My deep freeze is just not big enough.

August 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM  

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