For busy families, buying meat in bulk from your local meat shop is a great idea. However, the buying and storage dilemmas are always a drawback. With a variety of cuts to choose from, keeping the meat in tiptop shape is a must. Thus, freezer burn and spoilage should be avoided.
What is buying meat in bulk?
Buying meat in bulk means purchasing a quarter or whole beef, pork, or lamb. It also means buying a “share” or “side” of it. Also, there are other options other than buying just a side and purchasing bulk poultry and fish.
What are the advantages of buying meat in bulk?
The most common reason why people buy meat in bulk is the lower cost compared to purchasing individual cuts from a meat shop. Buying in bulk that is lower in prices are of the same quality than the “fancier” meat cuts. Also, buying meat from local meat shops equates to giving support to more ethical practices by farms that practice humane and sustainable farming. However, keep in mind that there are still bulk meat suppliers that don’t practice humane and sustainable farming; thus, it’s important to ask these crucial questions to the meat shop proprietor to ensure that you are supporting the right practices and causes.
Another benefit of buying meat in bulk is the fact that you’re supporting eating the whole animal and keeping its integrity. The individual cuts you see at supermarkets and grocery stores are usually just fractions from different cows, pigs, or lambs. Buying animal sides and shares is an excellent way to consume meat more sustainably.
Saving you time from doing your weekly meat shopping is another benefit of purchasing meat in bulk. Since your freezer will have already been filled with meats, you can allot your weekly grocery trips to buying vegetables, fruits, and other staples.
Will buying meat in bulk work for my family?
We understand that not all households have the same lifestyle and needs. And this can also be true when it comes to buying meat in bulk. Before you attempt to, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do we enjoy home-cooked meals and cooking as a whole?
- Do we eat animal proteins several times a week?
- Do we like eating different cuts of meat? Do I like cooking different cuts of meat?
If you answered positively to the questions above, then buying meat in bulk would be beneficial for your family – both in saving money and time.
How do I start purchasing meat in bulk?
To get started in buying in bulk from your local meat shop, you need the following: the initial investment and the allocated space for storage of the meat.
When we say investment, it usually depends on where you are living. The cost will vary since there are several factors involved in determining it. For instance, what people pay in Wisconsin for good bulk meat is going to be different from what people in Los Angeles pay for. Talk to your local butcher and see if you can pay a deposit to reserve your share and pay the remainder when the meat is ready; this is the common practice when it comes to buying meat in bulk.
As for storage, the standard size of chest freezer you will need is seven cubic feet. That can hold a quarter of beef and half of a pig annually. It could also leave some room for extra storage. Check your local Home Depot or even Craigslist and other local markets for second-hand goods.
How much meat should I get?
This will depend on your household’s needs. For example, for the size of the chest freezer we mentioned above, you can store a quarter of a cow and half a pig that can last throughout the year. There will also be enough room in there for other meats such as fish and poultry. There’s not a standard answer to this question. Assess the needs of your family and how much meat you eat on a weekly basis, and then you can determine how much to purchase.
The general rule is to purchase what your family can eat in a year. There are different answers to how long animal protein can last in the freezer. However, it’s always good to keep the stock to last for an entire year. Also, for similar technical questions like this, don’t hesitate to get advice from your local meat shop proprietors as they would most likely be equipped with the right answers for you.