Where’s the Beef?

If you are a child of the 80’s, you will remember this commercial. 

Where’s the Beef?

Growing up, we always had a freezer full of meat.  My dad bought a side of beef at a time, so we always feasted like kings.  The agriculture teacher at my school who farms on the side recently butchered some cattle and offered the beef for sale in quarters.  A quarter of a cow is a lot for a household of two, but I have a deep freezer, so I thought, “Why not?”

75 pounds of farm raised beef for $260.  That’s $3.47 per pound.  I hardly ever buy beef in a grocery store so I have no idea if that’s a good price.  (I usually drive to Staunton to buy beef where my dad bought it.  The Meating Place, started by Joan of Applejack Lane’s family, processes the meat right there; it is locally grown and is top notch quality.  I never pay attention to the price, I just buy it because I know it is local and it will be good.)

I sorted the beef into piles based on type.  (I guess I should have put it on the counter instead of spreading it out in the floor.  Oh well.)

Ground Beef and Hamburger:IMG_5261

All kinds of steaks:


Mark threw in this liver for free.  Thanks.  I think.  Who eats beef liver?  I adore chicken liver, so maybe I’ll like beef liver just as much.

These boxes will fit neatly in the bottom of the freezer. 

I foresee a lot of grilling and crock-pot cooking in my near future.  Let’s just hope my 1950’s freezer keeps on working.

I think that this meat purchase will make meal planning easy for me for a while.  I will probably make at least one casserole per week with the ground beef.  We’ll have a roast in the crockpot that will last for a few meals and then grill either steaks or hamburgers another night.  {We normally only eat meat a few meals a week, so you can only imagine Mr. SP’s delight in this purchase.} 

I’m curious. Have any of you bought beef in bulk like this or would you consider doing it?  If you have a great roast type crock pot recipe, I’d love to hear all about it.


  1. We bought a side of beef once and it was so convenient for me to ‘shop’ my freezer and my grocery bill was much less. Now that we limit our red meat, I can’t see doing it again but you got a really good price. that’s hard to pass up!


  2. My parents did the same thing. I have never purchased beef this way but it does look convenient and much less expensive.

  3. Lucky you! My parents used to give my brother and me a quarter each of a beef every year for Christmas. Sure miss those days! Can’t beat your price and you know where whence it came.

    I’ve been busy and it looks as though you have, too. I’ve enjoyed your recent post but just have commented on them. Have a great weekend!

  4. We always had half a beef and a quarter of pork in our freezer (or in our locker at the butcher shop). I had no idea that people actually bought meat at the grocery store…and I think I was in college before I noticed that you could buy diced, stewed tomatoes. I guess I just thought you got them from the cellar! We’ve done this a couple of times in the past and it is very economical. The good thing is that there’s always something you can make for dinner, which helps the temptation to eat out. Enjoy!

  5. I could never buy that much meat. That would last me years. LOL!

    I love chicken livers also. I assure you, beef liver is a whole other thing. I don’t care for it. Hopefully you will.

    Crockpot roasts are the best aren’t they? I generally just put onions, carrots, potatoes in the bottom. Brown the roast in a skillet and put it in along with some water or you could use beef broth. Yummy!!!

    You could also have some of that cut up into stew meat. Love stew this time of year!!

  6. I do remember those commercials! 🙂

    Oh, what fun, Paula!

    I’ve never bought beef this way, but it looks like you made a good purchase.

    Reading this reminds me of the Andy Griffith Show episode in which Aunt Bea buys a side of beef. Have you ever seen it? 🙂

  7. Bless her heart Clara (wasn’t that her name) was so cute on those commercials.

    When we had kids at home we did buy bulk meat both beef and pork. I think you got a very good deal per pound Paula. I’ll be over for steaks on Saturday, medium rare please.

  8. My parents did this and I once had a meat delivery service where you’d get a bunch at once. I love having my freezer full. I almost always shop my freezer for our meals. If I see it on sale, I’ll buy 2 or 3. Then it’s there when I want it. Curious to see what you so with all of it.

    My family would love the steaks!

    – The Tablescaper

  9. My parents used to do this. I think they even got pork a few times maybe. I plan on it as soon as we get our old International deep freeze out of the basement and replace it with a modern, energy efficent model. I’ve always been told it is more economical to buy meat this way. We live like 5 minutes from two different butchers.

  10. I think that’s awesome! I’d love to be able to “shop” my freezer like that. We have a small box freezer in the laundry room…not enough space for all of what you bought, but it sure would be nice!

  11. I would love to do this and have been considering it, but my deep freeze died on me. I’d have to store everything in my regular feezer so I’m not sure yet. Sounds wonderful though.

    As far as my roast recipe, it’s nothing fancy. I flour it and brown it in a skillet. Put carrots and potatoes in the crock pot with just a little water and the roast on top. Easy and delicious, but nothing exotic.

  12. Paula, my dad always raises his own grass fed cattle. Each year he has one processed. It is so much better than what you buy at the store. The only problem we have had with that was when my girls were little and named the cows. It was hard to eat them when they had names like Milky Way and Snickers! 🙂 Carla

  13. I LOVE buying beef this way. We lost our supplier (they moved to Montana), so haven’t been able to do it for several years. But it is by FAR better meat, and I am so jealous right now!

  14. I would actually like to do this if we have a local shop. It must be more economical and I would think healthier, maybe?


  15. We used to get a whole cow each year….it was a benefit with my husbands job…we got one for about 6 years and then they got out of cow business when the Mad Cow Disease happened. Now he has only a few cows and doesn’t even do it. It is way cheaper and so much better meat than grocery store.

    Now today we get pork from a wholesaler with my husbands job..he is in the rendering business so he knows a lot of good suppliers that have clean meat markets…he is very picky.

    Umm I usually will put my roast in the crock pot…it is so good after it cooks all day…I do several different ways and will post on them this week. Would be a great post for my recipe day. Will refer to your meat purchase if you don’t mind.

  16. We’ve never bought it that way, but we’ve been thinking of getting a cow & raising it to be butchered. Im definitely afraid of getting attached, even though I grew up around it! I think we’re going to be butchering some chickens soon.

  17. I think it’s a great idea! We buy smoked meat from a man that smokes a lot all at once. So we get a variety of meat and freeze it all. Sure is nice to know you’ve got some smoked salmon, beef brisket…etc. for a quick meal! ♥

  18. We raise steer to sell for meat. It is much better tasting meat, and I can say that ours is healthier. We don’t feed ours grain, and we grow our own hay and it is not sprayed or chemically fertilized. Alot of the big beef farms shoot up alot of antibiotics into their cows, regardless of whether they need it or not. And there are the growth hormones, too. Meat at the store is often splashed up with blood so it looks “fresher”.
    We have a hard time selling our meat, just b/c we live in a “poorer” area, so people don’t have that amount of cash around for a lump purchase, or they don’t have the freezer. It’s a shame b/c when we sell to the auction, we lose a lot of money than when we sell direct, which we don’t make a whole lot at that as it is. So it’s truly very beneficial to buy direct from the farmer, rather than letting the big grocery stores make all the money.
    Thanks for posting. I may refer back to this myself. 🙂

  19. I would! Minus the liver. If I had a deep freezer. That would be amazing to have a freezer full of that stuff.

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