Eating organic meat might be more important that eating organic fruit and vegetables, but switching to organic meat can be an expensive, daunting undertaking. Here are 5 tips to save money on organic meat that can help you make the switch.
5 Must Know Tips to Save Money on Organic Meat
1. Cut down on meat consumption –
First and foremost, you can save money by eating less meat. I know, I know, that’s not really what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. Door to Door Organics has a great infographic that shows how much protein is recommended for people at different life stages and compares that to how much we really eat. Most Americans eat more meat than they need and doing so can risk our health. Instituting vegetarian lunches, breakfast, or maybe even a certain number of vegetarian meals per week (like Meatless Monday), can be a great way to reduce your meat consumption. Eating less meat means you will automatically save money on meat because you won’t have to buy as much.
2. Learn how to cook inexpensive cuts of meat –
Certain cuts of meat are less expensive than others and can be just as delicious if you learn how to cook them properly. Whole chickens, for instance, cost a lot less than only buying boneless, skinless breasts. Bone-in thighs and drumsticks, ground beef, ground turkey, and bone-in pork chops are also less expensive cuts of meat. Frugalcity.com has a lot more information on cheaper cuts of beef if you’re interested in more information on beef. Using marinades and cooking slowly using low heat are often good tips for creating flavorful recipes with less expensive cuts of meat.
3. Compare prices and keep track of the costs –
Having a grocery price point list can be very useful. I know for instance, that grass feed organic beef costs $6.99 per pound at my local ALDI, and a little less at Costco. At Costco, however, the beef is packed in 1.33 lb packages bring the total price for that package higher than its one pound counterpart at ALDI. So unless I want to repackage the meat, the higher price at ALDI could be a better deal. However, I can also buy organic ground beef from a local farmer for even less per pound, and since buying local is also important to me, I’d prefer to cut out the middle man and buy my meat directly from a farmer.
4. Find a farmer –
Buying meat directly from a farmer can be a great way to save money on quality, organic meat. If you’re not sure where to find a farmer, check out LocalHarvest.org. This helpful website allows you to search for meat, farmer’s markets, CSAs, and more by zip code. I’ve also found farmers on facebook and through organic buying clubs like Azure Standard pick-up groups. If you happen to live near any Amish or Mennonite communities, you can often find farmers by word of mouth or driving down the road and looking for signs. Once you’ve found a farmer and have a meat order, learn how to talk to the meat locker as someone other than the farmer will likely do the meat processing.
5. Know what the terms mean
Getting an organic certification is often cost and time prohibitive for local farmers. If you find someone you trust, you’ve met their animals and are happy with the feed they use, an organic designation might not be necessary. Additionally, terms like Healthy or Natural mean NOTHING when you see them on products at the grocery store – even products with high fructose corn syrup can be designated Natural! Stonyfield.com has a nice infographic that shows the difference between organic and natural if you’re curious. By the way, I’ve seen people debate on whether or not organic meat animals can be fed GMO feed. According to this article by the USDA, they cannot be fed GMO feed and still receive the organic label.
I hope you found these 5 tips to save money on organic meat helpful. I would love to hear your ideas, if you have other tried and true methods to save on organic meat!