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Jan 15, 2011 08:41 PM

Where to get the cheapest red meat?

Where do you buy the cheapest red meat? Extra points for non-ground!

I have 2 80lb malamute mixes that are rescue doggies that I feed a modified raw diet to (raw chickens, meats, etc, + yogurt, butter, cream, + cooked/frozen veggies). They are very healthy, but I have trouble finding good deals on red meat other than ground beef, which I'd prefer not to feed them(not that they care). I'm looking for notably less than $2/lb. They eat like 100lbs of food a month, and unfortunately, rely too much on chicken (which I can find for under $1/lb) for their protein.

I also find that even stew meats (at my local grocers) run at least $3-$4/lb (which I think is a bit high compared to chicken!). As a result, we rarely eat red meats, though I'd prefer to eat more. We LOVE to eat steak, but don't do it much because of the cost. Iron is good for you!

I have done some searching for local farms that sell portions (like 1/2s or 1/3s) of cows to get a decent deal on meat (I have a chest freezer) but none of the nearby farms have cows, mostly they all have pigs and chickens, which I can find for cheap pretty conveniently. We'd eat all the tasty good parts, and all the freaky parts and bits that we don't want would go to the doggies.

That's not to say that we don't enjoy high quality meat, most of the time I try to make sure we get nice stuff, and during the summer (when farmers markets are open and the garden is producing) we like to eat seasonally and cook/freeze things, but we ARE on a budget, and the more money we spend on the furkids' food, the less we can spend on our own!

Where do you go for killer deals on red meats?

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  1. i don't know where you are located, but if you have a large asian grocery store nearby w in house butcher, there are often "killer deals" on beef there. my only caveat, and it doesn't seem to matter if the meat is mainly for dogs, is that the cheapest cuts of meat can be uh. . . perfect for long braising. well, tough. tough, like maybe quite low grade, from older animals. . . but cheap, is what i am trying to say.

    2 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      We're located in the Seattle area, and we have a number of CHEAP asian grocers nearby. I find for the weirder parts of animals, they tend to be much cheaper (calf's liver, tripe, etc) but for more normal cut (doggie and human(long braising) friendly is ideal) they are not really any cheaper, as they don't tend to have the kind of sales that i usually hit up at my local grocery stores. Maybe I should go to the shadier locations and see what I can track down there.

      1. re: LaureltQ

        If you have any Halal markets in the area, that might be a good bet. I've found them, at least down here in SoCal, to have superb prices for both beef and lamb (as well as lots of great veg and herbs).

    2. Have you asked the local market what they do with the scraps and trimmings they cut?

      1. Ditto the recs for Asian groceries, but it's not just Asian. Check your Mexican grocery stores. Awesome deals on cuts of meats most chain markets would not carry.

        Also, check the clearance aisle of your major supermarkets. Good to great deals on near "expired" beef.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          +1 to ipsedixit's recs. I had started to write an identical post when I saw this one!

        2. Start a conversation with a trusted butcher. Tell him your needs. Any friends that hunt or fish?
          My concern is too much protein, I'm no vet, my dog loves brown rice (cheap ) with broth which can be reasonable.

          4 Replies
          1. re: CCSPRINGS

            We feed our Maremmas raw meat and bones, and they are doing really well on it. The best places around here to find the dog food meat are small abbatoirs. When butchering the animals they save all of the scraps that are unfit for human consumption and freeze them separately. We usually buy 100lbs at a time for $0.75/lb. We have also found a "country store" that specializes in pet food and other outdoorsy things (firewood, docks, plain pine furniture....), that sells raw meat for pets in bulk quanities for about $0.30/lb. However, it's a bit more questionable.

            1. re: earthygoat

              Question, just started my four Griffs on home made dog food. It is expensive to make and they seem to be losing weight on it. Do you guys cook your meat for tour dogs? If not how do you prepare and about the bones. How do you process those for their consumption? Trying hard here, need a little help.

              1. re: MamaGriff

                Please please call your vet and talk to her/him about this- especially if your dogs are losing weight unintentionally. May be best to add in rice as well. Most vets will have a short conversation on the phone for no charge

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  The mix if food I'm feeding is meat 1/2, brown rice 1/4 and a 1/4 vegetables. I'm also adding a little flaxseed oil. All natural. The adult dogs are fine, its the 3 month old puppies that are losing a little weight. Of course, I just had to worm them again too. So, I'm thinking it might be that and not the food.

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