Hello Chownation -
My family and I are striving to both cut down on our meat consumption (though we're avid ominvores who like nothing more than bloody steaks) and source whatever we do eat locally and sustainably. For a while, we went to H Mart and Fresh World since it was economical (and you could acquire some really great cuts that you can't find elsewhere), but because of ethics, we returned to Whole Foods where we signed over our paychecks each week for about a 1/4 of what we bought through the Korean markets.
So... I've been looking at farms and meat shares. Smith Family Farm is local, but I've had a bit of trouble getting a hold of them and worry that it's a sign of bad customer service.
So Chowhounds -- do you have suggestions? Farms? Meat shares? Green Grocer? Eastern Market?
For meat shares, I use whitehousemeats.com - And also go see Bev at the Dupont and Courthouse farmers' markets - ecofriendly.com for the best Pork around. Neither are cheap, but probably cheaper than whole foods (I don't know, I have never been a fan of WF's Beef) - Yet both are Humane and Delicious.
There are numerous producers/farmers at our region's farmers markets, from Eco-Friendly to Smtih Meadows to Lamb's Quarter to Virginia Lamb.
I have the same goals as you do-- to eat less meat, but try to buy local when I do. It's hard to resist cheaper meat, I know, but my goal is to increase my local purchases and do what I can.
I can post later with meat share info.
Do you have a car and freezer space?
I am not expert at this, but I really liked the pork from Cooper Penny Farm in Hanover, Maryland. I tried only a couple of pieces of beef and liked that as well. They are a small family farm and at the farmer's market this summer she told me that they also sell directly from their farm.
you mentioned Eastern Market, while the meat is high quality and generally local, since you're looking for a cost effective measure, I gotta say it's not. (but it is always good. so again that price vs.value thing, so annoying that we have to choose)