Wholey Cow!

After receiving a few questions about our beef stash, I thought it would be fun to show you our most recent gift.  Here it is:  a whole cow.  (And don’t tell my uncles that I called it a cow.  That’s not the right term, because cows are mamas, and you can’t use mamas for meat… except hamburger… because they are older and their meat is tougher.  I think.)


We generally don’t have a whole beef on our front porch at one time, but my crazy (and incredibly generous) parents surprised us all with a quarter of beef for (early!) Christmas. Can’t exactly stuff that in a stocking, so they stopped by our house to divvy it up.


What you see in the above photos is 658 pounds of meat.  Divided by four means that we now have approximately 164 1/2 pounds of beef in our freezer.

If you have the freezer space, there are many frugal and health benefits to purchasing beef in bulk.

  • I know where my beef comes from and what goes into it.
  • I am physically unable to drain any fat off of my hamburger after I cook it.  It is that lean.
  • It’s easier to plan meals around what you have when you already have the meat, reducing trips to the store.
  • We get to eat some really nice cuts of meat, because our beef costs $2.36 per pound.  For everything.  Hamburger, round steak, a variety of roasts, grilling steaks, etc.  Have you ever found a good grilling steak for $2.36 per pound???
  • When we purchase our beef, we are supporting the local farm economy.  And, in our case, our family.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll share what exactly we get in our 164 pounds of beef, how we get it cut, and how we stretch that meat to feed our family of 5 for a year.

Do you buy your beef in bulk?  Would you like to?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

Check out more Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood.


  1. I am a little jealous right now. I would love to do my beef in bulk like that!! However, for how I keep my stand alone freezer right now I would have to get a second stand alone freezer just for all that beef! 🙂

    Oh we are on the same wavelength today, I posted about purchasing meat too but some tips to do so when you don’t have this kind of Christmas gift! 🙂 It is all here…. http://glimpseofsonshine.blogspot.com/2008/11/frugal-friday-purchasing-meat-on-cheap.html

  2. What a wonderful blessing!

    We don’t do this, but my best friend does. When she is getting ready for a new cow, she gives us the leftovers from the old one. How cool is she???

  3. LOL. I thought buying 10 lbs at a time was bulk.

  4. While we don’t buy beef in bulk like you do, we plan to do so once we save up for our big freezer. Right now, we just have a very small fridge/freezer combo in the kitchen. The tiny freezer is half full of ice and leftovers and the rest is full of other things. Even if it was completely empty, we couldn’t fit as much beef as you can. But, we do support our local economy by purchasing all of our meat from our local butcher shop rather than from the grocery store. The business has been open since the early 60s and has been handed down through 3 generations of the owner’s family. The meat they sell is more flavorful, less expensive, and just all around better than the grocery or big-box stores. They do sell several packages of bulk meat, but we just don’t have the space (yet!) to take advantage of the savings.

  5. We have been talking about doing this. I don’t think we could afford the lup sum this year, but I will definatly be saving up to do it next year.

  6. Is that a normal price or a special family price? I have thought about buying it like that but have been overwhelmed with the thought of pricing it out. Can you tell us more about what cuts of meat you get for that price.

  7. Kristy T. says:

    We get a 1/4 beef every year (split with other family members) and a 1/2 pork. It is super handy to have everything in the freezer and I also like knowing where it comes from. I would say that the price is pretty standard, ours is usually around $2-2.50 a pound for the meat and the processing.

  8. Holy Moses- that is a lot of meat! I wonder where you can find people that sell it like that? I am a city girl living in the country- can you tell? LOL

  9. Wow! I’d love to get beef like that, but always thought it would be too expensive! Is it really 2.36 a pound? Seriously… I really do want some. If your brother is selling, I can probably figure out a way to come pick some up (I’m in Nebraska, not too far from the border though)

  10. Wow Amy that’s amazing. What a fantastic Christmas present.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of your posts on this. I’ve always wanted us to buy a share in a cow. There is a farm about an hour away where we could do this. We can’t do it now with our freezer situation, but I’d love to soon. My reasons are the same as yours too – cheaper, healthier, support the local economy, etc.

    And great title for the post too!

  11. Oh my goodness! I LOVE it! I definitely want to hear more about this! Can you sell me some?? 🙂

  12. WOW lol I wouldn’t have any room for all of that meat! How wonderful though!!

  13. We do the exact same thing and we LOVE it!

  14. That is a lot of hamburger meat. I would love to be able to purchase meat in bulk like that. I would have to buy a deep freezer first This is an awesome Christmas gift. You are blessed.

    Take care!

  15. I don’t mean to take over the posts. But many of you were asking where to find local meat. If you are in NC, SC, or Eastern TN my farm will have one ready in about 3 weeks. However, if you live in other areas visit your local farmers markets. There usually are people there selling meat. Talk with them about buying a large amount of meat. Maybe even the entire cow. If you buy the entire steer (maybe with another family) you can then take it to the processor. It should cost about $300 to process 600 lb of meat. That’s all different cuts of meat. Prices of steers can vary, however it is easy to find market prices. Go to your State Department of Agriculture website and look up market prices on steers for your area.

  16. That has got to be one of the best Christmas gifts ever! I’m totally doing that for my kids when I get older!


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