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When it comes to real food, I believe that animal products play a role in promoting good health in humans and today I want to talk about 5 tips for sourcing affordable grass-fed meats.
While I do think that we can all eat more vegetables and less meat, I don’t feel that long-term health can be achieved without consuming animal products. I do not wish to open up a debate regarding plant-based diets versus those who consume meat. I would, however, state that we should all try to eat more vegetables every single day and I challenge you to up the ante in the vegetable department if possible.
My goal for myself personally is to eat 6-9 cups of veggies every day coupled with some sort of animal-based protein at each meal (4-5 ounces, depending on how I’m feeling). Most of these vegetables are in cooked form since that is easiest on my digestion while I heal my chronic illness. But, I do also consume some raw vegetables because there are benefits in both cooked and raw vegetable consumption. I love salads, especially in the spring and summer, and find those to be an excellent way to get more raw foods into my diet.
The goal with healthy animal products is progress, not perfection. I do understand that not everyone can afford grass-fed and pastured meats all the time (myself included). I don’t want people to become discouraged or frustrated because they feel they can’t do it all “perfectly.” Eating real food is not a competition and should never make you feel bad about the choices you need to make to keep the grocery budget in line.
I like to look at grass-fed and pastured products as a goal to reach at some point, especially for those who are newer to real food. I encourage everyone to buy higher quality meats, dairy products, and eggs whenever possible, but at the same time, also encourage them to NOT stress out over the other times when it might not fit into your budget. I talk about this A LOT in my Real Food 101 books.
That said, products from properly raised animals are some of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can eat and you truly get what you pay for when it comes to these protein sources.
5 Tips for How to Source Affordable Grass-Fed Meats
Grass-fed and pastured meats cost more than their conventional counterparts. That’s just the way it is. I am hopeful that as the demand for grass-fed meats continues to grow the prices will continue to come down. In the 6 years since I started this site, I have seen a massive shift in the demand for grass-fed and pastured products and I expect that to continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Truly, the prices for these healthier products are already starting to come down (compared to where they were in 2010), though they are still higher than “regular” products. So, when it comes to fitting grass-fed and pastured meats into our diets and our budgets, we may need to get a little creative. I’m all about getting creative with the grocery budget in order to make it go further. Here are some of my top tips:
1. Always keep an eye out for sales at your local health food stores.
Recently my Natural Grocers has been running some killer deals on chicken and beef. Whenever I am there I always swing by the clearance freezer to see if there’s anything good. I’ve been getting some grass-fed and pastured meats for 50% off their original price, which is incredible! I also got a 24 pound turkey for TEN DOLLARS!!!!!!!!
2. Talk to farmers and ranchers at your local markets.
Learn about their operations, processing times, what products they offer, etc. Find out what the best way is to save money if you purchase through them. Most local farmers and ranchers LOVE to talk to customers so I guarantee you’ll make some new friends for life!
3. Invest in an extra freezer and buy in bulk.
I cannot stress enough the value of having the extra freezer space when it comes to real food in general, not just meat. Your freezer will pay for itself time and time again. We currently have two freezers in our basement, a chest freezer and an upright freezer and I keep those suckers packed!
Check garage sales, Craigslist, or scratch-and-dent appliance stores for some really good deals. For a look at my freezers and what I keep in them, check out this post on batch cooking to save time. When you have the extra freezer space, you can buy meat in bulk which will always drive down the cost.
4. Create Your Own Co-Op
You can save a lot of money when you buy meat in bulk (think a half or quarter cow), but if you don’t have the extra freezer space, what should you do? Split it with friends and family! Create your own co-op of sorts and have multiple people go in on a big order. This drives cost down and gets grass-fed meat in the hands of more people.
5. Shop Online From ButcherBox
I am constantly reminded how much I take living in Colorado for granted. Here in CO, we have access to pretty much everything we want when it comes to healthy food. We have lots of health food stores, tons of grass-fed ranches, raw milk dairy farms, fantastic CSAs (community supported agriculture) and a great number of urban homesteaders and community gardens too where you can get your hands on some of the best quality food around.
Since my businesses span across the Internet and therefore the country and the world, when speaking to readers I am often surprised to hear that they don’t have easy access to local grass-fed meats. Or if they do, sometimes it’s far outside of their current grocery budget.
That’s why, even though I am a fan of buying locally when you can, I am also a big supporter of buying healthy, real food online and that includes grass-fed and pastured meats.
Recently, I have fallen in love with the folks over a Butcher Box and their passion for delivering healthy meats to people across the country no matter where they live. And, they are making grass-fed meats more affordable than you can find locally while introducing interesting new cuts to the home cook.
Pssst, they are offering Delicious Obsessions readers a special coupon code and some free bacon! More details below, so keep on reading about this awesome company!
ButcherBox: Your Grass-Fed and Pastured Meat Subscription Service
When it comes to brands that I endorse and recommend to my readers, I tend to be pretty picky. I don’t partner with every brand that reaches out to me because I have an ethical duty to my readers to only recommend products that I personally have tried AND love. This was a rule I set in place for myself and this site from day one when I started blogging back in 2010.
Since grass-fed meats are a big part of my own diet, and I write about them all over this site and in my popular Real Food 101 books, I fell in love with ButcherBox’s mission when I was introduced to them. And, once I tried their products, I was beyond hooked and I am honored to now call them a trusted affiliate partner as they help make healthy meats accessible to more people across the U.S.
When it comes to making grass-fed and pastured meats affordable and accessible, ButcherBox is offering a great service with their subscription box model. Subscription box services have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years and now you can get a box of almost anything you could ever want, delivered right to your door. When I was introduced to ButcherBox, I was thrilled to know that there was now one for grass-fed and pastured meats from sustainable farms across the country.
This short video talks about ButcherBox and why grass-fed is far superior when it comes to health and nutrition. For more information, please read this post about Grain-Fed versus Grass-Fed Beef: What’s the Difference.
After doing some research, he, like myself, discovered that not everyone has access to grass-fed beef, and even if people have access, their selection is often limited to just ground beef. This helps explain why just 1% of the total beef consumed in the United States is 100% grass-fed.
If you are looking for 100% grass-fed meats that you can trust, rest assured that ButcherBox has your back. They fly out to farms and have taste-tested every cut they offer. If they don’t love it, you won’t get it. A brand after my own heart! <3 Visit ButcherBox here to learn more.
The Core Values Driving the ButcherBox Mission
I love seeing companies who exhibit integrity in their business and adhere to strong morals and ethics. Serving customers is easy when you come from a core desire to help them eat better and live better. ButcherBox has four core values that they have built their business on and will continue to adhere to as they grow even more:
- Health: They want to continuously eat and feel great.
- Transparency: They believe in openly sharing our story and struggles.
- Growth: They are taking grass-fed to new heights every day.
- Responsibility: They want to change the industry and make a difference in the world around them.
What Does ButcherBox Offer and How Does This Work? + a Coupon Code!
ButcherBox’s goal is to make grass-fed beef more accessible than ever before and that is why they are focused on providing 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken and heritage breed pork products delivered right to your door, on a schedule of your choosing. Prices are going to vary, but on average it’s under $6.50 per meal. Their beef is 100% grass-fed and finished. There are no antibiotics or hormones ever used and NONE of their meat comes from feedlots.
They also offer free shipping within the contiguous 48 states. The meat is flash frozen at the peak of freshness, packed with dry ice, and shipped directly to your door each month. I received my first box back in July at the height of hot weather and everything was still frozen solid when I unpacked it. No thawing at all! I was impressed! Here’s a peek at my July order. Visit ButcherBox here to learn more.
The Top 4 Benefits of a ButcherBox Subscription
There really are a ton of benefits to taking advantage of ButcherBox’s awesome subscription service, but here are 4 of my favorites:
1. Trust: Like I mentioned above, if the owners of the company don’t love the product, they will not include it in their boxes. Period. They’ve done all the hard work and have curated the best quality products for each month’s boxes.
2. Convenience: The boxes can be delivered straight to your door on a schedule that you choose. You no longer have to go from store to store and vet the brands of grass-fed meats that are offered. This saves you time and ultimately saves you money too. ButcherBox is a monthly membership service but you can adjust your frequency to receive a box every other month or every three months. You can also cancel anytime.
3. Taste: The owners of ButcherBox personally try ever cut from every farmer before they ever go out to their members. If they don’t like something, it won’t be included so you know that the products you get are going to be delicious and healthy. Also, with every box you get fun recipes showing you how to prepare the cuts from that month’s box, so if you get something you’ve never heard of before, have no fear! You’ll know just how to prepare it!
4. Price. Since ButcherBox partners with a collective of small farms they are able to purchase in large quantities and pass this savings along to their customers. Their products are cheaper than what you’d find at large grocery stores, of the utmost quality, and delivered directly to your door. They also have unique cuts that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
And pssst, there’s a 5th reason too which is that ButcherBox is are offering Delicious Obsessions readers a special coupon code to save $10 OFF your first order + a free 10oz package of Whole30 approved, uncured, no sugars added bacon. Use code DELICIOUSOBSESSIONS at checkout. Visit ButcherBox here to learn more.
What Can You Get From ButcherBox + Cost?
ButcherBox currently offers 4 different boxes depending on what you and your family like most. One of the things that I LOVE about ButcherBox is that you will often get interesting cuts of meat that you have never even heard of. Case in point, the coulotte steak that I received in my first box. I have never even heard of that cut, so that was really exciting for me to try something new!
The All Beef Box
This was the box that started it all and features 3-5 different cuts of grass-fed beef. With each month’s box you’ll find a nice balance of cuts from things like ribeyes to short ribs to flat iron steaks, along with their staple ground beef.
The Mixed Box
This box is great for those who want a variety of beef, chicken, and pork each month. You’ll get a varied and well-balanced selection of 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and all-natural pork without you having to choose. Each box features a cut of 100% grass-fed beef and our house blend ground beef, in addition to at least one premium cut of all-natural pork and organic chicken.
The Beef and Chicken Box
This is my box of choice and features delicious grass-fed beef and farm-fresh organic chicken. Each box contains a featured cut of 100% grass-fed beef, our house blend ground beef, and 1-2 cuts of organic chicken. In addition to grass-fed burgers and juicy grass-fed steaks, you’ll feast on farm-fresh drumsticks, chicken breast, and boneless thighs.
The Beef and Pork Box
If you just want some beef and some pork, then this is the box for you. Each box contains a featured cut of 100% grass-fed beef, our house blend ground beef, and 1-2 cuts of all-natural humanely raised pork. In addition to grass-fed burgers and juicy grass-fed steaks, you’ll feast on pork tenderloin, sugar-free Italian sausage, and all-natural pork chops.
In addition to selecting the box you want above, you ahve the ability to beef up your box (LOL, see what we did there?) 😉 by adding any add-ons you like from back to burgers to ground beef. So you are not constrained solely to the box you select, you can add on your favorites like burgers for an upcoming BBQ or bacon for that family brunch.
Monthly ButcherBox Cost + Coupon Code and Special Offer
Each ButcherBox is just $129 and comes with at least 20 individual meals (at a 5 – 8oz portion size). So, the price works out to about $6.50/meal, plus the shipping is free. This is far less than what I would pay for the same quantity of meat from my local health food stores. Plus one of the things that I really love is the fact that I can get new cuts every month that I have never even heard of. This makes preparing dinner a little more fun as I try out these new products!
Shipping is always free and the meat is flash frozen at the peak of freshness and individually packaged. All of their boxes are filled with a specific amount of dry ice that’s carefully calculated based on your geographic location. Your box will arrive 2 – 5 days after shipping and you’ll receive a tracking # the night your box ships. Like I mentioned above, I received my first box in the middle of July and it was HOT out there. Everything was still frozen solid which was pretty impressive!
Don’t forget that ButcherBox is offering Delicious Obsessions readers a special coupon code and offer!
Save $10 OFF your first order + a free 10oz package of Whole30 approved, uncured, no sugars added bacon. Use code DELICIOUSOBSESSIONS at checkout. Visit ButcherBox here to learn more.
I really feel that ButcherBox is an excellent way to supplement your grocery budget with some high-quality meats without having to worry about completely breaking the bank. Even eating grass-fed meats on occasion is better than never eating them at all. While it might be hard to put grass-fed meat on the table for every meal, with a service like ButcherBox you can get those products on the table more times than not throughout the month.
I think ButcherBox is setting the standard for making grass-fed meats accessible and affordable to more people and I am proud to partner with them on this mission. As the good word of grass-fed meats spread and more people discover the incredible taste and health benefits that come from these quality products, we can expect to see big changes in the world! Visit ButcherBox here to learn more.
UPDATE: New Packing Material!