During our move my husband and I debated if we should bring just 1 of our standing freezers, or both. Yes, it’s a lot of freezer space and a lot of items do go “missing” in there, but the main reason why we have it is for the beef we buy directly from the rancher. If you have a family of 5 or more, I strongly urge you to consider buying from the rancher directly, as they can give you a GREAT deal on the meat, but you have to usually buy at least a 1/4 cow at a time. We’ve never had trouble eating it all up before it goes bad, and really it can last for up to a year in the freezer without any freezer burn and still tastes good.
This is especially a good option for those who like to eat organic beef, as we get ours from an organic farmer and it is just as cheap, if not cheaper, then buying the hormone raised beef from the grocery store. Ranchers will usually quote you a flat rate per pound for the entire 1/4 or 1/2 cow, like $1.89, and that will include a mix of cuts. This includes t-bones, strip steaks, round steaks, pot roasts, ground hamburger etc. To me that’s a great deal, as it means hamburger is $1.89/lb (still cheaper then the hormone filled hamburger at the grocery store), and so are the T-Bones! Of course you don’t get very many of the better cuts, but you get a decent array in your package.
Try looking around for a local farmer or visiting your farmer’s market, as often times they will have a booth there. The more local the better, as that means you can go pick it up and not have to pay delivery charges. Heck, the farmer we used (Braucher’s Sunshine Harvest Farm) lived about 45 minutes away and drove it to us, now that’s service! To find a local farmer try looking up “organic beef MN (or whatever your state is)” or “beef ranches MN (or whatever your state is)”. Even if the ranch you find doesn’t list that they sell 1/4 or 1/2 cows, try contacting them anyways and asking!