Sunday, March 1, 2015

A butcher vs the grocer?


Affording meat has become ever increasingly a challenge these past few years. I've definately reduced the amount we consume, as well as the types, where I am buying it. SInce I menu plan a month ahead, I know that whatever is on hand is what I have to draw upon. These meats were most likely bought on marked down or sale, if not at Aldi's who seem to have the cheapest options around.

Nutrition and source of foods (trying to keep it local and definately domestic, USA) have long been concerns of mine. My uncle is a butcher, my Dad (and his buddies) raised pigs for consumption. I've always known a few farmers. I have actively been researching butchers in my area. Hard to find, and most are "boutique butchers" whose prices mimic those that one would pay in a restaurant. I did hear about and subsequently frequented yesterday, a Brazillian butcher/cafe establishment in the city North of here. Funny that no prices are listed anywhere, so one has to ask. Slight language barrier, but I am tri lingual and can get the message accross. The shop was very clean, the meat very fresh.

 Offerings were a bit different, but I walked out with a lb of freshly ground beef (I watched them grind up a beautiful roast), as well as a lb of pork sausages. Prices were lower that the regular supermarker, a tad higher than ALdi's fzn or fresh meat case prices.

What is your experience with using a butcher? Do they still exist in your neck of the woods?


saraband said...

A revamped and enlarged branch of Waitrose (a supermarket at the upper end of UK food stores)has recently opened in my town, which includes a fresh meat counter. The town's one remaining independent butcher predicted that he wouldn't be able to compete, and sure enough he's just closed. I didn't shop there, on cost grounds, but am sorry he's gone out of business. I don't pretend to know what the answer is.

Frugal in Bucks said...

Trying to use a local butcher but much more expensive than the Asda near to me. Leg of British lamb at Asda was about £20 the butcher was £33!

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I do not have any independent butchers except the expensive kind. I buy much of my meat at Sam's Club and depend on the regular supermarket sales for the rest. We do have a butcher in the supermarket but I mostly buy there when something is on sale as well--they do make their own sausage but mostly they cut up bigger cuts that they get shipped in. I try to watch for reduced meat that goes straight into the freezer when I get home as well. And since I cook for only two of us, larger packages are split up into portion sizes and frozen that way--although we still eat leftovers/planned overs quite often as well. I don't like to throw food away! I use few convenience items and cook mostly from scratch--I'm a low salt, lower fat person because of hypertension, so I cook without salt as much as possible. I do use lots of other seasonings. I also bake my own bread and desserts, as you do, because they are cheaper and I know what goes into them. Meat has been the biggest problem lately, although produce isn't far behind, price-wise. I noted that in Florida (on vacation) apples prices were less than we pay here and we grow them here. Strawberries were coming in and also were cheaper than here. Not happy that we pay a lot for everything.