Buying Meat In Bulk: A Brief Consumer Guide
There are three primary advantages to buying meat in bulk from Home Grown Cow:
- You know where it comes from
Unlike buying meat in a supermarket, which might be a mix of meat from many different farms in many different places, bulk meat from Home Grown Cow comes from a single farm that you pick.
- It's cheaper
Farm-direct meat priced by the farmer saves you money as the only costs are processing and shipping (where applicable).
- It supports the farm
Small-scale farmers are traditionally "price-takers" at the mercy of the big retail supply chains. Home Grown Cow enables them to sell their product themselves, to get more return for their product and make small-scale farming profitable again.
The picture below is an example of what a quarter beef might look like when you pick it up from the butcher. Two large boxes.
This can vary by breed, and depending on your cutting choices.
This particular quarter had a hanging weight of 217lbs. Hanging Weight is explained below.
In this particular case the boxes contained the following items:
- 43lbs. of hamburger
- 3 large Sirloin Steaks
- 7 Chuck Roasts
- 4 Porterhouse Steaks
- 6 T-Bone Steaks
- 9 Ribeye Steaks
- 4 Sirloin Tip Steaks
- A tenderized round steak
- 3 packs of stew meat
- A tied and rolled Rump Roast
- Some soup bones
There are some important differences between buying meat in bulk and buying it at retail.
Please read carefully below before
making any bulk meat purchase from Home Grown Cow.
Home Grown Cow: Pricing and Weight Variations
PricingAll the prices listed here at Home Grown Cow are retail prices, and all of them are set by the Home Grown Cow Farmers. The prices are all per item, rather than per pound.
WeightsEvery item for sale at Home Grown Cow has a minimum weight listed and a maximum price per pound derived from that minimum weight and the price. The item you buy will always weigh at least the minimum weight. If it does not, Home Grown Cow will refund you a pro-rated amount to ensure that you don't pay more than the maximum price per pound advertised.
Live Weight, Hanging Weight and Cut WeightIn the United States, the price of meat sold is usually based on one of three types of weight. Please read the information below very carefully before finalizing your meat purchase decision.
When purchasing larger bulk or "freezer" meat as it is sometimes called, there are some important variables to consider.
All meat sold by Home Grown Cow is listed using either the Minimum Hanging Weight or the Minimum Cut (or Take-Home) Weight.
Here are the definitions of the weight terms used when buying meat:
|Live Weight||This is the weight of an animal while it is "on the hoof" or living.|
|Hanging Weight||This is the weight of an animal as it hangs on the rail at the meat locker after hide, head and hooves, etc. have been removed. Depending on the breed and animal, hanging weight is commonly around 60% of live weight for beef.|
|Cut Weight||Also called "Take-Home" or "Finished" weight, this is the weight of the actual meat that you will receive after excess fat and bone are removed. Depending on the breed and animal, cut weight is commonly around 60% of hanging weight (Or 35% of Live Weight) for beef and pork, and 55% for lamb and goat.|
At the time you agree to purchase bulk or freezer meat from a Home Grown Cow farm that uses Hanging Weight, the animal from which it will come may still be blissfully wandering around the pasture. Farmers price their product based on what it costs to raise an animal, their margin, the cost of processing, wrapping and freezing, but no-one can be sure how much meat any animal will yield until that animal is processed.
This is why we use a minimum weight per item. The farmers estimate the minimum number of pounds of meat each quarter or side will probably yield, but there is no way to know until after processing exactly how much meat will be produced. Usually the yield is slightly more than the minimum, so the customer receives a little more meat than they actually purchased, and their price per pound is less than the maximum price per pound listed. If, for any reason, meat listed at Home Grown Cow weighs less than the minimum weight advertised, Home Grown Cow will refund the customer the difference.
People who enjoy farm-direct meat in bulk quickly become accustomed to these small uncertainties, as they are a natural part of buying meat from farmers and knowing exactly where your meat comes from.
So remember that while our farmers always do their best to estimate how much meat you'll get for the price, only nature knows for sure.