Our Yearly 1/2 Side of Beef Purchase

Each 12 to 15 months, we purchase 1/2 side of beef from my cousin’s husband who owns a farm. 

There are several reasons why we do this.

1.)  We know where our beef is coming from.  In fact, my children have gone to the farm to see the cows on a few occasions.

2.)  We know that the beef we are consuming is the product of one cow, not several (or hundreds) as is often the case at commercial slaughterhouses.

3.)  We are protecting our food costs from inflation.  You may have noticed the sharp rise in grocery prices lately.  Because we have enough beef in the freezer to last 12 to 15 months, we are protecting ourselves from rising beef costs.

We paid $514 and got the following cuts:

51  – 1.25 lb. tubes of ground beef

4 sirloin steaks

7 chuck roasts

2 t-bone steaks

3 Porterhouse steaks

4 steak sizzlers

4 beef rounds tenderized

3 pkgs. stew meat

2 rolled rib roasts

1 rump roast

We bought 117.5 lbs. of beef total, which averages out to $4.37 per pound.  That is a flat rate for ground beef and steaks.  While the ground beef may be more expensive per pound than we can buy at the grocery store, we will gladly pay it for the reasons outlined above.  Of course, it is much harder to get steak for $4.37 a pound.

Have you ever purchased meat in bulk?  What do you think about doing so?


  1. We purchase 1/2 of a cow and 1/2 of a pig each year or so. We have several children and most of them are practically adults. We paid a little under $700 dollars for our meat. You must have gotten a bigger cow…because we certainly didn’t get that much ground beef. I love having a freezer full of meat especially for all the reasons you mentioned above. It definitely saves us money. I also purchase 20 organic chickens and about 30# of leg quarters at a time too.

  2. That’s great! We don’t have a large freezer (only the one in our fridge) so we haven’t purchased even 1/4 at a time, but I do order from a local beef producer by the month. It’s a completely natural, 100% grass fed, zero steroid kind of operation and the beef is wonderful! She charges 3.99/lb for extra lean ground beef and 4.99/lb for stew meat, which is really all we ever use. I may buy the occasional roast, but very rarely. I think those are 6.99/lb.

    Like you it feels good to KNOW what we’re feeding to our children. We watched “Food Inc.” a while back and it was a REAL eye-opener!

  3. We just half a beef in our freezer. I think we paid $2.39/lb. I agree with your reasons. We also get a much better quality of meat. It tastes and cooks up so much better than we buy in the grocery store.

  4. We’re just starting to buy local, and I found a farm that sells grass fed beef, grass and whey fed pork, and pastured chicken. I’d love to get some beef, and maybe half a pig this year!

  5. I’ve been wanting to do this! Where does your brother live?

  6. We are really thinking about doing this! 🙂 Thanks for the post! Erin

    • Melissa says:

      I would highly recommend it. We have purchased for the last three years and don’t want to go back to just buying from the grocery store.

  7. We also buy our beef by the 1/2-cow from a farmer friend..we love it..we get cuts we couldn’t otherwise afford, the meat is leaner than what the store has, we know where it’s coming from, we trust the quality (we know our friend wouldn’t feed his kids beef that he didn’t think was safe), and we can support a friend in his business.

  8. sandy16502 says:

    We go in with our daughter and son in law to buy a half each year from a friend. I love knowing that it doesn’t have all the chemicals, etc. found in commercial beef. We paid $2.65 hanging weight for organic beef. I am quite pleased with that price and we get cuts I would never be able to afford otherwise. I always ask for the soupbones, too. My daughter doesn’t use these so get all of them:) but it evens out because I give her some of the soup I make with them.

    • Wow, that is a great price. I can’t remember how much ours was hanging weight. Do you have a good recipe for beef broth? I would love to start making my own.

      • sandy16502 says:

        First, I cook the bones in the oven until they are quite brown. This gives the broth a good flavor and color. Then I put them in my big crockpot with lots of water and all the ends and pieces of veggies I have been saving in a bag in my freezer (onion, carrot, celery,etc.) and I ad just a splash of vinegar to help release calcium from the bones into the broth. I turn it on low and let it go. When it is done (12 hours sometimes if I forget) I strain the liquid from the solids and put the liquid in the frig. Once it has chilled I take off any fat and then freeze it in suitably sized containers.

  9. This is an awesome idea, and if I had the freezer space, I would be all over doing something like this. There is a lot of high quality beef producers in the area, so I’d have my pick of prime sources.

  10. We bought a half a pig last year, and per pound it came out to around $3.50. I don’t think we will do it again because it turns out I am not a big fan of pork, and I would much rather have beef. Also, we got a ton of pork burgers, but the place we bought from didn’t make them like the meat locker locally does, so we just didn’t like them that much. We haven’t been able to find as good of a deal on part of a cow yet, so we’re still looking into that.

    • Melissa says:

      I always wondered about buying a side of pig, but I think like you, I wouldn’t like that much pork. Thanks for sharing!

  11. stephanie says:

    I would like to buy 1/4 of a cow , I live in grand haven,mi . Does anyone know a farm i can get it from ?

  12. we raise our own since we are dairy farmers:) we also butcher our own pigs & if done right it is very good. just found your blog & searching it:)

  13. Hi Melissa, I stumbled across your blog looking into buying 1/2 cow, your cuts are exactly what we are looking for – would love to support a small local farm. Do you have contact info for your cousin, is he willing to sell outside family?

  14. We live near the IN border and get our beef from a local farmer/family friend. In fact, I’m lucky enough to see “our” beef every time I leave my house because they are less than a mile from my house and on my way into town. Right now, we are totally out of ground beef so I used store bought yesterday for a meal. I’ve been completely spoiled by our organic, well fed, non hormoned lovelies. That store bought stuff was so gross! Waiting for my parents to get back from Mexico next week to order the next one. I CANNOT WAIT!!!

    • Yes, we have visited my cousin’s husband’s farm a few times to see “our beef”. It doesn’t get more local than that.

  15. can you give me the name of your family’s farm. I also want to purchase 1/2 cow.


  16. Rachael Danzig says:

    Hi I really loved your post and am sad I hasn’t seen it much sooner. It’s what ultimately convinced my husband and I to do this. We’re in Grand Rapids Michigan ams I was going your cousin was still in the business of this?

    • Yes, he is still in the business. Contact me by e-mail if you’d like his information.

      • Does he still sell halfs and quarter cows I may be interested I know this post is old but thought Id try.

        • He does, though he has quite a few customers! I can pass on your e-mail info, and he can get back to you if anything is available.

          • Hello Melissa I was wondering if your cousin is still in business I would love to buy a half of a cow for my family.

          • He is. I can pass your info on to my cousin. If they have any available, she can let you know.

  17. Can you give out his number. I live in Mich and would like to try this..

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.