Pennywise Platter Thursday 1/14/10

And it’s the first Pennywise Platter Thursday of the year! I can’t wait to see what shopping tips, recipes, and tips you all have to share in the new year that help you eat nourishing food for less.

Oh! And IĀ  hope that everyone’s Nourishing resolutions are going well. I still need to follow up on a few things for this month myself.

As always, make sure you follow carnival “etiquette” by linking back to this post and keeping things family friendly.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    Hi, Kimi! When I shared my Sloppy Joe’s In A Bowl recipe here on your blog, some of the commenters suggested their beef was more expensive than mine. Since then, I have wanted to find out more about what people pay for their grass-fed beef. So my contribution today is a poll to find that out. I hope many will stop by and let me know what their prices are.

  2. Jessica says

    Hi Kimi, I’ve never posted before, but I’ve been following your blog, for about a month now, and I really love it so far! It’s particularly helpful for me, as we are on a tight budget as well with my husband in school and me at home, but still want to eat the best quality food we can (especially so since we’re expecting:). I follow Nourishing Traditions as much as possible.

    Anyway, I just wanted to respond to Wardeh’s question about grass fed beef prices. One of the ways we save money is to really shop around in our area (Vancouver, Canada) to find the cheapest prices possible (as I’m sure most of you do). I actually have a friend who also follows Nourishing Traditions who is a much better scout than I am, so I have to hand a lot to her. In terms of the beef, we had been buying a quarter of a cow, which made our grass fed beef an average of about $3.00 a pound. (That was a front quarter). More recently, however, we have come across an organic butcher shop that does enough business to keep their prices quite reasonable for the most part. They sell both grass fed ground beef and ground buffalo for $1.99 per pound. So, ground beef based meals, for me, definitely fit into the pennywise category. (Thanks for your recipe Wardeh, I plan on trying it out tonight!)

    One of the most helpful money saving things we have done is beginning a natural foods “buying group”. We started about 8 months ago, and have done group ordering a couple of times now from a few local health food distributers. We now have three that we buy from, which is nice as products really range in price between them and you can compare prices to get the best one. We usually buy their bulk items, and then have a night where we get together and divide up the bulk items we are splitting. (Done by weighing, and then bagging, usually). The trick to all of this, of course, is making sure to put to use whatever it is you buy, and also not getting sucked into the “It’s such a good price, I must buy it” trap, when you really don’t need the item. (I’ve also learned from experience that it’s not very much help to get 10 pounds of organic flour that just sits in the freezer while you neglect to use it for baking!)

    I was surprised about which distributers are willing to sell to buying groups, as they never really advertise it. It might be worth a try for others to look into it in your area. We have a very small group (4 of us), which is about the right size for now.

    Sorry to ramble on so long… I promise not to do that with every comment. Thanks again for the work you put into your blog, Kimi.

    • Melanie says

      Perhaps you could share where you’re finding your meat for people like me who also live in Vancouver. šŸ™‚

      • Jessica says

        Oh, sure. The place we have recently started getting meat from is Organic World in Maple Ridge. They are a wholesaler that also sells to the public, and I believe they get their grass fed beef locally, and some from Saskatchewan and their buffalo is all from Saskatchewan. They apparently are able to offer good prices as they work in very large quantities. They always also have 2 for 1 sales on, which I try to take advantage of. They also say they can get almost anything in, if you call them ahead of time… like if you want different organ meats, etc. (I know it’s a bit of a trip if you live right in Vancouver so perhaps you’d want to stock up when you went.)

        We bought our bulk meat (front quarter), from Heritage Meats in Langley. Their butcher apparently has a very good reputation for being very honest, and you can be sure you are getting what you pay for from very local farmers. The price may have gone up since I last ordered 8 months ago, I’m not sure. (Their meat is excellent quality, and if you have freezer space, the pricing might work out to be quite comparable with Organic World over all, depending on which cuts you normally eat.) He also gives you lots of options about how you would like to have the meat butchered, and gives you the bones for broth as well. Sides and Hind Quarters are more expensive as you get better cuts of meat.

        Hope that helps… glad someone else can take advantage! šŸ™‚

      • Naomi says

        If you are interested, my parents live in the interior of BC and raise pastured beef. I think they take a run down to Vancouver once a year, if you have freezer space. I’m not sure what their prices are though.

  3. says

    Hi Kimi – thanks for this carnival, I love your site! I just wanted to contribute my post about making chicken stock, although I’m sure many people know how to make this already…but it’s such a good staple, and especially during the winter, not to mention it is a great frugal thing to do and makes meals last!

    Jessica – I am always astounded at what great deals many people I’ve read are finding on grass-fed beef. In our region, you can’t find real grass-fed beef for less than $6 a pound, and often more. The farm we get our meat from sells their meat for anywhere from $6 to $7/lb depending on how you are purchasing it. Another farm, selling certified organic grass-fed beef sells their meat at our local health food store for over $7/lb and sometimes up to $8 or $9.

    I talked with the farmer who we purchase our meat from, and he said that he really doubts anyone who sells real, organic, grass-fed meat could actually do it for less than $6 a pound due to all the factors necessary for it to be truly grass-fed. But then I keep hearing about people selling for less than that, which is perplexing. Do you have any insight to this? Because if there is a reason why some people can sell it for less than $6 a pound that people aren’t aware of, maybe it would be good to know what that is! Thanks much!

    • KimiHarris says


      In our area buying grassfed meat from farmer’s at farmer’s markets and stores is quite expensive. However, when I buy a 1/4 of a cow I can buy for between 2.30 to 3.30 a pound. I think part of the reason it’s so cheap is because they aren’t trying to make all of their money on raising cattle for meat. Since it’s a really simple process (give them water and plenty of pasture), the farmer’s I get it from do it as a side job. Hence, they aren’t as worried about getting top dollar for it.

  4. Heather says

    Buying by the quarter (which we like to do, anyway, as we’d rather keep a full freezer & not have to shop all the time!), I can grass-fed beef for $2.50-$3.50 a pound.
    To Raine: Big factors in pricing for such things include real estate prices, amount of state regulation (this adds to cost), & transportation costs. When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, both grass-fed beef & raw milk (& good eggs!) cost at least twice as much as they do in the St. Louis area. Another thing that is MUCH cheaper is land to farm on (easily as much as 10 times cheaper!). Gas prices are cheaper, & Missouri’s government tends to be much less heavy-handed than CA’s.

  5. junecutie says

    Hi Kimi,
    I love your blog. I am learning a lot from your posts. One sniggling question: Can you do anything about 1 Trick to Tiny Belly ad that pops up just before the comments and other places. It’s only a little annoying, but the beginning picture of the rather roundish girl (boy am I pc or what?) is beginning to look good to me. Yikes!

    • KimiHarris says

      That ad IS annoying! Next time I see it, I will copy the link and try to block it. Sorry about that. šŸ™‚

  6. says

    Kimi and Heather – thanks for your responses! I’m still scratching my head as to why our meat costs so much. Here’s why: we did purchase an entire half side, which was $1500 (we get our raw milk for free when we buy it in that quantity), but the price per pound ends up being right around $7.

    I did sell some of the meat to other people to offset the cost, and the farm actually encouraged us to do this. So I ended up paying about $675 for our meat and milk (we picked it up weekly and received 2.5 gallons from Oct. 1st until December 1st when milk is discontinued until Feb. or March of the following year due to weather). It could be said that the milk offsets the cost of the meat (milk is normally $10 a gallon, which from what I’ve seen is also on the high end), but the farmer still sells his meat for $7/lb when people don’t want milk, so I don’t think that it really makes a difference.

    Our government is very conservative in Idaho, meaning that regulations are minimal, but I’m not sure about transportation costs.

    Also, our real estate prices and cost of living here are relatively low, especially compared to many surrounding areas like Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and some locations in CA and UT (we’re in Boise, ID). I’m sure the condition of the economy has not helped matters, as I still have yet to see any great deals on really anything since companies are letting people go and so many people are out looking for work.

    Thanks again for your responses, I appreciate! šŸ™‚

    • says

      Raine – This is so interesting, about Idaho. I am shocked that your price is so high. It surprises me based on other things I’ve read about Idaho.

      Our beef is grown by a rancher who’s always done grass-fed for his family and friends and decided to branch out a few years ago. He does minimal care with his cows – pretty much just leaves them be on grass for 18 months. His traditional business is raising cattle the conventional way, but he’d like to get out of that – trouble is, there’s not that much market for grass-fed in our county. Which could contribute to the price being lower, I don’t know. Our price is $2.88 per pound, take home weight.

      Thanks for sharing your experience! And I will hope that you’ll find a better deal in the future, one that’s good for you and good for the rancher – but free raw milk is a nice benefit. šŸ™‚

  7. Barbara says

    This is off topic but I need help with lacto-fermenting lemons. I can’t seem to keep the lemon slices from popping up and not being entirely submerged in the juice/whey mixture. As I’m using a quart mason jar I don’t have anything that will fit in as a “weight.”Right now I’ve got an upturned shot glass shoved in to at least bring the liquid up to 1” below the top but some bits are still at the surface. Is it absolutely necessary to completely cover the material with the liquid for safety? I’m using the NT recipe. Thanks.

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