(See the rest of this series here)
I’ve talked a lot recently about making your own homemade stocks for their nutritional (and frugal and tasty) benefits. I promise that I will stop talking about this so much soon, but I had to give one more tip for where to source good beef, lamb, and chicken bones for stock making.
I do try to get bones from local farmers, and it is often the cheapest that way too. When I buy a share of beef, I ask for the bones. A local farmer that has lamb meat for sale at a farmer’s market in the spring sells lamb bones that make incredibly delicious and frugal stock. But…what to do when these sources run out, or in between farm runs?
For us, a local store, New Seasons Market, has been a great source of bones! I can special order with them and get a wide variety of bones. But that always takes a little waiting time (usually about a week, sometimes it has been longer though). I was thrilled when I discovered that they had a lot of their soup bones in the “raw pet food” case on a weekly basis. Now, of course, you should always make sure that the food in a “pet food case” is safe for human consumption, which was true in this case. It is the same stuff I get from behind the meat counter.
This is what I’ve found in the case:
- Marrow and knuckle beef bones, pastured and grain-finished
- Lamb bones
- Chicken backs
- Chicken Feet (which I know sounds gruesome, and I am still getting over that fact, but it makes an incredibly rich stock – see my recipe in Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons).
- Chicken liver
All of the above is generally 2 dollars or less a pound, meaning I can make a pot of stock for about $5 dollars. So much cheaper then buying it premade, and so much more nutritious too!
I love animals, but please, I don’t want them to get all of the good stuff! I find it pretty ironic that most Americans pass by some of the most nutritious parts and give them to their pets! I hope to someday get a dog and/or cat, and they will just have to share with us.
So, there is my quick tip for the day! I’d love to hear if anyone else has been able to find bones for stock making in a raw pet food’s case, or any other “think outside the box” ideas for saving money while eating healthy.