(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.