Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ineffective Meat Management and why we joined the warehouse club.

One of the things that didn't go exactly as planned this summer was our Meat Management. We were not on target with getting our pigz or keeping up with our poultry purchases. There are a lot of reasons for this but mostly the weather worked against us and the normal summer rush of things to be done.

The first group of meats looking .... creepy. Ew. 

The very last meat chicken from this summer is in the stew pot and we are scraping the bottom of the freezers so it became clear that we are going to have to do something to get our Meat Management back on track.

The second group of meats.... almost creepy. One surprise duckling is in there too.

The first thing is that we are hustling the creepy meats into glorious meaty fatness and deliciousness. This might be a little more expensive than our summer meats but we don't even care. Our zeal for farm meat knows no boundaries. So we are going thru a sack of Chick Starter every week.

Pigz. Looking good!

We are also hot stepping those pigz right along. We are pouring feed on them and just about everything else. They are getting nice and fat. And ha! Unlike someone else we know... I think our pigz can hold their liquor because they haven't gotten drunk yet off all the "bad" apples we have received from our very generous orchard friends.  But anything could happen!

Then we finally had to break down and admit defeat....and we joined one of those warehouse stores. We are hoping for much better results than when The Big Man had his epic Sam's Club Freak Out. So far so good.

Yesterday we drove an inhumanly far distance to pay someone $55 for allowing us to shop at their store. That doesn't sound like my normally cheap ways does it?

This is what we figure.... until the first group of the meats is ready (at least another month from now) then we need to buy some meat. I cringe every time I go into the normal stores around here and check out the meat prices. I keep wondering how normal families can afford it? So we remembered how back in the day we used to get more reasonably priced, big packs of meat from the warehouse club.

Then we thought about how our big truck needs new tires and maybe if the prices were good enough then the cost savings from a set of tires might offset the membership cost.

And then we finally thought about how The Big Man's job has shifted a little and now, some days, he's "working from home." So we need some office supplies too. We noodled around with this idea for a long time and the finally decided to get up off our wallet and get on with it.

So we did. Yesterday. The gal at the membership desk veritably had to pull the money out of my hands but we signed up. I took a horrific picture for my card. As per usual, my husband looks like a convict. We both laughed.

Determined not to go "off list" we got out of there in under 20 minutes and under $100. We had some meat, cat food, and blue cheese. That was it. We ran for the car.

Will the CostMoreCo membership pay off? I dunno. But I'm hopeful. We did also note that gas was $0.10 - $0.20 cheaper than most places... if anything we might get to "even Steven" on gas alone. So we'll see.

In the meantime the meat chickens are producing a noxious gas in the garage and I need to get them outside before the barncats revolt.

That's the word here, friends. What do you think? Do you have a warehouse membership? What do you buy?


Unknown said...

We have a membership at BJ's and the gas is usually .10-.20 cents cheaper as well. Its great for TP and paper towels. I buy all my meat at a farm so im not sure about that. But for baking stuff and some of the canned stuff we get it's definitely cheaper and saves me driving.

Anonymous said...

We hemmed and hawed about our membership, but were saving 10.00 per bag for dog food and buying about 3 bags per month. Two months in and we were saving money over and above the membership cost on dog food alone. I travel over an hour to get there, so I plan around a once a month stop. I try to work from a list so that I don't overspend. It is way too easy to buy over what I can easily use or store. I find the quality of the foodstuffs to usually be above my local store. There is some fun variety to be had, as well. Not everything is a bargain, but mostly I am pleased with my purchases and savings. I am going in to get my membership renewed tomorrow, along with my tire rotation. Yep, bought tires for Christmas. Bonus- no goose poop on any of the aisles, just a good stretch of the legs. Sherri

Unknown said...

We have a Bj's membership, and the Boss just told me that with her figuring, we have saved enough this year to upgrade our membership to the one that pays you back. Shocked the heck out of me. We do pick and choose what to buy there. Paper products, and non perishables for the most part.

Vera said...

I don't think France does warehouse clubs, although they probably have wholesale outlets, which the UK also have, but you have to have a food type business to belong. If we could bulk purchase I probably would, even if I had to travel a distance to do so. At the moment any bulk purchases tend to be online, mostly through Amazon. I recently bought organic self raising flour and bread flour in bulk, and purchase all my spices in bulk as well. I do not necessarily save money, but I get a better product for the same price as I would buying from a local supermarket.

As for meat management.......fortunately / unfortunately we have not managed our meat very well either, but instead of not having a supply of meat, we have over produced and still have meat on the hoof to slaughter!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Nastasha - good tip about the baking stuff. we need to restock on our 50lbs bags of flour. Thanks for the feedback - and the reminder. i'll put that on my list.

Sherri - THANKS, looks like we have a similar situation. we were very careful not to get lured in by all the goodies.. but wow they have some fun stuff! and glad to hear about your tire purchase. we'll be doing that soon.

Vera - you know i'm a huge fan of amazon. do you have Prime? (do they offer it there?) there is also some kind of "Amazon Pantry" here... it gets you a huge box of food stuffs with standard shipping. it's "a box" by volume not by weight. i thought that might be pretty good. and i've been following your meat progress - feast or famine, right?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

THANKS 3 Roos and a chick... we considered the fancy-pay-you-back membership but we are pretty far away. we'll see how the gas thing goes. my hubs can get there after work so if it works out we might do try the upgraded one. thanks for the feedback!

Mountain Walker said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog and Wow, on your meat chickens! They look great! Nice and meaty! We've raised them for years and your guys look closer to harvest than "a month away". Of coarse, it might just be the photo... How old are they?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Elizabeth! and welcome. :-) The meats are about 5 weeks old so technically they can be butchered at 7 weeks... but we like to grow them out a little bit bigger than that. We've actually had tremendous luck growing them out to 4 months! We usually go 'low and slow' and keep them on pasture but we are in a pickle and need to hurry them along.

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