Meat Prices are SKYROCKETING. Here’s How to Get Ready.

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I started raising chickens for meat in 2014. I’ve always bought the same feed from the same farmer. Prices have always been about the same. Even when prices on meat were slowly rising in the grocery stores due to Covid issues in the processing plants, my feed supplier’s prices didn’t change much. I process the animals myself so I haven’t had to deal with the labor issues. Chickens from me in 2021 would have cost the same as they had in 2019.  

However, yesterday I found out my chicken feed prices will be up almost 20% in 2022. My pig feed will be up 60%. It’s going to be a hell of a jump. The droughts out West have clobbered grain growers. Gas prices are up. Labor costs are up. Some of the minerals have had to be imported and all those prices are up. The gradual increase in prices most of us have been watching are going to take steep upward turn within the next couple months. A lot of people have been saying this is going to happen; you can’t print trillions of dollars, pay people not to work, and expect nothing to happen.

It’s happening.  

Grocery stores are coming up with some interesting tricks to hide the inflation. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen “shrinkflation” at this point. 

 The grocery store I go to rearranged the display stands in the produce section recently. It’s not the kind of thing you’d notice unless you’d been regularly going to the store for a long time. But they removed a few of the stands and then realigned them so that most customers wouldn’t notice there were a few less, which tells me that not only are they short on produce, but they don’t anticipate restocking fully for the foreseeable future.

I personally haven’t seen the fake cardboard food pictures at any of the stores I shop at yet (just getting used to the sight of empty shelves again), but I’ve heard that that’s what British stores have been doing.  I don’t really blame the grocery stores for this. They’ve probably been through just as much as the rest of us as late, and I see enough grumpy people out there that I would be trying to avoid confrontation too.  

I find the redefinition of “meat” more disturbing.

Anyone under the age of 50 is probably somewhat familiar with animal rights activism and the PETA “Meat is Murder” propaganda. I just ignored it. For a long time, I thought everyone had their right to be their own brand of crazy. I didn’t realize this was a movement. I thought it was just passing talk.

Then, I noticed PETA bought stock in Facebook, making it incredibly difficult for farmers to do business on social media. I noticed when a friend of mine had her birds stolen and drugged by animal rights activists, who plastered their theft all over Facebook, and it took her county four weeks to even press charges. 

I noticed when the Pause Act (also called Initiative 16) attempted to destroy the livestock industry in Colorado by redefining artificial insemination and pregnancy checks as animal rape.

Initiative 16 was universally struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court, but the habit of “redefining” things has certainly not gone away. It’s no secret that the “Great Reset” crowd wants to curtail meat eating in first-world countries. What may not be as obvious are some of the ways in which they plan to accomplish this. 

Fake meat. Tastes like chicken.

Most of us have probably already heard of Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers. These are highly processed food products made mostly from soy protein concentrates and vegetable oils. They are a vegan attempt to mimic the meat-eating experience without using actual meat. 

I’m not a fan.

These Impossible foods are both expensive and full of things I usually try to avoid consuming (soy and vegetable oils), but you know what you’re getting. They clearly advertise that they contain no actual meat. 

Lab grown meat is different. 

It actually does contain animal cells, making it non-vegan as a result. A small amount of animal cells are fed various nutrients in a laboratory, and they eventually grow into full-sized pieces of meat. They will probably not be advertised as “lab-grown” meat because that doesn’t sound appealing to most consumers, but instead will more likely be marketed as “clean” meat . Lab grown meat is not on the market yet, though a large facility just opened in California and is slated to start hosting tours to the public in January 2022.

My issues with shaping soy patties into “meat” or growing tissues in a lab and calling it “meat” aren’t really the subject of this article. It should suffice to say that: A) we have a right to know what we’re eating, and B) there are a lot of people with a lot of money (and therefore, power) trying to make it less clear what, exactly, we are consuming.

Any way you look at it, there is a lot of pressure on the average consumer to eat less meat. 

Prices are set to skyrocket.

So what does a happy, healthy omnivore do to keep meat (real meat) in their diet?

First of all, if you are not in the habit of reading labels, you should probably start. Beyond and Impossible meats are more expensive than real meat right now, but that will probably change soon. Lab-grown meat is also more expensive, but again, with the changes in feed prices as well as labor issues, real meat prices are set to skyrocket. So make sure you’re reading what you’re getting.  

If you have freezer space and some money saved, now is the time to buy what you can. Buying a quarter or a half of a cow is probably the most economical choice. I buy a quarter of a grass-finished steer at slightly less than $4/lb. Now, a lot of that is a combination of bone and cuts people don’t necessarily know what to do with. But that’s one of the benefits of the internet. I can type any cut of meat into a search engine and figure out a way to cook it in less than two minutes.  

But what if you don’t have freezer space or money to stockpile?

What are your options to avoid going totally vegan if this is where you find yourself? You don’t want to be forced into any type of lifestyle – you want to choose? How can you retain this freedom with what you eat?

Well, one option would be to see if a few friends or family members would want to split the cost of an animal. When I lived in the suburbs and did not have the freezer space, I would find a friend to split a quarter of a steer with. An eighth of a steer fit nicely into a cleaned-out, regular freezer.  

I have heard people recommending switching to “cheaper” pieces of meat, but the reality is that not much is cheap at all any more, and most of us aren’t eating steak every week anyway. Maybe a better way to think about it would be to plan your meat purchases around using every possible piece of whatever meat you do buy.

For example, if I get an arm roast, I can first cook it as an Italian pot roast. I’ll cook it for eight hours or so, so that the minerals from the bone leach into the stock. We’ll get a few meals out of the meat itself. Then, I can save the liquid I cooked the meat in, add a lot of vegetables, and use it as the base for a soup.

I don’t skim the fat off soups. Instead, my kids and I will soak bread in it, making the soup and bread night more filling. In this way, I can use one piece of meat as the base for dinners for the better part of a week.   

I do something similar with chickens. If I roast a chicken, we eat the meat itself for one dinner. Then I save the carcass. When I have two carcasses in the freezer, I’ll put them in a pot and cook for four or six hours. I remove the bones, put any meat scraps back into the soup, add vegetables, and there are another couple dinners. I get a lot of mileage out of whatever meat I use. (Here are some more ideas for getting an entire week of meals from one roasted chicken.)

Even if you only buy ground meat, don’t toss away any fat you drain off. Hang on to it and use it to cook vegetables. Or you can even spread it on bread, if you like the flavor. Meat has a lot of fat-soluble vitamins that you don’t want to dump. Live frugally with your meat. Use as much of the animal as possible, whether it’s storebought or farm-bought.

What else are we likely to see?

Whether you’re on a “freezer full of meat” budget or a “ground meat once a week” budget, it’s worthwhile to see if there are any farmers you can get to know. In fact, if you have any particularly interesting skills or hobbies, you may be able to bump yourself up from the “ground meat once a week” budget. While feed prices are going up, so are labor prices. Don’t sell yourself short.  

My gut tells me bartering is going to come back with a vengeance. There are just too many problems with the money supply right now. 

People are already talking about it. I was still on social media when the lockdowns started in 2020. Within a few weeks, the rural buy/sell/trade group was full of posts by people looking to swap. 

Even if you live in a city, it’s probably worth your while to spend some time getting to know who grows what in your area. Doing some internet research, and then driving out to the country periodically may really pay off. Or you could go to a farmers’ market. I went to farmers’ markets both when I lived in the Chicago and the Houston suburbs, and I met interesting people and made business relationships at both.

Building relationships is more important than ever. Remember that.

An alternative would be to try raising your own meat. Chickens and rabbits will fit onto many suburban lots. You’ll need to research what’s legal in your area. Rabbits are quieter than chickens. People often claim that it’s not “worth it” to raise your own meat.

Think about that for a little bit. Particularly, if you have children, not only are you raising food, you are also providing education and entertainment for your children, which many people budget for already. Raising (and butchering) animals isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been kicking the idea around anyway, now is the time to go for it. It certainly will not get cheaper anytime soon.

And if all this sounds overwhelming, I strongly recommend Daisy’s new course, “Bloom Where You’re Planted.”  Trying to feed a family real, healthy food was hard enough for a lot of people, even before the government’s COVID response threw a monkey wrench into absolutely everything. Rising prices and fake meat products flooding the market aren’t going to make things any easier.

There is an action plan…

A lot of us have had the rug pulled out from under our feet in the past, but there are coping strategies. 

Daisy’s course will help you think rationally about your particular situation. Organizing your thoughts and making a plan that anticipates continually rising prices will help you avoid stress down the road.

Again, inflation is not over. Not even close. Rising prices for me as a producer means rising prices for the consumer 3 to 6 months down the road. This is a friendly warning for anyone who wants a heads up. But we don’t need to panic. All we can do is plan the best we can now, and know that, when the time comes, we have done all we could.  

How are you going about dealing with the high prices of meat? Do you have any strategies to share or advice to offer? Has this affected your budget dramatically? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About Joanna

Joanna has been homeschooling three children since 2012. In 2014, she moved to the High Plains of Colorado. She and her children began a little homestead, gardening and raising chickens for eggs and meat. One animal led to another, and these days they have livestock guardian dogs, chickens, geese, ducks, alpacas, goats, pigs, and one very spoiled cat.

Joanna Miller

Joanna Miller

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  • Isn’t it a little late to say “I’d like to know what I’m eating,” when GMO foods have been sold in this country for so many years and they can contain anything from waxines to sterilization proteins to viruses that destroy the ability for a population to resist (notice how the US public is so domesticated? Wonder why, bruh?) why does it even matter now?

    It’s been game over since the 1990s when the oligarchs decided to give up on the US and pull all the money out the back door by making gov’t take on so much debt, it’s just unconscionable. Catherine Austin Fitts said this.

    Yes, there’s a nationwide stay for the Jan 4th 2022 deadline for federal contractors to get the death darts, but that’s only because the preparatory phase of the democide hasn’t been completed yet. They are moving on the food, because in days, a population would become to weak to resist, so we’re screwed because not enough minions of the oligarchs: cops, medical personnel, and military, have just not complied. They’re in it to the end of us.

    Complaining about food prices or what is even in food when every fast food place manufactures its food no different than pet food, is really surprisingly ignorant.

    • FYI……..why worry about GMO foods when most every person in the world that gets the vax, the clot shot ? To those that do not know any better, once you take that “Jab”, YOU are now a GMO!
      However, the “They” call it gene editing. Jim

      • The covidian cult members are now transhuman w/ softwear and tracking devices impanted in the shots. A.I. mind control w/ softwear interfaces ongoing. the C. cult folks are now slaves who will now act on command Seems the N.E. part of this coutnry is more motivated to be transhuman w/ high shot compliance.

        • Do they even have to eat at this point? with their boosters and what not? Just saying, if you got the jab, the best remedy I know to counteract that poison is Dandelion Root Extract. just saying

    • Wow Jeff. Pretty negative post there. I don’t think the writer is complaining at all. Rather helping folks to THINK about their options. I’m gonna guess that most folks reading here are not clueless about the current situation the world finds itself in.
      I personally always read labels even though I don’t get much at the grocery store and very seldom eat fast food.
      It isn’t what one eats once in a while that does the damage. It’s what you consume daily that hurts.

      What’s ignorant is to not be aware of what you may be putting in/on your body. It’s NEVER too late to open your eyes/ears and take care of what matters. I can’t change a lot of things, but I do have control over what I eat as do you. Trust me-it matters!

      It’s much more helpful to folks to come alongside them and try to help rather than the negativity that your post imparts. Although if you really don’t care about helping others out then why say anything at all??

      • Dawn,
        While I agree with you about most here on TOP are . . . more informed than the average American when it comes to where the food comes from.
        Readings by people like Joel Salatin, Gene Logsdon (RIP), and Michael Pollan to name a few, informed and educated me about GMO, Certified Organic, whole foods/minimally processed foods/ultra-processed foods, Big Ag and Big Pharma etc.
        Documentaries like Super Size Me, or Fed Up are also good insight to screwed up our food culture is.

  • I’ve read science fiction stories that kept me up at night about “lab-grown” meat. I also started raising chickens, ducks, and turkeys several years back. My brother has more room and does the pigs. We also go halfsies on farmer beef. It keeps the freezers (and pantry) full. I re-acquainted myself with canning and preserving. My dehydrator runs at least once a week. I try to be as self-sufficient as possible. I grow a large garden each year and really wish I had the room and stamina to grow more.
    On the groceries that I have to purchase, (because, seriously, no one can produce EVERYTHING they need) I read labels, research companies, and listen to my friends. In this day and age, the best we can do is the best we can do.
    I have a good bit stocked up and the skills to do more economically as far as food is concerned, but the rising prices are monotonously familiar now. My son works at a big box store and gives me a heads up when he can about prices that are about to raise. He will pick up my favorite brands before the increase when he can. My pantry is the family pantry. Both of my sons are also my neighbors, helping with the livestock and chores and we all contribute to the pantry. It has really paid off this last year. Things will get worse before getting better. And it’s hard to tell when it will get better.
    Good article. Thank you for thought-provoking information.

  • If you can’t buy quarters and halves of meat, still try buying “bulk” cuts you can afford and cutting them down yourself.
    I routinely buy the pork loins at Costco and turn them into chops. ( I don’t have a Sams Club here in Canada)
    I also have been know buy the top sirloin “piece”, break it down into roasts and steaks.
    By watching the price per pound I try to maximize my meat purchases.
    At one point during a recent sale it was actually cheaper per pound to buy steak than it was bologna. (BOTH were on sale I might add)
    Using up every drop of your meat purchase is important, and even more important for those meats that have been processed into something else. Think bacon, ham , etc.
    I remember my grandfather having a coffee jar of bacon grease that was kept in the fridge.
    If he pan fried left over potatoes, a great big dollop of bacon grease went into the pan.
    It added the needed fat for cooking as well as taste.
    He didn’t waste anything.
    If I see meat with bones turns out to be close to the better price per pound, I’ll always go for that since I can turn out a soup and/or broth from those bones.
    I also try to buy roasts over steaks.
    The more something is “processed down” the more per pound it becomes.
    Learn to cut meat and it will save money.
    For instance you can sometimes save even just a dollar per pound buying steak instead of stew meat.
    Buying a whole chicken and breaking it down yourself is cheaper than buying the various cuts already packaged.
    Buying the “smaller” pieces of meat like you find at Costco, can work too. Break down a prime rib roast into steaks. Break down the eye of round into marinating steaks. I can usually save some money per pound but not as much as buying the larger pieces.
    Watch sales, look for larger cuts, learn to break meat down, use every part of your meat purchase, and you’ll maximize your “meat dollar”

    • do you think it is really worth all the effort when buying for only 2 older folks, one who doesnt eat lots of meat, and other who prefers steak once a week, a some meat the other days? I dont, I dont see where I should bother cooking down the carcasses/bones, for soups, he’d rather eat canned soups, saving the grease from bacon (has to have every other day) to use for other stuff cause I dont eat fried foods(rarely fry anything), and so on……its easier for me nowdays just to get canned goods, easy fix stuff (hate to cook) etc. seems my early teachings of how to save (stockpile, buy in bulk on sale, save this/that for something else etc) has gone out the door with this one….so I figure, why bother?? good article though…..

      • Just goes to prove that we all make our choices, don’t we?
        Those choices have outcomes as well and then we had better not complain when the chickens come home to roost 🙂

    • Excellent comment. I bought $23 worth of chicken breasts at 1.99 lb yesterday. Canned 8 pints. Froze 1 breast , cut up 1 to make chicken pot pie , and cut up half breast to make chicken fried rice. We are going to have to change our way of thinking and learn to stretch our meat. I still waste more than I should, but I’m still learning.

      • I can get 8 meals from a polish sausage.
        I heat a half pkg. of frozen corn(40¢) and a few slices of diced zucchini (40¢) in olive oil. I then use diced polish sausage( can use pork sausage/spam/ham) (30¢)…add 2 slices of butter/garlic powder toast (10¢)and a good meal for less than $1.50…..

  • Indeed, the droughts, fires, labor issues, and supply problems are hitting hard. Food shortages are a logical outcome of the events in California, a major agricultural region. I wouldn’t be surprised if political tensions are at least partly responsible for shortages of items we’ve been sourcing from China. Utility bills are also rising, most notably heat. My current heating bill is nearly double last month’s and 62% higher than this time last year.

    Adapt and adjust. Stretch those meats as suggested in this article. Do everything to retain heat from closing blinds to putting a rolled-up towel by doors to covering windows and patio doors with plastic. I’ve dropped the thermostat by 3 degrees and put on more clothes. Clothes are paid for! The time to adjust is now!

  • If you think the price of your livestock feed is going up, wait until you see what happens to pet feed in the next 6 months.

    I have all our animals for resale slaughtered at a usda plant. Some further processing is done by that plant for the usda label. A lot of my new customers ask me to process their beef/veal/lamb as my overhead is dramatically lower and my processing facility is surgically sterile.

    Almost nobody wants organ meat (shameful) unless it’s calf liver so after a year in the freezer, if we don’t eat it all, we make a huge lot of dog food out of unused bone dust from my saws,grind scraps,kidney,testicles,heart,liver and bones. Add in whole buckwheat flour, sweet potatoes, butternut or Hubbard squash,carrots, lentils, make a huge slurry, and either pressure can it or freeze it in cheap burger tubes.

    Annually we make ~250#’s of dog food for about $80 (today’s prices). I ask a lot of my dogs, so I always account for their needs as well as ours.

    Ive also recently started curing and smoking our beef hearts for pastrami. It’s cheap and easy to make and one doesn’t need more than pot space in the fridge for brine curing for two weeks and a simple smoker. Salt and cure#2 is cheap and so are juniper berries and coriander and mustard seed.

    Everyone knows how to cook and freeze. I thought I give a couple suggestions on what to do with the other stuff that can be gotten cheap and provide long lasting nutrient dense food.

  • Freezers!
    Freezers and MORE freezers!
    Saw this coming as the left has been SCREAMING about the meatless model for years.
    Bought a few chest freezers and even a spare unboxed one i keep in the basement as a spare in case one goes on the fritz. I don’t like surprises… Lol
    And i filled em up by buying meat and storing it any time i found meat on sale.
    When chicken breast went on sale for $1.99… When 10 pound bags of chicken leg quarters were available… Whenever porterhouse or ribeye went on sale… Chuck meat for stroganoff, pork chops, bacon and breakfast sausage…
    Now… Most will say, great! What happens when the power goes out, genius?
    Gas generators and LOTS of treated gasoline! And a couple of 1800 watt solar generators that will cycle friges and freezers.
    Our system ain’t pergect or even foolproof… But it WILL work for longevity.
    Note…. Bacon and breakfast sausage? Go to DOLLAR TREE! No kidding…
    Grocery stores sell 12 oz paks of bacon for between $6.75 and $8.25 currently. DT has 3 oz paks of bacon for a buck! 4 paks and you have the equivalent of a 12 oz pak, for FOUR bucks! Same with breakfast sausage! 8 links in a pak for a buck.
    An added bonus? The bacon and sausage paks are small and THIN. They can be crammed into every nook and cranny of your freezers, thus utilizing space that would otherwise be wasted. 3 oz bacon paks are also great because you don’t have to open a full 12 or 16 oz pak just to feed a couple of people.
    Lastly, awesome bartering and/ or sellable item after SHTF. For neighbors down to eating beans and bullion soup 2 or 3 months in? They would trade well for a bacon and sausage treat!
    Same with freezing eggs! Scramble em and freeze them in cupcake pans. Take the egg pucks and double package them, and load em in the freezer by the dozen! Those will fetch a nice barter as well! They will keep for about 2 years double bagged.
    Bacon, sausage and eggs make a bice gift box to friends too.
    The brand of bacon and sausage sold at DT is called Farmer John’s. Both taste excellent. Sorry i can’t post pics of the packages here for visual…. Just go to the cooler section to find. And get em before the DT price increases hit!!

    • ”’Bought a few chest freezers and even a spare unboxed one i keep in the basement as a spare in case one goes on the fritz. I don’t like surprises…””

      I have 4 chest freezers now because—lost one and replaced on July 4…
      Instead of holding that 4th for future use, I use it and have extra space in all 4 and if one dies..(again) I can put all the items in the 4 into one and replace that day.
      It is nice having space in the freezes as they aren’t stuffed to the top.
      I have one just for meats.

    • There is a better solution than a noisy generator to the problem of frozen food when the grid goes down. Get a vacuum dryer (drastically cheaper than a freeze dryer). Freeze your food in slices that will work well in your vacuum dryer. You end up with first quality freeze-dried food that will last longer than dehydrated or canned, while preserving more nutrients and tasting better. Shelf-stable with no refrigeration or other energy-input.
      You need one quick freezer that freezes food solid. Maybe a backup. Sell the others.
      Generators could be dangerous in SHTF if they advertise you to the neighborhood as a prepper with valuable stuff.

  • Personally, I like ducks better than chickens. Bigger eggs, not as noisy. Even a laying hen can be rather vocal. And they are great for cleaning ponds, snail/slug control. Letting them or chickens free range keeps down on the costs if you have the space.
    Rabbit tractors also keep the feed costs down. Basically a A-Frame, with an attached weld wire run, about 3ft long. Then, just move them a few times a day. Make great lawn mowers.
    Hogs can be raised on only pasture, but it would take a good two years to get them up to appreciable slaughter weight without feed. They eat hay too.

    • I’m with you on that one 1stMarineJarHead. Ducks are the way to go. A neighbor of mine has been giving me a dozen or so every few weeks because she has too many. That may soon not last though.

    • 1stMarineJarHead, I second your suggestion of rabbits wholeheartedly. They are delicious (like a tastier chicken meat), easy to keep, much easier to butcher than chickens and, contrary to what most people will tell you, they don’t need pellets. In my opinion NO animal needs processed food, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion. Rabbits can live happily and healthily on grass, hay and tree fodder. Breeding does benefit from the addition of oats to their diet, for added protein. So apart from being able to feed them for free if you’re willing to put in the effort, releasing you from relying on the collapsing animal feed chain, they are also totally silent. You can keep rabbits anywhere and as long as they’re out of sight no-one will ever know they’re there. Taking this one step further, if anyone ever comes raiding your place to take your livestock it would be very easy to hide a doe and a buck in the woods or the attic (keep a cat carrier at the ready) and soon you’ll be back in business. Did I mention how prolific rabbits are…?
      I hope this will inspire some people to seriously look into keeping a few rabbits for food security!

  • DW and I drove into “town” today to shop at Wally World, the guy in front of us at the check out lane had the last freezer they had in the store, according to the Cashier. Meat prices seemed higher than a year ago. We started a “food log” last September to keep track of just how high Resident Branndon’s inflation goes to destroy the Middle Class.

    As Lenin said, “Grind the Middle Class between High Taxes and debasing the currency (inflation)”.

  • Someone mentioned about how even what once were considered “cheap” cuts of meat are no longer so, unless compared side by side to prime steak.
    Still, a cheaper, cut of meat can go a long way. Many French recipes are nothing more than old peasant food, some with a modern twist.
    Also, compare the cost of ground beef to, say chuck roast. Per pound the chuck roast might be cheaper and, if you have a grinder, grind your own. Same can be done with chicken, pork, turkey.
    Consider grinding your own sausage. Better quality as you KNOW what goes in there. Ever bite into a sausage patty and get something rubbery or hard? You dont want to know what that is.

  • Meat prices are going sky high because the ranchers have been selling off their cows because they can’t make a profit can’t make any money they can not afford to keep them .This happens every few years its just the way it is and now things are about to get worse.Traitor Joe wants to make you stop eating red meat because they think cows are causing climate change and that is God to them by them I mean the climate change whackos. They are going to make it so that the farmers and ranchers can not make a profit don’t need them any way you can go to the store and buy anything they sell us .Don’t need farmers and ranchers according to the climate change whackos we are about to see a famine that has never been seen before if Traitor Joe and his merry band of communists get their way meat prices will go beyond sky high the meat will be a thing of the past there will not be any. No cows no meat no milk no nothing people just do not know what all comes from cows.

    • Ben, I remember reading about this about 3 years ago. the killing off of herds of mama cows wouldn’t be felt then, but is now.
      And the young cows were killed so…’here’s your sign’ as the comedian says.
      It is as if I’ve been relocated to a futuristic survival show and I’m in it!!!!

  • I went the canned meat route. With the BOGOs on canned chicken I did ok. Other meats I had to order. I live in a hurricane prone area and with power outages and possible bug outs it made the most sense to me.

    FYI Epicurious the foodie/recipe site stopped adding beef recipes ..well cause of climate change ect.

  • Love all the ideas for stretching our meat and other foods. We are an older couple on a fixed budget. We no longer need large meals since we are retired and our work load is reduced. I make a lot of soups out of my meat budget using portions of good meat and lots of vegetables. Inexpensive to make and we use it for dinner and later lunches.I am constantly looking for recipes to use for stretching our meat. We still have an occasional steak and more costly cuts of meat. We eat well and I think we are better off health wise with all of the fiber content of our soups and casseroles. Also Jim’s post that mentioned home made dog food is great . We have a little dog who had gotten fat eating dried dog food. (Believe it or not) So I started making his food with left over meat, veggies, brown rice and pumpkin. He lost a third of his body weight in a few weeks. He is so much healthier. He is also happy. He looks forward to his meals, and has more energy.

  • I might add to start researching and growing more of your own animal feed. I like books from the 1970s by authors like Dirk van Loon and Gene Logsdon and Jerome Belanger. Or more recent books with “small scale” in the title. Also learned a lot from BBCs Wartime Farm series.
    I have note cards for each species of animal we have, listing what they can eat that we can grow or get locally. I figure if we can’t get one thing we can pick something else on the cards. I also figure that a balanced diet over the span of a month or a growing season is likely to provide the variety of nutrients they need.
    I have also ordered large bags of pesticide free barley and learned how to sprout trays of fodder. Every animal I have can eat that, although in limited quantities for some.
    I’ve put in Comfrey plants all over the homestead. Bocking 4 or 14 won’t spread by seed. This can be harvested multiple times a season, fed to most of the homestead animals, and is rich in vitamins and minerals including B vitamins. This year I intend to order and learn more about using Fodder Trees.
    While I’ll have to work up to larger quantities for the larger critters, anything we can produce will reduce our costs, and ultimately, be feeding our family. I think it would be completely possible to produce most or all the food needed for a few backyard rabbits or chickens.

    • I’m definitely going to be researching growing more of my own animal feed and want to grow comfrey.
      I do want to look into growing Fodder trees. Hadn’t heard of this and do want to know more.

  • Thank you Joanna for a timely article concerning the future of meat. I think everyone is familiar with the big uptick in meat cost and most readers here are aware of some of the reasons. If we want meat on the future menu, you need to plan accordingly ,whether you raise your own or purchase it .
    We have no livestock at this time but do buy beef and pork from friends nearby .Chicken and turkey we buy from the grocery store. We look at a freezer as temporary storage and we keep enough canning jars on hand to can the freezer contents if and when the freezer dies.
    We can pork sausage , hamburger, stew beef , chicken and turkey chunks , as well as quarts of beef stew and meatballs.We also buy spam ,the mystery meat.
    In the seafood area we buy canned salmon, sardines, tuna , kippered snacks and chopped clams.
    For cooking tough or cheaper cut meats we use a small presto pressure cooker. On the road to self reliance it certainly helps to be creative and think outside the box, sometimes even in a totally different box.
    Joanna mentioned building relationships , we think that is a critical area to work on. Building a trust in people is challenging and sometimes disappointing , but surviving as a lone wolf will be just as daunting and difficult as well. We think “local” in relationship building and it is a slow and careful process.
    Just remember that things will never be the same as they once were.
    Blessings to all.

  • If you pack meat in heavy plastic bags like food saver vacuum bags and freeze it it will keep for many years as long as it is kept frozen in a deep freeze.

    One of our local groceries (10Box in West Plains MO) has been having pretty good sales on meat about every other week, typically 1 or 2 good sales every other week. Pork sirloin roasts as low as 75 cents a pound already in 10-20 pound packs sealed in heavy plastic ready to stick in the freezer (it does have some bone in it). You can grind them up for sausage too. 10 pound bags of chicken leg quarters for 53 cents a pound. These have air in the bag so will only keep a few months before losing flavor. Its a bit of work but canned chicken is pretty good unlike most other meats. Make quick soup or chicken salad.

  • I grew up with gluten fake meat but as an aduIt I choose to eat meat. Still do. I raise rabbits, chickens, and ducks. Kitchen and garden scraps help with feed prices. I raise extra corn and other grain on my 3 acres. It all helps, and I grind flour also for baking.

  • I filled three freezers with grass-fed and finished beef late last Summer. Added two deer and will certainly add more. If meat gets expensive or unavailable to some point game seasons won’t matter much to meat-starved people. I could keep the freezer full just sitting out on the deck… for a while, anyway until deer are culled to zero. A fellow down the road from me stops and picks up deer laying on the side of the road killed by vehicles. His thinking is that its still fresh, why waste it. He discards the bruised meat and keeps the rest. A country boy will survive… *laugh*

  • I dont own a freezer beyond the one built into my refrigerator. I can meats. Chickens I split in half and can bone in. That gives meat the little scraps for soup and rich bone broth for cooking.

    I grow a wide variety of vegetables. I can, pickle, make soups ect.
    Suddenly now the food set back for two will last longer as im a recent widow. It also reduces the overall household income. Life changes.

    I heat with a stove that will burn pellets, wood chips, corn, or branches. A bow saw is sufficient for a years supply of branches. I dry them in piles for the next year. If I can get them i buy 2 tons of pellets per year for heat and winter cooking.

    It’s taken planning, but I can be quite independent on just 3 acres. Areas that would normally be left out are growing covercrops, grains, even field peas. Animals can be fed from those.

    Ive added a manual winch to an unused well… just in case. I have 330gal water totes. Two will be buried at the edge of the garden with an antique hand pump for the critters. The water from a small duck pond will flow into two small ponds for cattails, rice, and crawfish. Solar power recirculates water for hydroponics.

    Nothing too expensive. My under $1,100 per month social security had to pay for it all. Planning has been the biggest part of it.

  • Our chicken feed went up nearly 50% this summer, from $12.50 to 14.50 a bag in May, and then from $14.50 up to $18.50 in September! Hay went from $150 a ton last year to $300 this year, if you can even find it.

  • My bestie is a farmer so I get pork and beef from her. Raise my own goats for meat, milk, cheese, soap and chickens for meat and eggs. Feed costs will rise but not as high as meat. I’m not worried ????

  • The late Doctor Rebecca Brown who wrote numerous books on the occult stated that eating red meat was important for keeping you from getting into a nutritionally deficient state that she knew from her experience as a medical doctor and prior occult involvement made people vulnerable to demonic influences (wish I had the exact book and page reference, sorry). In addition, fake meat is high in estrogen which can hurt masculine strengths. Sounds like just the recipe the globalists would like to serve up to soften resistance to tyranny.

    • When I hunted professionally I became aquatinted with a lovely and inspiring woman from Namibia, Marina Lamprecht. I sat through her lectures at DSC and SCI and she became an inspiration to my wife and I.

      She feeds children and runs a full service big and dangerous game operation and speaks with experienced and assured authority on the subject of nutrient deficiency of high density protein for child development and social fallout from the lack thereof.

      I wish I could have hunted on her operation. She’s a woman of whom I could spend hours listening to and learning from.

  • I honestly noticed that the other day when I went to our little local grocery store and was like huh? The shelves were like wide apart, and big aisles now with much more walking room with a basket, too much room. And they stopped making fresh potato salad, and fresh cakes and cookies. The deli cooler was empty and blocked off. Also, their prices are extremely high. Meats don’t look so good now. Milk was $5 a gallon. I live in Texas, in a rural area, there’s like cows down the street from me. Eggs were $10 for 5 dozen. The farmers around me selling eggs for $7 a dozen. Everyone feeling the pinch of that grinch big bad grandpa badfinger, joe blow and his cohorts.

    • I use Nido instant milk…put a few drops of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar when mixing, prepare night before…you’ll be surprised how good it is.
      I gave all my vacuum sealed milk to a farmer for his livestock when I tried Nido.
      Eggs here…same price.

      Clergylady…I’m in same situation as you. All that stored food is gonna take a long time to eat now…and I’ve given so much to a prepper with 4 children..
      I’m reacquainting myself with the shelves now–a little each day.

  • Thank you for a very good article. Raising chickens and ducks,I can definitely relate to rising feed prices. I am presently stocking chicken feed,scratch,cob,and duck feed. Add on dog and cat food. Locked up in my feed shed with a high security lock. It’s getting crazy.

  • Really good information and learning some things I hadn’t thought about.
    I have two freezers and lots of can meats and veggies a long with dehydrating but plan to watch for sales or even possibly purchase a side of beef.
    I watched a webinar with Jason from Seeds for Generations about localizing your own food that Daisy shared here on Organic Prepper. very good information!
    I’ve found the links to finding farmers and other resources in our areas was super helpful.
    I also plan to raise chickens starting in the spring. I’d rather do sooner but on a limited budget I need to plan to build their coops. Plus chicks as they mature will lay eggs through winter where older ones need a lot more warm sun to do so. Should give me a good head start on saving eggs in pickling lime water bath.
    I am making a lot of the dogs food now and acquainting the cats with homemade food as well. If there is no other food the cats will surrender being so darn picky.
    I have a lot of dry dog food stored if should need it in an emergency. The dogs had been on a prescription diet for weight loss that doesn’t seem to be available anymore and I said the heck with it. They are healthier now without it and I just store extra dry food.
    Rather than wait for the crap to it the fan I had started doing a lot more of what I can for myself and continuing to learn more and do more as I go. I don’t want to depend on even the system of the grocery stores anymore.
    It’s just me and the animals and perhaps at some point the unprepared kids will be around and I want to be ready. I don’t have disposable income to waste on anything not needed.

  • If you like stock at 4-6 hours you will love bone broth! Many more nutrients and I think better tasting. I place the carcasses in a crock pot in the morning with water and cook on low until the afternoon the next day. Just check occasionally and keep water levels ok. You can add onions or carrots or whatever you usually add when making broth.

  • Reading through the comments most if not all of you are on top of this mess we are facing. “Control the oil and you control nations. Control the food and you control the people” – Henry Kissinger. Looks like that’s the Globalist goal. As far back as 1962 LBJ bragged about having the ability to manipulate the weather. If that were true then, think of what could be done now. Personally, I think the weather is being manipulated for the exact purpose of decimating the food supply. You could own the richest farmland in your state but if the weather doesn’t cooperate you won’t be getting a crop.
    Don’t overlook the sales. I’m sure none of you do. But occasionally a really good deal pops up and we need to take advantage of them. I receive ‘flyers’ via email from two local groceries each morning and always take the time to take a look.
    We shop mostly at a nearby Kroger’s. I must say that the produce looks worse and worse. Doesn’t seem to keep very long once we get it home, either, like before. We buy organic when we can and if available. Recently my wife discovered that bagged potatoes and onions were not available. The bin was empty of both. The other day they didn’t have any carrots. A friend in the meat dept. will text me when they have a good deal on meat or when the price is about to take a significant jump. He says they never get all they order and never know for sure what will show up.
    Those of you here, as well as on similar sites, represent a very small percentage of the overall population. You know the value of working to achieve as much self-sufficiency as possible and understand why its important even though all the exact details of the risks are yet to reveal themselves. Carry on.

  • Freezers are good until the power goes, so I’ve gone the freeze-dried route. Have only about a month supply in the freezer which I rotate out. Tried different freeze-dried meats and buy the ones I found I like best. It’s expensive compared to today’s prices, but I think it will be cheap compared to 2024 prices. And lasts for 25 years. No electricity, just water.

  • This is a general comment and not directed at the author or any other comments(haven’t read the comment section yet)
    If we look back past the animal right hysteria to the cookbooks during the world wars, food rationing and meals during the great depression we see that minimizing meat isn’t political, animal worship or whatever, but sometimes financially necessary. Been there done that. Old school food frugality uses less meat in casseroles, one pot meals and so on. Other poverty style eating saved meat for Sunday dinner with a smattering in other meals throughout the week and didn’t shy away from not eating it on some days. These were people who labored with their bodies much more than most of us do now. Not only did they thrive they lived to older ages with less suffering too.(many things factored into that, not just food)
    Meat as a main must is a side effect of prosperous living. Doing with less is just a historical norm that we are unfamiliar with due to marketing and long term prosperity.
    Beans are great and yes you can get kids and reluctant meat lovers to enjoy eating them. Most casseroles, soups, and one pot meals can have less meat in them without it being too noticeable unless you are an ardent meat lover who has been able to afford that luxury all along.

  • In the Free-State of Florida, I’ve seen the prices rise but I’ve also seen meat on sale. Recently, one of the grocery stores I regularly visit had Pork Butt for $1.19/lb. (limit 2). Pork has definitely gone up. Pork Butt’s “New Normal” price is in the $2.75 to $3.25 per pound range. So when there’s a sale, I’m on it. I like Pork Butt, makes for excellent Smoked Pulled Pork. So I bought 2. I have a freezer in the garage and use it as my meat locker. It’s full of meats and that’s were one of the two Butts ended up. I wait until a cut of meat is on sale. When my wife and I first were married, we wouldn’t buy London Broil unless it was under $2.00/lb. With all meats we set a price ceiling, with inflation the ceiling has been raised but not by a whole lot. We still only buy meats when there is a sale.
    One nice thing about living in Florida, if you want fish……go fishing. Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, Sea Trout, Redfish, Snook, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), and more are all available depending on the season.

  • just remember that rabbit is very very lean. if you plan to eat rabbit, be sure to have fats for fat soluble vitamins on hand.

  • I’ve recommend to my neighbors to feed their dogs and cats organic pet food.
    That way, when I have to eat their pets their meat will be healthier for me (JOKE).

    Reminds my of my Grandmother’s version of Mary had a little lamb.
    the last part had a SLIGHT change :
    “But when meat prices turned disfavorable it very much displeased her.
    So she had leg of lamb and stored the rest in her freezer.”

    Ok seriously: Buy canned meat. Lots of it. Even if it is $5 a can it’s a deal. It may not be ‘tasty’ but it doesn’t need refrigeration. Buy cheap beef and dehydrate it in your oven. Dry it until it is crisp (much more dry than jerky) and put it in zipplock freezer bags or waterproof buckets. It will last at least 3 years (so far…testing still in progress). Boil it up and it returns to ‘life’….ugg badly chosen word.

    Look, they aren’t just coming at you with the vaccine (and associated freedom loss) and hyperinflation. They are destroying supply lines and food production. They are also going after your energy (expect power failures to become more and more common).

    Sure, toss the vegetables (cheap stuff) and fill the freezer with meat. I would caution anyone that you may want to have a backup power supply (don’t rely on fuel being available or affordable for purchase). In my opinion, canned goods or dried/salted meat is a safe bet.

    I’d also dehydrate some spicy sauces to flavor the meats. Canned meat needs it in my opinion.

    • Mary had a little lamb,
      but now her lamb is dead. 🙁
      Still, she takes her lamb to school
      between her chunks of bread. 🙂
      My mother taught me that at a young age. She, being raised on a farm, said, all animals had a job to do to earn their ‘keep’. Even applies to bushes and trees. Think Elderberries, Hazelnut bushes, gooseberries and groundcover cranberries. Dolgo crabapples don’t need spraying and bear usable fruit. These are plants which bear a crop quickly. When gardening, allow one or two to mature to harvest seeds.

  • It’s always good to try to help people, even it’s misguided. Right now we can still own property, we can still buy things, we can still travel (for the most part), we can still live with our families, there are many things we can still do. But what happens when we no longer have the right to DO
    or own anything, when we no longer have the right to even Be. Unfortunately that’s not how it’s gonna be. Freedom will be a thing of the past, a distant memory perhaps. Once the Beast comes on the scene, things will be greatly different. There’s no place to really go now! But once He appears, it may seem ok at first, but reality will set in, and you’ll realize there really is no place to go! So, best to not get left behind! The most important thing you can do now is learn to trust in the one who will come to make it all RIGHT! JESUS OUR LORD.

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