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Why Investing in a Half Beef May Actually be Worth It.

Did you know that beef buying doesn’t always have to happen at the grocery store? 

With fluctuating prices at the supermarket and questionable beef practices, lots of families have began buying their beef in bulk year after year.  You actually have more options available than what you see on grocery store shelves!

Options that will help you not only save money, but also take charge of your family’s health and nutrition in a way that's smart, economical and convenient.

The benefits of buying in bulk are pretty hard to beat, and I believe everyone would benefit, but I know there’s still a lot of questions around the topic.

How much does half a beef cost?  How much meat do you get?  Is it even worth the investment?

In this post I hope to not only answer those questions, but help you see why investing in a half beef this year may be the right solution for you and your family.

Most people who purchase a quarter, half or whole beef, do so simply because of the savings, ease and convenience.

When purchasing in bulk, you know exactly where your beef comes from, and you get to partner with a local ranch that shares your same values. More than not, these farmers offer grass-fed, grass-finished, or grain-finished beef from cows raised with plenty of room in a pesticide-free, healthy and wholesome way. 

You know, I’m always inspired by my fellow ranchers’ love and care for their animals. It’s important work that takes an incredible amount of energy to help us put food on our tables.

Another benefit: When buying a half beef, or buying in bulk, it's a lot easier to meal plan because you already know what’s in your freezer…you just plan, defrost and go!  Much more convenient than running to the supermarket day after day, purchasing questionable beef.  And no more frantically comparing prices and hunting down weekly sales!

With your bulk purchase, you’ve already paid one price per pound of premium all natural beef for the whole year.  "Whether it’s made into ground beef or ribeyes, one flat price may be comparable on ground beef, but is outstanding on steaks and other whole cuts.” 

Yes, buying your beef ahead of time does require a substantial investment up front, not only in money but in freezer space.

The good news is, you can still benefit from buying in bulk even if you don’t have the space or money at the moment.

Simply round up a few friends and purchase a half beef together! You’ll have to decide on your own how to divide it, but you still get to buy locally, save money, and fill your freezer with delicious, tender, flavorful beef for the holidays.

How much freezer space do you need for a half beef?

With a half beef you’ll need around 8 cubic feet of freezer space to store your premium beef. Subsequently, a quarter cow will need 4 cubic feet of space, and whole cow will need 16 cubic feet. A half beef yields around roughly 200-250 pounds of beef, but every cow differs. 

If you don’t have a stand alone freezer, you might be surprised to learn they’re surprisingly affordable.  I’ve seen them run as low as $600 dollars for 15 cubic feet of space. And small freezers that will easily hold your quarter beef are available at Lowe’s or Home Depot for under $200!

The amount of each steak you receive in your bulk package will depend on the size of the steak, for example we typically cut ours at least an inch thick.  Steaks cut thicker than that will understandably yield a smaller number of steaks.

How much does a half beef cost?

Most farmers have a standard price per pound for the hanging weight of the beef, plus a separate per pound charge for processing. Some processors might offer special cuts (like pre-made burger patties, for example) for an additional charge. 

At Null Ridge Premium Beef, our price includes the cost of processing. If a company tells you one price, it’s a good idea to ask if you have to pay an additional price for processing.

The cow’s hanging weight means how much it weighs after its slaughtered and all the unusable parts are removed, such as the head, skin and the hooves; what’s left are the bones and meat.  Hanging weight is typically 60% of the live weight, (how much the beef weighs after harvesting.)

You may also hear the term “boxed weight,”  which is the full weight of the beef packaged, around 60% of the hanging weight.

How long does a half beef last?  

Freezer-stored meat can last up to twelve months, but vacuum-sealed and unpunctured beef can last for 2 to 3 years.

And if you're curious, a half beef usually produces enough meat to fully feed a family of four, three times a week for a year.  You'll be able to cook a wide variety of meals, with no chance of getting bored eating red meat all the time.

Ready to take the leap?

To get started purchasing a half beef, you just need to do a little research.

  • Call a few of your local beef ranchers and check out their website to determine who best fits your values and budget.  They’ll let you know when their beef is available for butchering, as some ranchers won’t butcher the cow until they receive payment, it all depends.  
  • Before the cows are ready for market, you’ll have to call around and choose a local beef processor to work with and decide which cuts of beef you’d like, and of course pay a processing fee. 
  • At Null Ridge, we take care of the processing for you with one of three processors who share our values to make sure from birth to harvest, you receive beef from cows raised humanely and never treated with antibiotics, growth enhancements or hormones. 

We also use our own standard cutting card for ease of order placement, however once our American Wagyu half beef is available, you’ll get to choose your own cuts! 

After the beef is processed, your butcher will vacuum seal it or wrap it in freezer paper, and then it’s ready to be taken home. Depending on your farmer, you may pick up the beef directly from the processor, or at a local store.  At  Null Ridge, we deliver your half beef for free locally. We can accommodate to out of town customers as well. 

    So is it worth it to invest in a side of beef?




    Yes! Is it more attainable than you think? Absolutely! When you purchase a half beef in bulk, you’re saving money and time, you’re supporting your local ranchers and community, and you’re taking charge of your family’s health with safe and exceptional all natural beef ready for you year round!

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