Freezer Cooking

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Just a reminder that Zaycon Fresh is still offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

You will be able to place an order for the following:

  • Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.79/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each)
  • Pork Sausage Links Sold in 20 lb cases at $2.79/lb (2 cases at 10 lbs each)

If this sounds like a lot for your family, definitely consider splitting.  Four of my friends and I split the bacon last time and it requires very little prep.  With the way these packages of bacon are divided, you could easily split with 3, 4 or even 6 friends.  The sausage is easily split between two families.

This bacon is AMAZING.  The flavor is fantastic, it is perfectly thick and cooks up really well.  Although we don’t eat it all the time, I love to have it on hand to flavor a dish without making meat the star of the meal or to cook up and add to homemade pizza.  We also save all of our bacon grease to use for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables and more.  My stock-up price for bacon used to be $2.99/lb or less, but I have been hard pressed to find it for less than $4/lb lately.  This is a great deal for a quality product!

The last time I ordered the sausage links, I’m pretty sure they were gone in a week.  They are SO delicious and super easy to cook up ahead of time as an emergency protein.  For a good quality sausage, this price can’t be beat!

Our local pick-up date will be Saturday October 10th in Pasco, Kennewick or Richland or Wednesday October 14th in Benton City.

For those not familiar with Zaycon Fresh, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “Shop by Location”.

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I’m so excited to share with you again about a new Northwest company, GoDirect Foods, that has just officially launched. Similar to Zaycon Fresh (I have mentioned several times in the past), they will be delivering high quality meat products at a low price to a community near you. GoDirect Foods was actually started by one of the founders of Zaycon Foods, so there will be some similarities, with some changes for the better.

GoDirect Foods is currently offering TONS of great options for purchase, including ground beef, hamburger patties, bacon, boneless skinless chicken breast and more.  For my local readers, if you order today (July 7th), your pick-up date will be July 17th at Go Bowl in Pasco.  You can choose from multiple time slots.  One of the main differences between GoDirect Foods and Zaycon Fresh is that you don’t have to wait for months after you place your order before you can pick up your food.  Love this option!

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My absolute FAVORITE deal right now is their boneless skinless chicken breast for just $1.67 per pound!  This beats just about any grocery store price and comes with no hormones or artificial ingredients and always fresh, never frozen.  You can also purchase organic chicken for just $6.99/pound, which is an awesome addition to this bulk meat delivery program.  They are very transparent about where the chickens are raised and what they are raised on.

Both the organic and conventional chicken come in 40-pound cases and will need to be processed.  I generally split each breast in half, trim any fat that is needed and freeze in gallon Ziploc bags.  If I’m feeling ambitious, I will throw a few breasts in the crockpot with a favorite marinade and bake a few as well while I am processing.  So easy!

Click here to place your order.  If you are not interested in this event, make sure to sign up for a FREE account to be notified of upcoming events and locations near you.

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Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillet event!  You will be able to place an order for 25 pounds for just $6.99/lb.  Each fillet is approximately 2 pounds, quick frozen and individually vacuum sealed.  I can imagine these will probably sell out, so I would place your order as soon as possible.

We ordered the salmon last time the sale came around and it was DELICIOUS.  It’s such an easy and healthy option to have in the freezer, as it defrosts and cooks in no time.

There are events all across the country, with specific pick-up dates and locations listed.  For those not familiar with Zaycon, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

We have 4 super local events (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and Benton City), all with the delivery date of October 1st or 2nd, but there are several other events all across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “View My Account”.

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I’m so excited to share with you again about a new Northwest company, GoDirect Foods, that will be launching this spring. Similar to Zaycon Foods (I have mentioned several times in the past), they will be delivering high quality meat products at a low price to a community near you. GoDirect Foods was actually started by one of the founders of Zaycon Foods, so there will be some similarities, with some changes for the better.

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I received an email a few weeks back that they will be including organic chicken in their launch!  This will be the same chicken that is carried by Whole Foods, but at a discount.  They are also considering carrying grass-fed beef, which would be an AMAZING addition to a bulk meat delivery program.

GoDirect Foods will be officially launching in June, with dates and prices listed at that time.  The initial launch will be in 16 cities across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  Don’t hesitate to sign up if your city is not listed, as they will use zip codes from the sign-ups to decide on future cities for delivery.

Washington

  • Spokane
  • Spokane Valley
  • Tri-Cities
  • Puyallup
  • Olympia
  • Lynnwood
  • Marysville

Idaho

  • Coeur d’Alene
  • Nampa
  • Meridian
  • Pocatello
  • Idaho Falls

Oregon

  • Gresham
  • Oregon City
  • Beaverton
  • Salem

Click here to sign up for a GoDirect Foods account so you don’t miss the launch.

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Zaycon Fresh (bringer of all things bulk meat and poultry to an area near you) has partnered with Chicken Soup for the Soul to bring you an entirely new line of products, available through easy online ordering at Zaycon’s site.

Chicken Soup for the Soul offers several excellent additions to the Zaycon line, with all bringing a fantastic complement to their delicious boneless skinless chicken breast that they offer in bulk several times per year.  You will find chicken and beef broth, pasta and BBQ sauce, even meal building sauces to add flavor to any dish.

Here’s the thing about me and food and this blog.

Our family eats fairly clean, mostly whole foods and the like, so I am pretty judicious about the food deals I promote on my site.  We still do some pre-packaged snacks and meals for convenience, so I try to find good deals for you on things we would actually bring into the house.

Chicken Soup for the Soul’s products have surprisingly amazing ingredients.  They are made with lots of cleaner ingredients (like actual veggies and fruit for sweetness), lots of spices for flavor and decent fats and oils.  If you are going to go packaged, these are an excellent option you can feel good about.  One of my favorite features about these products is that the ingredient and nutrition list is printed right on Zaycon’s product sheet.  Super easy to see what you will be getting and putting into your family’s mouths.

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Check out the ingredients in this Chicken Soup for the Soul Marinara Pasta Sauce.  All fresh, clean ingredients.  You know, except the sugar.  This is an awesome product!

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Our family tried the Chicken Soup for the Soul Buffalo BBQ Sauce last night for dinner and it was delicious.  We had baked diced chicken that we dipped in straight sauce.  I also mixed sour cream with a few tablespoons of sauce as a dip for our home fries.  Fantastic flavor with just a slight hint of heat and very versatile.  I’m sure it would have been cute to share a picture of my family enjoying dinner, but everyone wolfed down their food so they could jump on the trampoline and this is what you are left with.  Post-meal carnage.

[click to continue…]

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Update: Zaycon Foods has changed their name to Zaycon Fresh.  As far as I can tell, all services and products are the same.

Just a reminder that Zaycon Fresh is still offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

You will be able to place an order for the following:

  • Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.49/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each)
  • Pork Sausage Links Sold in 20 lb cases at $2.79/lb (2 cases at 10 lbs each)

If this sounds like a lot for your family, definitely consider splitting.  Four of my friends and I split the bacon last time and it requires very little prep.  With the way these packages of bacon are divided, you could easily split with 3, 4 or even 6 friends.  The sausage is easily split between two families.

This bacon is AMAZING.  The flavor is fantastic, it is perfectly thick and cooks up really well.  Although we don’t eat it all the time, I love to have it on hand to flavor a dish without making meat the star of the meal or to cook up and add to homemade pizza.  We also save all of our bacon grease to use for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables and more.  My stock-up price for bacon used to be $2.99/lb or less, but I have been hard pressed to find it for less than $4/lb lately.  This is a great deal!

The last time I ordered the sausage links, I’m pretty sure they were gone in a week.  They are SO delicious and super easy to cook up ahead of time as an emergency protein.  For a good quality sausage, this price can’t be beat!

Our local pick-up date will be Friday May 29th in Pasco, Kennewick, Richland or Benton City.

For those not familiar with Zaycon Fresh, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “Shop by Location”.

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I’m so excited to share with you about a new Northwest company, GoDirect Foods, that will be launching this spring.  Similar to Zaycon Foods (I have mentioned several times in the past), they will be delivering high quality meat products at a low price to a community near you.  GoDirect Foods was actually started by one of the founders of Zaycon Foods, so there will be some similarities, with some changes for the better.

We have been ordering our meat in bulk for quite a few years (ground beef, bacon, chicken) and there are SO many reasons we choose to go this route.  By paying ahead of time, we are already budgeted for the month.  By avoiding the grocery store and just picking up our meat at a predetermined location, I avoid the ridiculous impulse purchases that I am well known for (and the subsequent budget busting that comes along with it).  It is also a huge time saver, as I don’t have to get the kids out of the car and then endure 27 trips to the bathroom and 182 distractions from things like brightly colored displays of oranges and that giant plastic M&M that we can’t seem to avoid at EVERY STORE ON THE PLANET.

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A few of the reasons GoDirect Foods stands out from other companies:

  • More product and size selection
  • Option to order your favorite products every month (not just when determined by company)
  • Know your delivery dates for the whole year (makes planning simple)
  • Have all your products delivered at one pick-up (versus one pick-up per product)
  • Cash referral system (get paid for sharing with friends!)

GoDirect Foods will be officially launching in June, with dates and prices listed at that time.  The initial launch will be in 16 cities across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  Don’t hesitate to sign up if your city is not listed, as they will use zip codes from the sign-ups to decide on future cities for delivery.

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Now on to the fun part!

GoDirect Foods is VERY GENEROUSLY offering one VERY LUCKY This Beautiful Frugal Life reader the chance to win a year’s supply of chicken!  You read that right.

The winner will receive 40 pounds of chicken 4 times throughout the coming year: July 2015, October 2015, January 2016 and April 2016.  This totals up to 160 pounds for FREE.  Wouldn’t that make an amazing dent in your grocery budget?

Here’s how to enter:

  • Create a new FREE GoDirect Foods account – limit one account per household
  • Make sure the referral name says Melody Hansen at the bottom (this will ensure you are entered)
  • Use your unique referral link (found in your account), refer your friends and earn extra entries
  • That’s it, you’re done!

Winners will be chosen April 24th and contacted directly by GoDirect Foods.  You will have 48 hours to respond to the email and confirm your winnings.

In addition to this exclusive TBFL giveaway, GoDirect Foods is offering a year’s worth of fresh ground beef in the same format.  By signing up for a free account and entering the chicken giveaway, you are automatically entered into the ground beef giveaway.

But wait, it gets better!

If one of your friends that you refer wins either giveaway, you will win also.  Everyone wins free meat!  And free meat is good for everyone.

Before entering, make sure you will be able to pick up your product at one of the following 16 locations:

Washington

  • Spokane
  • Spokane Valley
  • Tri-Cities
  • Puyallup
  • Olympia
  • Lynnwood
  • Marysville

Idaho

  • Coeur d’Alene
  • Nampa
  • Meridian
  • Pocatello
  • Idaho Falls

Oregon

  • Gresham
  • Oregon City
  • Beaverton
  • Salem

Click here to sign up for your FREE account and automatically be entered to win a year’s worth of FREE chicken or FREE fresh ground beef.  Please ask questions if you have any, I’ve shared a TON of information in this post. I’m super excited about this new company!

Disclosure: The links in this post are my referral links and I will earn when you click and sign up.  Thanks for your support!

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Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming boneless, skinless chicken breast event!  You will be able to place an order for 40 pounds of chicken for just $1.99/lb or $79.60 per box.  I can imagine these will probably sell out, so I would place your order as soon as possible.

There are events all across the country, with specific pick-up dates and locations listed.  For those not familiar with Zaycon, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

If 40 pounds of chicken sounds like way too much for your family, consider splitting with a friend (or two).  My friend Sarah and I have split a few times and it is super easy.  The chicken is packaged in four 10 pound bags, which makes it easy to split.

We have 4 super local events (Benton City, Richland, Kennewick, Pasco), all with the delivery date of Monday March 23rd or Tuesday March 24th, but there are several other events all across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “View My Account”.

For more information:

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If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I am a HUGE fan of Zaycon Foods. They deliver ground beef, delicious bacon and sausage links, boneless skinless chicken, wild salmon and even fruit to the Tri-Cities and all across the nation. When the sales go live, you pre-order for your area and pretty much just drive through at the pick-up location. They throw meat in your trunk or back seat and done. You don’t even have to get out of the car.

A few reasons I stick with Zaycon:

  • The price is always reasonable and extremely competitive with my local grocery store and even Costco.
  • Buying in bulk saves me trips to the grocery store. Having a freezer full of meat bought at a good price saves money and time, as I’m not running out last minute and paying too much.
  • Convenience people! Hauling my kids into the grocery store can be like entering the seventh circle of hell, depending on their mood, their hunger level, the weather. Driving through and having someone throw food in my trunk that is already paid for? Genius.

But what do you DO with all that meat?

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You know, we eat it. We basically eat meat and vegetables for every meal, not much in the way of grains or sugars, so protein is a big portion of our plate. If you don’t eat meat for every meal, Zaycon’s orders are very easy to split or will last awhile in the freezer if you have a FoodSaver or something similar.

With chicken and ground beef, I portion them out in family-size amounts and freeze for a later date. These are usually featured as the main dish in our meals. Chicken in the crock pot is so easy. If I’m feeling lazy or short on time, I just toss it in frozen with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, some chicken broth, fresh dill and thyme. Easy buffalo chicken! For tons of great ideas, check out my Recipes for Zaycon Chicken Pinterest board.

Ground beef can be used for burgers, taco salads, meatballs, you name it.  We use bacon for EVERYTHING.  We just cook it straight up, crumble to add to dishes to add extra flavor, add to Spaghetti Bolognese.  We save the grease for cooking eggs, roasting potatoes and much more.

Currently, you can purchase hickory smoked bacon, pork sausage links, chuck roast, patio steaks or smoked pull pork.  Sign up for a FREE Zaycon Foods account to order or to be notified of future events.

What is your favorite thing to order from Zaycon Foods?  Do you have a favorite recipe or method of preparing?

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If you are looking to support local this Christmas or are just interested in a higher quality beef or poultry than you may find in the grocery store, I have found a wonderful option for you! I was contacted recently by Blue Valley Meats about their local delivery service to Tri-Cities, with grass-fed beef, free-ranged chickens, raw milk, gluten-free sausage and more and knew I had to share!

Be sure to check out Blue Valley’s available items for order, including raw milk from Pure Eire Dairy, pork from Pure Country and much more.  They carry high quality steaks, standing rib roasts (prime rib), lamb, boneless ham, bacon, Andouille sausage and much more.  Blue Valley was generous enough to share some of their cottage bacon and chicken legs with me to try and they were AMAZING.  If you’ve never tried fresh, free-ranged beef or poultry, I promise you there is a huge difference in taste, texture and quality.

Click here to order online, no minimum purchase required.  Blue Valley will deliver FREE every Thursday, with a special Monday delivery before Christmas.

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Blue Valley Meats just released their December newsletter, with tons of great information on ordering, delivery calendars, serving size and cooking tips and more.

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Earlier this month, Zaycon Foods sent out an email that they were increasing the price of their boneless, skinless chicken breasts to $2.49 per pound (up from $1.89/lb).  Some of you were lucky enough to lock in the lower rate, but I know others purchased at the higher.  I just got an email today that there were able to re-secure the price of $1.89/lb and all those were purchased higher will get a credit back for the difference!

The reason for this post is that they mentioned if you join the waiting list for a sold-out event, they will do their best to secure more chicken and maybe add more trucks to their delivery.  If you decided not to buy because the price went up or would like to secure an extra box, join the waiting list in your area!

Click here if you are interested.  Our local delivery is tomorrow, Wednesday October 29th, so no time to waste.

If you are unfamiliar with Zaycon Foods, they deliver quality products (meat, bacon, ground beef and more) in bulk to several cities in our area at a very good price.  You just sign up for an account, place your order and then show up on delivery day.  Super easy!

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Just a reminder that Zaycon Foods is still offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

You will be able to place an order for the following:

  • Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.79/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each)
  • Pork Sausage Links Sold in 20 lb cases at $2.89/lb (2 cases at 10 lbs each)

If this sounds like a lot for your family, definitely consider splitting.  Four of my friends and I split the bacon last time and it requires very little prep.  With the way these packages of bacon are divided, you could easily split with 3, 4 or even 6 friends.  The sausage is easily split between two families.

This bacon is AMAZING.  The flavor is fantastic, it is perfectly thick and cooks up really well.  Although we don’t eat it all the time, I love to have it on hand to flavor a dish without making meat the star of the meal or to cook up and add to homemade pizza.  We also save all of our bacon grease to use for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables and more.  My stock-up price for bacon used to be $2.99/lb or less, but I have been hard pressed to find it for less than $4/lb lately.  This is a great deal!

The last time I ordered the sausage links, I’m pretty sure they were gone in a week.  They are SO delicious and super easy to cook up ahead of time as an emergency protein.  For a good quality sausage, this price can’t be beat!

Our local pick-up date will be Thursday November 9th in Pasco, Kennewick or Richland.

For those not familiar with Zaycon, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “View My Account”.

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Zaycon Foods is back at it!  They are now offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

You will be able to place an order for the following:

  • Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.79/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each)
  • Pork Sausage Links Sold in 20 lb cases at $2.89/lb (2 cases at 10 lbs each)

If this sounds like a lot for your family, definitely consider splitting.  Four of my friends and I split the bacon last time and it requires very little prep.  With the way these new packages of bacon are divided, you could easily split with 3, 4 or even 6 friends.  The sausage is easily split between two families.

This bacon is AMAZING.  The flavor is fantastic, it is perfectly thick and cooks up really well.  Although we don’t eat it all the time, I love to have it on hand to flavor a dish without making meat the star of the meal or to cook up and add to homemade pizza.  We also save all of our bacon grease to use for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables and more.  My stock-up price for bacon used to be $2.99/lb or less, but I have been hard pressed to find it for less than $4/lb lately.  This is a great deal!

The last time I ordered the sausage links, I’m pretty sure they were gone in a week.  They are SO delicious and super easy to cook up ahead of time as an emergency protein.  For a good quality sausage, this price can’t be beat!

Our local pick-up date will be Thursday November 6th in Pasco, Kennewick or Richland.

For those not familiar with Zaycon, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “View My Account”.

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are supporting this blog. Thanks!

Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming boneless, skinless chicken breast event!  You will be able to place an order for 40 pounds of chicken for just $1.89/lb.  I can imagine these will probably sell out, so I would place your order as soon as possible.

There are events all across the country, with specific pick-up dates and locations listed.  For those not familiar with Zaycon, you just place your order in your city, show up at the posted delivery date and time and they hand you your goods.  Crazy easy.

If 40 pounds of chicken sounds like way too much for your family, consider splitting with a friend (or two).  My friend Sarah and I have split a few times and it is super easy.  The chicken is packaged in four 10 pound bags, which makes it easy to split.

We have 4 super local events (Benton City, Richland, Kennewick, Pasco), all with the delivery date of Wednesday October 8th, but there are several other events all across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

To find your exact location, date and time, register or log in to your account here and click on “View My Account”.

For more information:

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We bought a cow! (well, half)

by Melody on July 3, 2014

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My husband and I have talked for years about buying a quarter or half of a cow from a local farmer and stocking our freezer with meat, but just have yet to find time to make it a priority. Talking with a friend at the gym recently, she was telling me about a guy she knew who had retired from the police force and was raising a few cows for fun and wanted to sell. The cows were grass-fed and very local and the price was outrageous! $3.69 per pound pre-butcher and after butcher just over $4 per pound. We will pay this for a quality ground beef at the grocery store, but this is an outstanding price for roasts, flank steak, T-bone steaks and more.

This opportunity just plopped in our lap and I’m so thankful. All we had to do was talk to the butcher and give instructions on preferred cuts and thickness and pick it up. So easy! There are a few reasons we have been talking about this as an option:

Supporting local farmers and local economy – We would support our local economy with every purchase if it was financially possible.  We try as much as possible because generally the produce is more delicious and the meat and eggs are so fresh, but it can be a budget buster.  LOVE that we were able to support local at such a reasonable price.

Higher quality and more nutritious meat – We all know that conventional beef found in the grocery store is cheaper, so it can be hard to justify the price of grass-fed or local beef without knowing the facts.  From my research, I’ve found out that grass-fed beef contains more vitamins, more antioxidants, more omega-3 fats (and the right balance of fats) and is one of the only natural sources of CLA.  CLA is an omega-6 fat that helps aid weight loss and increase lean muscle, along with a host of other benefits.

grass-fed beef contains more vitamins, more antioxidants, more omega-3 fats (and the right balance of fats) and is one of the only natural sources of CLA.  CLA is an omega-6 fat that helps aid weight loss and increase lean muscle, along with a host of other benefits. – See more at: http://www.beautifulfrugallife.com/2012/07/the-great-food-revolution-of-2012-making-the-switch-to-grass-fed-beef-or-pastured-poultry-and-pork/#sthash.EI7mrqtZ.dpuf

The price! Holy steaks. – This one speaks for itself.  Honestly, not that much more expensive than conventional beef.

Not having to watch sales and run to the store – I’m quite literally the world’s most impulsive impulse shopper.  If I have to run to the store for one thing, not only is it not very economical but I end up with 6 extra pounds of produce, some sort of specialty cheese and a new tank top.  I’m the worst.  Having a freezer full of meat, combined with pre-paid produce from our Community Supported Agriculture program, I rarely have to step foot in the store.

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Now, we did have to scout out a deal on a new freezer. We have two fridges with small freezers on top, but we would have completely maxed out our space, with no room for anything else. We ended up with about 200 pounds of beef, so went with a stand alone freezer over a chest so we could easily see what we had. We found a used freezer for about $150 (total steal) that came with a 6-month warranty! While our initial purchase of beef cost us this extra $150 for the freezer, hopefully it is a one-time purchase that will get us through a few more cows.

It’s such a blessing to not have to run to the store for meat. I’ll keep us stocked in chicken by watching sales at the store, but the beef will be such a great time saver. Every Monday in our family is taco salad night and it was such a giant pain to run to the store for one thing if I forgot ground beef in my weekly shopping. Love that I just have to walk out to the freezer and it’s so accessible. And SO delicious.

Some of our favorite ground beef recipes (because we now have a LOT):

Links and Resources for more information:

  • Eat Wild – Search for meat, poultry, pork and more in your local area

Do you have a great local resource for grass-fed beef?

What are your favorite recipes using ground beef?

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Welcome to a Week in the Life of an occasional spend-all-the-money-in-the-world impulse shopper who sometimes uses a coupon but tries mightily to save money where she can.  Each week (or whenever, because I can’t seem to stay on schedule) I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

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One of my favorite frugal (and delicious) ideas is to buy whole raw chickens when they go on sale, roast them up and then make homemade stock.  I can generally find them at Fred Meyer for around $.88 per pound, which makes a 4-5 pound chicken around $4!  Even Costco’s cooked rotisserie chickens are $4.99 and they have some additives and fillers I don’t care for.  By roasting your own, you are paying less and you can control what you are eating.

I always roast two chickens at a time using this Simple Roast Chicken method from Frugal Living NW.  Roasting at such high temps can create a bit of a mess in my oven, so it’s best to at least get two chickens out of the process.  This way we have double the meat and double the carcass for stock later on.  Plus, only half the clean-up since I only have to do it once.

The meat from both chickens was enough for one full dinner for five, two full lunches for my husband and brother and enough left over for a great chicken salad the next evening.

PicMonkey Collage

After we are done eating, I throw the leftover carcass, innards and fat in a giant bowl to keep in the fridge.  Over the next few days, I make two batches of stock in my slow cooker (you can make it on the stove top as well, but we’re never home long enough).

I split the carcass bowl contents in half and add them to my slow cooker.  I keep a Ziploc bag in the freezer and I throw in the butt ends of onions (peels and all), woody asparagus stalks, ends of carrots and any other vegetable extras I have.  I throw half the bag in with the carcass and cover with water.  I then throw in handfuls of fresh or dried dill or thyme, plenty of sea salt and fresh peppercorns or ground black pepper and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I’ve been known to leave it in the crock pot on warm for more than 24 hours when we get busy. As far as I know, it really doesn’t matter how long it sits.  Generally, the longer it is in there, the more flavor your stock will have.

A few notes:

The reason I do two batches is because you basically get as much stock as you can fit water in your slow cooker. If I put both carcasses in together, I would only get a small amount of stock from two super flavorful carcasses.  By doing two separate batches, I am getting the most out of each carcass and double the amount of stock.

You can easily use fresh veggies to impart any flavor you want.  I just like to use the leftovers and butts that would normally be discarded or composted, as you discard the solids at the end anyway.

PicMonkey Collage

Once the stock is done cooking over low heat and I have discarded the large solids (carcass, vegetables), I stick the entire crock pot bowl in the fridge to cool down.  Once most of the fat floats to the surface, I scoop it off with a spoon and throw away.  I then run the remaining stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove any fresh herbs or solids that may still be left.  What remains is the most flavorful stock (or bone broth) that I swear you will ever taste.

I freeze in small Ziploc containers and use for homemade soups, cooking vegetables and so much more.  While I wouldn’t necessarily buy whole chickens just to make stock (I think it’s cheaper to buy bouillon at Costco), the whole process from having chicken for meals AND being able to freeze stock makes it very frugal.  And the chicken is outrageously more delicious than any rotisserie chicken you could find at any store.

The best part about this process is that you would be hard pressed to mess it up.  I just throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand and any kind of herbs that sound good.  I’m a dill fanatic, but you don’t even have to add it.

Do you have a favorite stock recipe?  What are your favorite herbs to add?

Have you ever roasted a whole chicken?  What’s holding you back?

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A Week in the Life: Price matching, family calendars and meat in bulk

April 17, 2014

Welcome to a Week in the Life of an occasional spend-all-the-money-in-the-world impulse shopper who sometimes uses a coupon but tries mightily to save money where she can.  Each week (or whenever, because I can’t seem to stay on schedule) I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money […]

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Zaycon Foods: Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon $3.49/lb + Pork Sausage Links $2.79/lb (and don’t forget your chicken!)

February 12, 2014

Zaycon Foods is back at it!  They are now offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon. You will be able to place an order for the following: Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.49/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each) Pork Sausage […]

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A Week in the Life: 40 pounds of chicken and bacon grease

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Welcome to a Week in the Life of an occasional spend-all-the-money-in-the-world impulse shopper who sometimes uses a coupon but tries mightily to save money where she can.  Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is […]

Read the full article →

Zaycon Foods: Fully cooked Buffalo-style chicken wings just $1.49/lb

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{Still available} Zaycon Foods boneless skinless chicken breast at $1.89/lb (available nationwide)

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Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming boneless, skinless chicken event and select events have not sold out yet!  You will be able to place an order for 40 pounds of fresh chicken for just $1.89/lb.  I can imagine these will probably sell out eventually, so I would […]

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Zaycon Foods: Boneless skinless chicken breast is back at $1.89/pound (available nationwide)

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Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming boneless, skinless chicken event!  You will be able to place an order for 40 pounds of fresh chicken for just $1.89/lb.  I can imagine these will probably sell out, so I would place your order as soon as possible. $1.89 per […]

Read the full article →

Zaycon Foods: Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon $3.49/lb + Pork Sausage Links $2.79/lb (and don’t forget your chicken!)

September 23, 2013

Zaycon Foods is back at it!  They are now offering fresh Hickory Smoked Sliced Bacon and Pork Sausage Links all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon. You will be able to place an order for the following: Hickory Smoked Bacon – Sold in 36 lb quantities at $3.49/lb (12 packages at 3 lbs each) Pork Sausage […]

Read the full article →

Zaycon Foods: Boneless skinless chicken breast is back at $1.84/pound (available nationwide)

July 30, 2013

Zaycon Foods has posted all their event dates, times and locations for the upcoming boneless, skinless chicken event!  You will be able to place an order for 40 pounds of fresh chicken for just $1.84/lb.  I can imagine these will probably sell out, so I would place your order as soon as possible. $1.84 per […]

Read the full article →

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