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Raw Feeding: “A Good Deal”

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I’ve been feeding a raw diet for about ten years now.  Early on, I was pretty excited about the process, and every trip to the store was an adventure.  At that time I wrote about one of my attempts to get “A Good Deal”.  Some of you will probably recognize yourselves in this account.   For your amusement, here is that story:

Today is Thursday.  Wednesday is the day that the local discount grocery store announces their sale items for the week.  Thursday is the day I check the sales page on-line.  I made my weekly inspection at 2pm today.

I discover that Beef Chuck Steaks and roasts are on sale for .97/pound and let me tell you that .97/pound is a deal for any kind of beef!

For those of you who don’t know me well, you’ll need some background information.  I have an irrational love for A Good Deal, and feeding the dogs a raw diet allows me to indulge in my love of A Good Deal, because meat is always on sale somewhere.  So at that moment, my eyes got very wide at the possibility of buying some chuck steak for .97/pound. 

My husband watches the kids of Thursdays, so this is my free time.  The question became…do I want to make a trip down to the grocery store in my free time, or is there something else I would prefer to do?

I decide to do some research on beef chuck steaks, bone in.  My first thought is whether there would be too much bone in these steak since my dogs need more meat rather than bone in their diets.  So I spent about one hour studying a picture of a cow and trying to figure out exactly where this chunk of meat sits on the cow.  I read articles about Beef Chuck steak, trying to glean a bit of information about the type and quantity of bone.  While I didn’t get the information that I was looking for, I did learn that Beef Chuck Steak is a rather tough (but flavorful) piece of meat, best braised or cut up for stew meat, and that it comes from the neck/shoulder area of the cow.

It’s now 4pm.  My kids are coming home at 6pm, so if I’m going shopping then I need to get moving and now I can’t stand it anymore.  A deal is beckoning, and I cannot resist.  Never mind that I’ll spend more in gas getting to and from the store than I’ll actually save by buying the stuff. 

I arrive at the grocery store and head straight for the meat section; time for serious shopping.  I find the chuck – they are out of the steaks, but have the roast.  Hot damn!  That means I can get a raincheck; that’s even better than bringing it home and storing it in my over-full freezer!  In the meantime, I check out the roast.  Hmm.  Not bad.  Appears to have a reasonable amount of bone to meat.  I put several in my cart.  I’m not done yet; this store always has something to be had. 

In the pork section, I find pork neck bones for .78/pound.  I take about 6 pounds of that.  They have pork snouts, pork tails, and pork feet.  I take all the pork tails and enough of the rest to keep me for awhile.  The lady next to me grabs a package of pork snouts as well.  We smile at each other. 

Off to the beef section where I find beef feet and kidneys, nicely cut up into reasonable dog-sized servings.  I put a package with the smallest beef feet I can find into my basket.  Six packages of ground turkey at .97/pound, 5 pounds of kidney to grind into my famous homemade liver treats at .77/pound.  

And the crowning achievement of the trip.  A large package of ground beef with a broken under carton and part of the overwrap missing.  A little bloody and rank looking, but 70% off and the dogs could care less. Wow.  That’s what I’m talking about!

Unfortunately, I now have about 40 pounds of meat in my cart.  I think I can fit it into my freezer.  I hope anyway.

Off to the check out stand.  As I stand there delighting in my good fortune, I see that people are looking at my cart.  And at me. Children are wide eyed staring and their parents are talking to them in low voices.  It finally dawns of me that they think my dinner is going consist of pork snout, beef feet, kidneys, or rotten ground beef.  And considering the bulk I’m purchasing, I’ll be eating these delicacies for several months.  Of course no one says anything, but I have managed to generate a good deal of sympathy (or revulsion) for my plight.  The checkout lady smiles sympathetically but says nothing.

I pack my bags, load the car, and head home.  Most of it fits in the freezer, but not quite all.  Not a problem.  I’ll leave the pork snouts and beef feet in the fridge and wait till my husband discovers them. 


About dfenzi

I'm a professional dog trainer who specializes in building relationship in dog handler teams who compete in dog sports. My personal passions are Competitive Obedience and no force (motivational) dog training. I travel throughout the world teaching seminars on topics related to Dog Obedience and Building Drives and Motivation. I own Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, a comprehensive online school for motivational training of performance sport dogs.

9 responses »

  1. Hahahaha! LOVE this post! I’ve been feeding raw for 5 years now, and will not go back. I have Rough Collies who are not only breed chs, but also perform in agility, obedience, therapy, herding, and canine freestyle dance…..So we are in th business of growing coat And moving around quite a bit…… In the autumn, my friend and deer processor saves meat scraps and ribs and ORGANS!!!!!! for me! Free!!!!!! Once while dumpster diving at the local university at the end of the semester, I found a Whole frozen turkey! And the folks on Freecycle and Craig’s List also have wonderful freezer-burned, outdated meat they love to get rid of……it is Fun finding those free Treasures…..Never have seen pork snouts for sale…..but we Have bought chicken feet(ugh!) for fun snax. And, uh…..yeh….the dawgs have their Own freezer……I figger it actually Paid for itself w/ in a year.

  2. Where did you shop to find all these goodies???

  3. Out of curiosity, can you share where you found such good prices on pork parts, and also the beef feet and kidneys? I’m in the Vegas area, and can’t seem to find kidneys anywhere, but no doubt that means I haven’t looked the right places. Frozen pork neck is available, but in general feeding prey model raw on a budget seems to be chicken quarters, and chicken and beef livers. They manage to charge over $2/lb for turkey necks — I realize they probably don’t move that many and need to pay for freezer space, but per neck that’s an impressive markup.

    Feeding raw is primarily economic for me — even with maybe not the best prices here, it’s still less expensive than kibble. But, when I run out of staples for my dog and use kibble until I can make it back to the store, I do notice how much more chewing of dog toys my dog does that day.

  4. I’m not aware of any markets near me where I can get things like you are talking about. My resources are Safeway and chain stores like that. How do people find things like necks and organ meat?

  5. As someone who is just switching to feeding raw this made me laugh and jealous. You are lucky that you have a store that has some of those wonderful extras. Living where I do you would think we would have them here too but not to be had. Darn! I’m not going to give up looking though!

  6. Hi, I too have been feeding raw for many years and I’m curious as to how you do it, now. Personally, I feed a diet balanced to NRC numbers that is turkey neck, ground beef based with heart and liver and a little more so I have eliminated my crazy shopping. thanks!

  7. Haha. This reminds me of one of the first times I went to our local abattoir/taxidermist for organ meats. I wheeled a cart to the deep freeze and loaded up about a dozen beef hearts, and tongues, kidneys and sweetbreads, and wheeled it back to the register. The woman behind the counter looked at the cart…and back at me…and back at the cart…and then at me again and said, “You’re not going to…eat…all those hearts, are you?!?” Now years later, she helps me get my very best deal: heart, lungs, liver, kidneys (all still, ahem, attached to each other) for $10. THAT is my best deal ever, I think.


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