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.