I am such a weirdo. I mean, how many of you have considered buying a meat grinder? Or maybe you're a weirdo just like me and you've already taken the plunge. I've thought about getting one off and on ever since I turned (even more) frugal a year or so after we got married.
Plain and simple, ground beef is ex.pen.sive. And the "good stuff" is not often marked down, and when it is it's still an arm and a leg per pound (instead of both arms and both legs). I don't mind buying the full-fat ground beef, but
I'm in the "thinking about it" mode these past couple weeks. Beef roasts seem to be the "loss leader" sale item lately, and I'm just WISHING that I had a meat grinder so I could buy some of these really nice roasts that are on sale for $1.77/lb and make some really nice lean ground beef!
I brought it up to Daniel last week when I saw Food Lion's new salepaper, and we talked about it a little, but I don't know how serious to go with this idea. I checked online and it looks like the best reviews are going to the Waring Pro MG800... and it comes with a price-tag of about 200 smackaroos. So then I have to wonder if it's worth shelling out the $$ to have good quality ground beef for less?
Here's some random figures:
if we eat 100lbs. ground chuck (full fat)/year @ $1.99/lb (on markdown) = $199.00/yr.
If we bought the meat grinder @ $189.00
+ 100lbs. lean roasts @ $1.77/lb
= $3.66/lb the first year
= $2.71/lb the second year
= $2.40/lb the third year
= $2.24/lb the fourth year
= $2.14/lb the fifth year
= $2.08/lb the sixth year
and so on and so forth
Even by the second year (and maybe even the first, I haven't looked at full price) it would be cheaper per pound than full price lean ground beef. Now, I really have no idea how much ground beef we do or would eat per year, but with our expanding family, in another year or two, it's going to start increasing.
You might wonder why I wouldn't go with a manual grinder. Well, my quick answers to that are, first off, it has to be mounted and I'm not really interested in having one of those gizmos bolted to my counter top or kitchen table. And second off, it would take some serious arm gumption to grind through multiple pounds of roast since I would buy several roasts at once to grind through... and to get a nice grind you have to do it more than once, so if I bought 10 lbs. of roast, I would end up grinding 20 lbs. Yes, we could hook a drill up to the grinder (it works great for
Squeezo's!) but then we still have the mounting issue. Even if we would mount it to a block of wood, then we need to have a surface to clamp the whole apparatus to, and neither my counter top or kitchen table would work for that. I could always do it outside on a saw-horse & plywood table, I guess...
And ground beef would only be the beginning! Think of pork roasts that go on sale for under $1.00/lb? Ground pork... homemade sausage of whatever flavor we wanted... Shucks if we wanted to get super healthy we could buy turkeys when they are on sale for $.39/lb and make turkey-burger!
Call me silly, weird, extreme-country-chick, whatever, but I'm really liking the idea of having this machine on my pantry shelf. And yes, I just measured to be sure, and it will just fit on my main appliance shelf :)
Next week I might want to buy a milk cow and butter churn.