Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where's the Meat?

If you look at the pictures I have posted below, you notice that there is no meat.  We are not vegetarians (far from it), and I do buy meat.  The two meats that we primarily eat at our house are ground beef and chicken.  I stumbled across a company about a year ago who sells these meats in bulk and that is where I get our meat.
The name of the company is Zaycon Foods and their website is www.zayconfoods.com
This is how it works.  You create an account on Zaycon Foods' website and you will be notified via email and under the "View My Account" tab it will list any "Upcoming Events" that will be in your area.  If there is nothing listed under "Upcoming Events" than there are no current items that can be purchased near where you live.  You place an order at a specific location for pickup.  Mine is at a church.  Make sure that you can actually pick up your order on the date and time that it is to be delivered.
When it is time to pickup, you drive into the parking lot.  Get into the 'drive-thru' line.  They ask your name, give you a card with how many boxes you ordered and you drive thru.  The next people take your card and then line your trunk/back seat (where ever you want) with plastic and put your oder in your car.  Then you drive away.  You don't even have to get out of your car!  It is amazing!
So what's the catch?  You are ordering your meat in bulk and so you need to be prepared to deal with 40 pounds of chicken breast or 40 pounds of ground beef.  I trim the chicken breasts (which are huge, we call them dinosaur breasts) and put three in a freezer bag and freeze them flat.  I weigh the ground beef into one pound patties, wrap them in wax paper, and put three pounds in a freezer bag and freeze them flat.  Then whenever I need chicken or ground beef, I just pull them out of the freezer and I don't have to worry about having meat for meals.  It is dreamy.
40 pounds seems like a lot, but it isn't too bad.  If you have a chest freezer you have plenty of room.  We used to have a chest freezer, that busted a few weeks ago, and our chicken doesn't even fill up a whole shelf of our side by side fridge/freezer combo.  So it really isn't as much as it seems.
How much does it cost, you ask?  I don't know if prices vary by location.  But for us in Arizona, the most current rates (which can change event to event) were $1.69 per pound of chicken and $3.29 per pound of 90/10 lean ground beef.  Those are good rates for us here in the Valley, but maybe not for you.  It just depends.
Doesn't that blow your $160 a month budget?  I know that the chicken lasts our family about four months and the ground beef lasts us about 9 months.  So I just take the total: $1.69 x 40 pounds = $67.60 and divide it by four months (for chicken).  That is $16.90. I subtract $16.90 from the food budget for each of the next four months.  That way the meat costs are evenly distributed over the months it is being eaten.  Obviously you do have to have the money up front though (aka short tern savings).
I hope that explained it all pretty well.  Let me know if you have any other questions about it.  I was nervous the first time I ordered but we have been thrilled with the quality and the service.  I know there is information about how the meat is 'natural' and things like that on their website that you can look into if that is a concern of yours.

And now for my shameless plug:  If you do decide you are interested in ordering feel free to use my referral link when you create your account: https://www.zayconfoods.com/refer/zf37347
I get a dollar off my next order for every order that you make.  It's not much but for a couponer, every dollar counts. :)

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