Sometimes you get in touch because you’re concerned you can’t afford our meat on a budget. (We also hear from customers wondering why our prices are so low. It takes all kinds!) We’re well aware that local food, especially meat from well-raised animals — can cost more than what’s on offer at the local supermarket. We know all the reasons why. And yet it bothers us. Good, healthy food should not be elitist.

We firmly believe that our meat is for everyone. And we’re working all of the time behind the scenes trying to make sure we keep our prices affordable, so anyone can afford our meat on a budget. That’s part of what interested us about vending machines in the first place; having them is less expensive than a lease on a traditional butcher shop. They lower our overhead and we’re able to pass along the savings.

If you’re looking to buy our meat on a budget, here are some ideas on how to make it affordable.

1. Consider how much meat you eat. Generally speaking, Americans buy and eat too much meat. You don’t need mountains of steak or pounds of ground lamb to make sauce. And you don’t need to eat meat three times a day, seven days a week. Reduce portion sizes. It’s better for you, and it goes a long way to making our meat affordable.

2. Don’t make meat the centerpiece of your meal. Start treating meat like a side, not a main course. It’s a mind shift, but once you’ve embraced it, it works well.

3. Buy cheap cuts. We’ve done our research and our ribeye is considerably less per pound than at comparable shops. But there’s no reason to always eat ribeye or strips or tenderloin or rack of lamb. You get the point. Make an effort and familiarize yourself with cheaper cuts — no less flavorful or versatile. Like flat ironshort ribs, country style pork ribs, and lamb shoulder chops (pictured here).

4. Buy big and plan for leftovers. A roast can feel expensive, yes, but it can be dinner tonight plus sandwiches for the week. BYO lunch saves a lot of money per week.

5. Shop our retail freezer. It’s open 11 to 6 daily in Stone Ridge. Everything in it is always 20 percent off.

6. Get creative. Everyone knows ground meat is an affordable way to eat meat. But you don’t always have to prepare it the same way. Burgers, meatloaf, and meatballs may seem like obvious standards, but don’t forget about everything from dumplings to handpies. Mix it up! Stew meat is also affordable, and there are literally endless ways to make stew. (We’re big fans of pozole.)

7. Drink up. Bones are affordable. If you are not a fan of bone broth, just call it stock and make soup. A vegetable soup with a meat-based broth can be as hearty as it is cheap.

Have more ideas on how to our meat more affordable? Get in touch.