My decision to consume halal, grass fed and organic meat, was a consious one. Consuming conventional meat was not an option for me.
Like many of you, as we started to search for better meat options, we were taken aback by the price of halal, grass fed and organic meat. We were so used to purchasing meat from the local supermarket at a much cheaper price. However, to treat the animal in the way we need them to be treated takes time, effort and a caring farmer who will tend to each animal individually. It turns out to raise the animals in the way they are supposed to be raised is not as cheap.
Now that we understood the natural cost of raising a healthy animal, we had to figure out how to manage our budget for meat. Naturally, by rejecting conventional meat, we ate out less. The food at the restaurants we used to dine at didn't seem as appetizing anymore. The money we spent eating out was now spent on wholesome, good quality, halal meat. I like knowing which animal my meat is coming from and what the animal was fed from the minute it was born until it reached my dinner table.
I made the most out of the meat once I cooked it. For example, I bought whole chickens and cut it up into the parts I wanted. Buying whole chickens is more cost effective than buying the parts. Once I cut up the chicken, I would save the backs and the chicken wings to make chicken stock. If I decided to roast the whole chicken, then I would save the carcass to make chicken stock as well. Then I would make chicken salad sandwiches or chicken pot pie with any left over chicken from the roasted chicken. Buy doing that, my family of 5 would have 2 meals from one chicken! In case you are wondering I normally cook a 4 to 5 pound chicken for our family.
Participating in our Community Share Meat ("CSM") program is also another great way to save. CSM is a cow sharing initiative whereby you get to purchase any cut of the cow you want for $9 a pound. You can read more about CSM here http://www.halalpastures.com/csm/
Finally, I mean this when I say it- there is a lot of barakah (blessings) in the meat. I once made a whole meal that was fulfilling and satisfying for 6 people on just 1lb of ground beef. I remember being nervous as I was cooking because I had just run out of Halal Pastures meat and just had this 1lb of ground beef left. Everyone was hungry and I thought for sure this meat wasn't going to be enough. SubhanAllah, the meat was enough. In fact, one of the persons who ate the meat called me the next day to ask me where I got my meat from. It turns out this was the first time this person ate meat that didn't sit in her stomach on the next day.