Filling your freezer with half a beef example

Follow along and see what a half a beef looks like in a freezer! This example shows an example of an angus corn-fed beef, and not our 100% grass fed dexter beef.

Why order half a beef?

Ordering a whole, half or quarter beef directly supports local producers. In doing so, it is often cheaper AND you can choose exactly what you want (or don’t want) in your freezer. You will avoid EVER needing to stop at the store for meat and the quality is much, much higher.

What does half a beef cost?

You will typically have three transactions for a beef purchase. Two are paid to the producer: a deposit and the remaining balance based off the hanging weight of the animal. The other payment is for the locker for the processing of the meat.

In some cases, such as when you order a beef from Wanders Farms, Julie, the owner, is both the producer and the owner of the locker!

As of January 2023, many producers in our area are charging $2.85 per pound of hanging weight* for a corn/grain fed beef. While my family was gifted this beef for Christmas, I’m going to use this figure to break things down.

hanging weight for our half: 310 pounds

310# x $2.85= $883.50 paid to producer, often a $500 deposit due before the locker appointment so two payments of $500 and $383.50.

The locker charges for processing based on the hanging weight and what cuts you want. The way we explain to our buyers is the more work you have the locker do, the higher your bill will be. Here’s a snapshot of the bill.

image of locker bill describing our cuts

Our beef cost $395.45 to have all the processing and packaging.

Everything is vacuum packed so it will easily keep for a long time! Ask your locker how things are packed so you can ensure it stores well.

Total beef cost: $395.35+$883.50=$1278.85

While this seems like a lot up front cost, keep reading to see what’s in our freezer!

What do you get for half a beef?

image of freezer full of beef

This will vary depending on what you want in your freezer, you can always say “no” to something you don’t eat or enjoy. We splurged on hamburger patties because we need quick and easy summer options, and who doesn’t like burgers and brats?!

What we put in our freezer:

  • 37 2# packages of ground beef
  • 20 2# packages of 1/4# hamburger patties
  • 2 packages of tallow
  • 2 rolled rump roasts
  • 3 large briskets
  • 8 t-bone steaks
  • 10 sirloin steaks
  • 6 beef chuck roasts
  • 7 ribeye’s
  • 5 arm roasts
  • 3 filets
  • 6 round steaks (most will get these tenderized, we do not)
  • 1 chuck roast
  • 3 packs of liver
  • 1 beef heart
  • marrow bones
  • 5 packages of soup bones
  • 1 beef tongue

All of this meat filled our 7 cubic foot freezer to the top. For a little over $4 per pound, we have plenty of great options for meals!

How long does it take to use half a beef?

For our family of five (3 under four years old and 2 adults), a half a beef provides a wide range of beef to put into our weekly meal routine. It’s not an overwhelming amount, but provides us without beef 2 times a week for almost a year. We aren’t hoarding, we make use of meat on a regular rotation between our pork and chicken and beef supplies.

Watch what we put in our freezer here:

In this YouTube video you will see exactly what we packed into our freezer!

See exactly what we took home in this YouTube video

In summary, this is a very economical way to provide your family with high quality beef after making the initial investment.

*Hanging weight means the weight of the animal without fur, head, and inedible organs.

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