Friday, March 2, 2012

Hog Totals

We just recently purchased a hog from a local farmer / friend and had it butchered.  Paul picked up most of the meat last week and the remaining smoked & cured meats yesterday so now I have all the totals.  

Although we've purchased pork and beef from local farmers in the past, I've never really done a full accounting of our costs and weights so I was anxious to see what the numbers looked like.

Approx. live weight of hog: 330 lbs.
Hanging weight* of hog: 230 lbs.
Total packaged meat: 175 lbs.
Total Lard / Fat: 30 lbs.

*eviscerated, skinned, feet & head taken off

Our Costs

Hog: $250
Butchering: $112
Total: $362

Average Local Grocery Store Sale Prices

Chops: 36 lbs. pounds @ $2.43 = $87.48
Roast: 15 lbs. @ pounds $2.49 = $37.35
Ribs: 9 lbs. @ $3.19 = $28.71
Ham Steaks: 18 lbs. @ $2.49 = $44.82
Bacon: 21 lbs. @ $3.54 = $74.34
Sausage: 62 lbs. @ $1.72 = $106.64
Liver: 6 lbs. @ $1 = $6
Neck bones: 4 lbs. @ $1 = $4
Hocks: 4 lbs. @ $1 = $4
Lard: 15 lbs. @ $1 = $15
Fatback: 9 lbs. @ $1 = $9

Theoretical cost of pork products if purchased on sale at local grocery store: $417.34

The prices I listed above are the lowest prices from this week's two local non-Walmart grocery store sale papers.  Couldn't quickly find prices for the neck bones, hocks, lard and fatback so I just used a low price of $1 per pound.  Obviously there are times when one of the stores has a really good sale, but I figured I did enough work getting all the prices in the first place, so this is good enough for me.

So according to my ciphering (that's what they call math down here), we saved about $55.

Really not that much of a savings if you consider the amount we bought and that we have to store all that meat in the freezer (and it costs $$ to run the freezer).  And not only do we have to keep it in the freezer, but we have to make sure we don't let it get "lost" in there and lose any to freezer burn.  The chest freezer we have is big and deep...and currently full.  Even when it's empty I can't get to the bottom corner of it without teetering my midsection on it and lifting my feet off the ground.  For all I know, Hoffa may be hidden in there under a four year old smoked duck.

A very full freezer!  
And I even put all of the ham steaks & bacon in the little chest freezer. 
But we know where the meat came from, we know it's of better quality and we kept money in our community.  It's a great deal in my book.  Or as my Dad would say, "Beats a sharp stick in the eye."


  1. I agree with you totally in that you've gone the better route. People who come up to our area visiting say our grocery prices are high. And I can see that compared to those you listed, they are. All the more reason for us to grow as much of our food as we can. 'Course, our harsh climate makes it difficult to "grow" things from vegetables (unless you want to subsist all winter on root crops) to meat on the hoof. Venison is not hard to come by but any domesticated animal is more of a challenge than it would be in a more hospitable climate. Hmmmm, we may be heading back into vegetarianism sooner rather than later!

    Bottom line, you must feel good have all the good pork in the freezer. And all that bacon!!

  2. Way to go! I say "a penny saved is a penny you can spend on goat toys!"

  3. Carolyn Renee,

    Your doing good there girl!!! Saving money and keeping the money within the community. I am so happy for ya'll.

  4. Almost snorted my coffee on that Hoffa/frozen duck bit! Even if it cost the same, it is well worth it from every aspect. Healthy food, supporting local economies, smaller carbon footprint. Why, I bet your carbon foot print on this is just a tiny, Black Susan pawprint's worth...

  5. I'd say you have a great butcher to only have 25 lbs of waste. The best part is you know where the meat came from. That's something the rest of us wish we knew when we buy our meat.

  6. I think it is worth it to support local farmers and businesses and you DID save money and ended up with a superior product to boot!!

  7. Right on! There is nothing like REAL food.

  8. Mama Pea, I though you guys grew Klondike Bars up there!! I could live off those for a while.

    Hoosier Girl, my first thought was "almost another large bale of hay!" Which, technically, is for the goats!

    Sandy, Thanks! It does feel good knowing we do what we can.

    Susan, I wish I could say our carbon footprint is that tiny....Paul was on the dozer for two days last weekend, can you say "crapload of diesel?" Oh well.

    Mike, Yes we're spoiled that way, knowing where it came from. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has that option available to them.

    Candy C., yep, saved enough to "almost" buy another round bale of hay. That's usually how I gauge how much we save; in terms of animal feed!

    Scott & Pam, Oh, the sausage is just soooooo GOOD! :)

  9. The taste is soooo much better though. I love raising our own feeders every year. You know, feeders might be a good addition to help you get rid of any extra eggs or whey that's left after you make cheese ;)

  10. M/M Hoosier, I tell that to Paul all the time! Although technically, the chickens get all the whey now, but what we DO have almost every year is an abundance of acorns. We could have fattened out a hog on just the two trees in our front yard!! But knowing our luck, it'll be a bad year for acorns if/when we get a feeder pig!

  11. Nice and informative post! I agree that you can overlook the minimum amount "saved" or not saved after factoring in the cost of storage because the issue of having a freezer stocked with healthy, humanely raised and butchered meat is so important! This info is good though for those of us considering raising for others, and a realistic look at how many animals one should have, unless you are raising for family & friends of course :)

  12. It probably tastes better than the store too. Plus you save money on gas that you would have spent going back and forth getting the meat at the store.