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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, it is known that finding raw food at a bargain is a rare art form. So if any of you have any tricks, secrets, or suggestions let's post them here!

I know Rawfeddogs has suggested getting in good with the local grocer, but I have none (to the best of my knowledge, still searching and hoping though), all my grocery stores I know of are large corporate chains so that option doesn't work as well for me, unfortunately.
 

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Beef is like buying gas now. Sometimes I find it on sale, but for the most part it is expensive. I am looking into buying a side or front quarters from a rancher. I saw you are in Reno.... I am just south in Henderson.
 

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Okay, it is known that finding raw food at a bargain is a rare art form. So if any of you have any tricks, secrets, or suggestions let's post them here!

I know Rawfeddogs has suggested getting in good with the local grocer, but I have none (to the best of my knowledge, still searching and hoping though), all my grocery stores I know of are large corporate chains so that option doesn't work as well for me, unfortunately.
The town I live in doesn't have a grocery store. The closest store is Walmart and they don't have a butcher, they get all their meat pre-packaged from some warehouse.
 
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My dog eats a formula of fish and sweet potatoes. I stock up on sales, shop at Aldi's and Angel Food Ministries. http://www.angelfoodministries.com.

When I eat broccoli, I don't eat the ends so I flash freeze these and store them until I am making food. I do the same with the ends of asparagus.

I freeze the tops of the strawberries I eat and add those to the food.

Any time there is food in my frig that I know I am not going to eat, I freeze it before it goes bad and add it to the dog food. Except banana's. They are black when I freeze them.

I use barley which is cheaper than cheap and I splurge on Quinoa and Amaranth when I can afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Beef is like buying gas now. Sometimes I find it on sale, but for the most part it is expensive. I am looking into buying a side or front quarters from a rancher. I saw you are in Reno.... I am just south in Henderson.
Why hello fellow Nevada-dweller! I used to live in Spring Creek. I almost wish I still lived there, it's so much easier to get ahold of fresh, good, cheap meat. I'm looking into buying half a lamb from Fallon right now and my friend's mother in SC still raises meat rabbits and chickens so that's another option. But the shipping would probably kill me.

I've found Trader Joe's to be one of the best places to get chicken drumsticks because they're all natural and only 99 cents/pound.
 

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The town I live in doesn't have a grocery store. The closest store is Walmart and they don't have a butcher, they get all their meat pre-packaged from some warehouse.
You can still get good deals at Walmart. I get chicken leg quarters there regularly at less than $.50/lb. in 10lb bags. Find out when they mark down their almost expired meat and try to be there at that time. You can get some good deals like that.

Check ethnic markets. They always have good stuff cheap. Check with restaurants. Find out where they get their meats. See if you can talk them into adding some bulk stuff for you in with their order. Check out surrounding towns. It's not a big deal to ride 30 or 40 miles to get a good deal on mabye 100lbs of meat. Check with farmers in the area. Many will sell you a cow or a goat or pig. Some will even butcher it for you or will tell you where to take it and maybe take it for you. You just never know what kind of deal you can work out with a farmer who has livestock.

Put an ad on Freecycle or Recycle(yahoo groups) or on craigslist. In the ad ask for old meat from their freezer. State that freezer burned is OK. This works good particularly just before hunting season as hunters want to clean out last years stuff before going hunting again. I get LOTS of venison like this. Try wording ads differently from time to time. Ask all your friends about their old meat in their freezer. Be careful not to feed cooked bones when you get all that free stuff from freezers.

That should keep everyone busy for a while.
 

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You can still get good deals at Walmart. I get chicken leg quarters there regularly at less than $.50/lb. in 10lb bags. Find out when they mark down their almost expired meat and try to be there at that time. You can get some good deals like that.

Check ethnic markets. They always have good stuff cheap. Check with restaurants. Find out where they get their meats. See if you can talk them into adding some bulk stuff for you in with their order. Check out surrounding towns. It's not a big deal to ride 30 or 40 miles to get a good deal on mabye 100lbs of meat. Check with farmers in the area. Many will sell you a cow or a goat or pig. Some will even butcher it for you or will tell you where to take it and maybe take it for you. You just never know what kind of deal you can work out with a farmer who has livestock.

Put an ad on Freecycle or Recycle(yahoo groups) or on craigslist. In the ad ask for old meat from their freezer. State that freezer burned is OK. This works good particularly just before hunting season as hunters want to clean out last years stuff before going hunting again. I get LOTS of venison like this. Try wording ads differently from time to time. Ask all your friends about their old meat in their freezer. Be careful not to feed cooked bones when you get all that free stuff from freezers.

That should keep everyone busy for a while.
Ethnic markets??? Ha, I haven't seen one since I moved here. I'd have to drive hours to find one. We don't even have "ethnic" food. The closest thing to Mexican food is Taco Bell, and that's all freeze dried trash shipped in a bucket. There's Pizza Hut, don't know what they might give me. Maybe our gas station Subway will give me their leftover rolls and ham? The only store in town is Dollar General. We have an ice cream shop, don't know how helpful they'll be.

Each Freecycle groups rules are different, someone tried to offer leftover dried spices and had her post denied. Some don't allow food products to be offered or asked for. Someone tried to offer frozen salmon, there was a big fit about it, so no food is allowed anymore. I tried to give away a 20 lb bag of Iams cat food I was given for a foster cat, and that was turned down as well.

What do you consider a "good deal" on a half cow, how much do you pay a pound? I was told by a local farmer it would be $4-$ per pound, to me, that's a lot of money for dog food. My husband won't even pay that much for a steak for himself. We're not rich enough to do that.

Do you give your dogs raw pork? Doesn't that give them the runs? Or are your dogs immune to pork?

Another thing, in another thread someone was telling me how awful I was for feeding my dogs Taste if the Wild dog food, she said it contains cancer causing preservatives made out of the same ingredient as Raid pesticide. So I'm sure my dogs are all doomed to die of cancer because of this horrid food.

Yet you think it's ok for me to go to Walmart, stock up on chicken, beef and fish, processed in another state (or country for all I know) shipped to my store, and sits for a week. Meat that comes from unknown sources, filled with antibiotics, hormones, and who knows what else, then packaged in gas to preserve it for a few weeks or frozen to hide the smell.

I won't eat meat from Walmart, but you think it's acceptable for dogs to eat it?? Yeah, Walmart has some fine meat for sale, ask them for the old stuff, it must be healthy.

"Processors say treated ground meat can be sold for 28 days after leaving the plant, and solid cuts for 35 days. The agribusiness company Cargill says it has sold 100 million packages in the last year."

"In a firsthand look at the treated meat, a package of a conventionally wrapped rib steak and one with the carbon monoxide were both red when bought on Feb. 3 near Washington. They were then kept refrigerated. By Feb. 16, when they were photographed for the pictures that appear with this article, the conventional meat was brown, but the treated meat was still rosy. And as of yesterday, other treated meat bought at the same time was still red despite having been left unrefrigerated on a kitchen counter since Feb. 14."


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/national/21meat.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

I suppose if people can eat old chemically preserved meat, injected with antibiotics and hormones, the dogs can too. After all, that's what dogs and cavemen ate hundreds of years ago.
 

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The only store in town is Dollar General. We have an ice cream shop, don't know how helpful they'll be.
Well you just might have to go to the trouble to ride over to the next town. Where do you get your groceries? Do you live so isolated that there is no independently owned restaurant around? I'm not saying get leftovers from the restaurant, I said get them to order bulk food for you.

Each Freecycle groups rules are different, someone tried to offer leftover dried spices and had her post denied.
Yes, they are all different but there are 6 or 7 of them so if you look you might find one you can place your ad on.

What do you consider a "good deal" on a half cow, how much do you pay a pound? I was told by a local farmer it would be $4-$ per pound, to me, that's a lot of money for dog food.
I think $4/lb is more than I would pay for food for my dogs except occasionally for a steak but not for a whole cow.

Do you give your dogs raw pork? Doesn't that give them the runs? Or are your dogs immune to pork?
There is nothing to be immune to. Pork is meat just like any other meat. I feed pork once or twice a week every week. Its a relatively cheap red meat.

Another thing, in another thread someone was telling me how awful I was for feeding my dogs Taste if the Wild dog food, she said it contains cancer causing preservatives made out of the same ingredient as Raid pesticide. So I'm sure my dogs are all doomed to die of cancer because of this horrid food.
What they said is correct. You can use your own judgement about feeding it. I know it is not allowed to be used in human food.

Yet you think it's ok for me to go to Walmart, stock up on chicken, beef and fish, processed in another state (or country for all I know) shipped to my store, and sits for a week.
Yes, absolutely. It's safe to eat. Dogs can tolerate and thrive off meat that would kill us. I have fed my dogs meat I couldn't hardly stand to be in the room with. I had to use almost a whole can of room deoderizer after they ate. There were no ill effects and they loved it. After all they also eat poop.

Meat that comes from unknown sources, filled with antibiotics, hormones, and who knows what else, then packaged in gas to preserve it for a few weeks or frozen to hide the smell.
Chicken is not filled with antiobitics nor hormones nor steriods. Beef and pork may be or may not be. Gas does no harm whatsoever. It keeps bacteria from growing the same way freezing keeps bacteria from growing. Bacteria is what makes meat go old. If not for baccteria we would not even have to refigerate meat and it would last forever.

I won't eat meat from Walmart, but you think it's acceptable for dogs to eat it?? Yeah, Walmart has some fine meat for sale, ask them for the old stuff, it must be healthy.
Tens of millions of people eat Walmart food every day with no problems. As I said before, dogs can thrive on meat that would kill us and Walmart meat won't kill us. Yes I buy marked down meat from Walmart that is on the expiration date regularly and never one time had a problem.

"Processors say treated ground meat can be sold for 28 days after leaving the plant, and solid cuts for 35 days. The agribusiness company Cargill says it has sold 100 million packages in the last year."


And no one got sick from it. hmmmmm .... wonder how that could be?

"In a firsthand look at the treated meat, a package of a conventionally wrapped rib steak and one with the carbon monoxide were both red when bought on Feb. 3 near Washington. They were then kept refrigerated. By Feb. 16, when they were photographed for the pictures that appear with this article, the conventional meat was brown, but the treated meat was still rosy. And as of yesterday, other treated meat bought at the same time was still red despite having been left unrefrigerated on a kitchen counter since Feb. 14."
Hehe, because all the bacteria was killed and the meat is still good. Thats good to know. I didn't know that. If the meat is still red and has no odor, the meat is still good to eat. Wonderful!

I suppose if people can eat old chemically preserved meat, injected with antibiotics and hormones, the dogs can too. After all, that's what dogs and cavemen ate hundreds of years ago.
Meat preserved in gas is not "chemically preserved meat". I would 10 times rater eat meat that spend time in a sterile package of gas than preserved in insectiside. Again there are not antibiotics or hormones, or steriods in poultry.

You are just afraid of meat, period. Our dogs can come upon an animal carcass in the woods that has been dead for weeks, eat it and have no problem. Wolves do it all the time. Bad meat is just not a problem for dogs ever. Their stomach juices are 50% hydrochloric acid and will quickly kill any bacteria that enters the stomach.
 

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What do you consider a "good deal" on a half cow, how much do you pay a pound? I was told by a local farmer it would be $4-$ per pound, to me, that's a lot of money for dog food. My husband won't even pay that much for a steak for himself. We're not rich enough to do that.

hey - i don't want to like plug my dad or anything here - and i guess it depends where upstate you are - but my dad sells pigs as well as cows - if i remember correctly both are between $2.30 and $3 ( give or take a few dimes) a lb. this is after it is butchered into whatever cuts you want. the butcher takes care of all of that for him. he's a really small farm ( i think he just had the 14th cow born a few weeks ago) and he has a handful of pigs and a ton of chickens ( $2 a dozen on the eggs lol ) - but he takes outside orders all the time...

he is currently certified 'natural' and will be working on getting certified organic in the future - it's just a pain and expensive to do. he doesn't give the animals any sort of meds... unless they are ill and then he doesn't sell them for food. And they are very well taken care of - so if you are interested and it isn't much of a hike for you ( he is in bainbridge, ny near binghamton/oneonta area) - i could hook you up with him!

but on a side note, i do hear you on how there isn't much for accesability for the ingredients needed to feed raw where you are. it is a tough call... and unfortunately in this day and age we have to compromise. I wish i could feed my child and my family all organic all of the time... but at $6 a gallon of organic milk - or $4 a mango - not to mention the 45 minute travel time to get to it - it just isn't economical or feasible in this day and age.

we do the best that we can for our human and canine ( feline and more) babies.... and that is what counts.
 
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Rural Shopping

I used to get meat parts from this deer processing place.

Just a small sign at the side of the a road I saw on the way home.

I got kidneys for my cat with bad kidneys. They plant was very nice about it, there were lots of parts they had no use for that worked for my pets.
 

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Well you just might have to go to the trouble to ride over to the next town. Where do you get your groceries? Do you live so isolated that there is no independently owned restaurant around? I'm not saying get leftovers from the restaurant, I said get them to order bulk food for you.

Yes, they are all different but there are 6 or 7 of them so if you look you might find one you can place your ad on.

I think $4/lb is more than I would pay for food for my dogs except occasionally for a steak but not for a whole cow.

There is nothing to be immune to. Pork is meat just like any other meat. I feed pork once or twice a week every week. Its a relatively cheap red meat.

What they said is correct. You can use your own judgement about feeding it. I know it is not allowed to be used in human food.

Yes, absolutely. It's safe to eat. Dogs can tolerate and thrive off meat that would kill us. I have fed my dogs meat I couldn't hardly stand to be in the room with. I had to use almost a whole can of room deoderizer after they ate. There were no ill effects and they loved it. After all they also eat poop.

Chicken is not filled with antiobitics nor hormones nor steriods. Beef and pork may be or may not be. Gas does no harm whatsoever. It keeps bacteria from growing the same way freezing keeps bacteria from growing. Bacteria is what makes meat go old. If not for baccteria we would not even have to refigerate meat and it would last forever.

Tens of millions of people eat Walmart food every day with no problems. As I said before, dogs can thrive on meat that would kill us and Walmart meat won't kill us. Yes I buy marked down meat from Walmart that is on the expiration date regularly and never one time had a problem.

And no one got sick from it. hmmmmm .... wonder how that could be?

Hehe, because all the bacteria was killed and the meat is still good. Thats good to know. I didn't know that. If the meat is still red and has no odor, the meat is still good to eat. Wonderful!

Meat preserved in gas is not "chemically preserved meat". I would 10 times rater eat meat that spend time in a sterile package of gas than preserved in insectiside. Again there are not antibiotics or hormones, or steriods in poultry.

You are just afraid of meat, period. Our dogs can come upon an animal carcass in the woods that has been dead for weeks, eat it and have no problem. Wolves do it all the time. Bad meat is just not a problem for dogs ever. Their stomach juices are 50% hydrochloric acid and will quickly kill any bacteria that enters the stomach.
I have to go to another town to get groceries, Walmart doesn't have a butcher and they aren't going to special order any meat for anyone either.
We do not have a restaurant in town other than pizza, an ice cream place, and Subway. There's an all you can eat chinese place in the next town, I seriously doubt they'll order food.

Millions of people eat hot dogs and nothing happens to them, does that mean hot dogs are healthy?

I've given pork to my dogs and wound up with diarrhea everywhere. Guess my dogs stomachs are not the same as wild dogs. One of my dogs has a very sensitive stomach, fat will cause the runs, so will pork. He can eat very lean beef or chicken breasts, no chicken skin or fat.

We have a lot of road kill, can't go anywhere without seeing a dead deer or two on the road. Maybe I should let my dogs eat that??

No, I'm not "afraid" of meat, thats ridiculous. And yes, bad meat is bad for dogs, I have one who's proof of it.
 
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Pork

Well there is no commercial dog food with pork. Have you noticed that?

I've always wondered about that.

I just got the latest issue of the PCRM (Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine) and they had an article about the dangers of hot dogs.

I think probably anything eaten too often could be bad and most anything in moderation is ok.

Here in TN they made a law that it is legal to eat roadkill. Generally they make laws for a reason but this one I can't figure out. Is there a huge demand for road kill?

My opinion is that you do the best with what you have. It may be that people switch to raw overnight now but it wasn't always that way. Many of us eased into it bit by bit.
 

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Wal-Mart has a butcher, you just have to go to the meat section and ring the bell. I got raw bones from them for my other dog once and I also special ordered a cut of meat as well a couple of times and this was in podunkville where all there was was Wal-Mart, population 2,000 in back woods Louisiana. They don't make the guy readily available, but if you go to the door that goes into the back in the meat department there is a bell you can ring and talk to the butcher.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not all Wal-Marts are super duper Wal-Marts. I know Elko (NE Nevada) didn't have a grocery/butcher/baker section in their Wal-Mart until about 4 years ago. My biggest question for Domari is where do you get your groceries from? Because if your family eats meat, they have to get it from somewhere. Who's to say you couldn't just throw on a few extra pounds for the dogs? I think that's what everyone is trying to get at; if you say there's just no place in town to get meat for your dogs, then where do you get meat for your family?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Forget I asked, you'll probably just get mad at me like you always do when I ask you to specify or clarify anything you've said.
 

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I answered this long time ago but evidently I forgot to hit the "submit" button after previewing. :)

I have to go to another town to get groceries, Walmart doesn't have a butcher and they aren't going to special order any meat for anyone either.
You're right about that one. They aren't equipped to do that. I think most if not all Walmarts don't have butchers. I think their meat is cut in a central location and shipped to the stores. Their chicken quarters in the 10 lb bags are a great deal though.

We do not have a restaurant in town other than pizza, an ice cream place, and Subway. There's an all you can eat chinese place in the next town, I seriously doubt they'll order food.
You don't know unitil you ask. Whats the worst thing that can happen? They can say, "no' ... thats about the worst.

Millions of people eat hot dogs and nothing happens to them, does that mean hot dogs are healthy?
Millions of people don't eat hot dogs every day. Millions of people do eat Walmart meat every day without problems.

I've given pork to my dogs and wound up with diarrhea everywhere. Guess my dogs stomachs are not the same as wild dogs. One of my dogs has a very sensitive stomach, fat will cause the runs, so will pork. He can eat very lean beef or chicken breasts, no chicken skin or fat.
You need to check out my web page on beginning raw feeding. The URL is listed in my sig. It will answer your questions about this.

We have a lot of road kill, can't go anywhere without seeing a dead deer or two on the road. Maybe I should let my dogs eat that??
Hehe, most raw feeders celebrate when they find a relatively fresh road kill deer. Thats like the pot at the end of the rainbow.

No, I'm not "afraid" of meat, thats ridiculous. And yes, bad meat is bad for dogs, I have one who's proof of it.
Dogs have such strong acids in their stomach juices that it kills any bacteria they eat. My dogs have eaten animals that have been dead for a week or more and smell terrible. I have fed them some meat someone gave me when his freezer when bad and it was very very smelly also. So smelly you didn't want to be in the same room with hit. I had to use a whole can of room deoderizer and we went out to eat that night. LOL They have never had any ill effects from eating meat that would kill a human.
 

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Not all Wal-Marts are super duper Wal-Marts. I know Elko (NE Nevada) didn't have a grocery/butcher/baker section in their Wal-Mart until about 4 years ago. My biggest question for Domari is where do you get your groceries from? Because if your family eats meat, they have to get it from somewhere. Who's to say you couldn't just throw on a few extra pounds for the dogs? I think that's what everyone is trying to get at; if you say there's just no place in town to get meat for your dogs, then where do you get meat for your family?
Okay I guess I should say Super Wal-Mart, I would assume since we're talking about grocery shopping at a Wal-Mart we were talking about Super Wal-Marts. All super Wal-mart's I've been in had a butcher.
 
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Might depend on the state.

When I first moved here even Kroger had butchers. Now the laws are so strict that they don't. I think the law is that you need different machinery for each type of meat. Cleaning it isn't enough.

And gosh, Kroger can't afford more than one set of machinery. Heaven Forbid!

Nashville is a pretty small town (1 million population) and it's hard/impossible to find a butcher. Fish markets will cut your fish.

This thread reminds me of another on this site. I'm not sure that browbeating the original poster is going to convince her to feed raw.

Maybe my approcah to dog training might work (not an insult I don't train dogs, I teach people to train their dogs).

Each of my pets have been different to get to eat raw. Few of them embraced it joyfully.

For one of them I had to hold the raw bone in my hand to get him to chew it.

One would spit it out and I would laugh, pick it up and give it to him again.

One I had to put the bone in his bowl.

(Interesting note: all of them willing and cheerfully ate fruit and veggies from my hand.)

For one of my cats I had to blend the food to smoothie like consistency.

One I had to put the food in the room where he ate and move it closer and closer every day (a new batch every day) until he got used to it enough to eat it.

One of my current cats you pretty much have to lock out of the kitchen if you don't want her to eat whatever meat you are working on! (She is great at killing mice and skinks too!)

In none of these cases did I scold, mock or browbeat my pets into eating raw.

I found different ways to encourage them all.

I think that works for humans as well.
 
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Raw & Kibble

One thing I keep forgetting to mention is that I feed raw with a bit of kibble on top. I don't think it will be a problem but I've always worried about what if I get sick and can't feed raw, I wanted my pets to be used to kibble.
 

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This thread reminds me of another on this site. I'm not sure that browbeating the original poster is going to convince her to feed raw.
It's hardly browbeating when someone says they want to feed raw but can't because of reason "A". You offer a solution to problem "A" and they then have reason "B". You offer a solution to that problem and so on down the line. This is nothing more than helping someone overcome obstacles in order to reach a goal. You may offer a solution to problem "C" and they say that solution won't work so you offer another solution to problem "C".

It's called getting things done and reaching goals. If you just stop when you reach an obstical, nothing will ever get done.
 
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