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It’s the beginning of the New Year and besides resolutions, many of us are thinking about those glorious tax returns.

What are we going to spend it on?

Unfortunately, many people feel that tax return money is free money.  Money to be spent on things that we want but don’t necessarily need.  Things like a large screen tv, a new bike, a vacation, new clothes – you name it, we spend it.

Here’s the dealy-o – you worked for that money and most of the things that we want will only satisfy us momentarily.  They have no true value.

So I would rather encourage you this year to invest, or save, your tax return wisely.

My family has been on a mission to live debt free.  This isn’t a post about managing your finances. I would suggest heading over to Stacy Makes Cents if you’re looking for that kind of information. Shoot, my family still has a lot to learn and one of the reasons we signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this year.  We’d like to be debt free within the next 1-2 years.

However, this post is about using, not spending, part of your tax return money to invest in your families health.  Since my family lives on a strict budget, we invest part of our tax return to buy locally raised, pastured meat in bulk.

Invest in Your Families Health by Buying Locally Raised, Pastured Meat With Your Tax Return

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One of the biggest concerns I hear from people trying to feed their family pastured meats free of antibiotics and hormones is the cost to do so.  I completely understand that. It definitely costs more money than your average factory farm raised animal.

However, it’s one of the most important foods for our health and that of our children.  Besides growth hormones, pesticides that makes its way into the meat from animal feed, and chemicals used to cleanse the meat, factory farmed animals account for 80% of antibiotic use in the United States.

I have to be honest.  I’ve come to a point that I HATE to write about this topic and the damaging effects factory farmed animal meat can have on our bodies.

I’d rather write about the benefits of eating locally raised pastured meats.  Pastured meats are leaner with nourishing fats, omega 3, vitamin d, and filled with other natural minerals and vitamins.  It’s also a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.

Although many of us realize the benefits, we still focus on the costs involved.

Let me ask you this?  Is paying $3 a pound for ground beef more important than this?

littlmama

I know, many of you are saying, “but we can’t afford it”.  Well, can my boys or little mama afford this?

The answer to that is no.  I’ve seen too many damaged families because of onset puberty.  I know, that I know, industrially raised meats and milks including processed foods has a lot to do with it.

Just like many of you, my family lives on a budget.  $100 – $120 a week on groceries.  However, this does not include any of our meat since we invest in it, or barter, at the beginning of the year.  It frees up money throughout the entire year for the rest of our groceries, most of it organic and grass fed.

Because I feel so strongly about feeding our families real food even on a budget, this year I’m rolling out a menu plan to help you feed your family nutrient dense foods throughout the year.  It’s called, Spain in Iowa’s Organic Menu Plan on a Budget.

Spain in Iowa’s Organic Menu Plan on a Budget

organic_menu_plan

I may change the name, since it will not be 100% organic rather, nutrient dense.  I’m rolling out a subscription for a weekly meal plan with shopping list to help your family save money on real foods.

I will be providing all the information and sign up this coming Monday, in which I will again mention that it’s the perfect time of year to use some of your tax return for nourishing meat that you’ll have for the entire year.  If you don’t have a deep freeze, you can always purchase bundles of meat throughout the year from local family farmers.

To find a family farmer in your area, visit localharvest.org.

Invest in your families health this year by buying local, pasture raised meat.  If you are on a stricter budget, consider using part of your tax return to invest in your families health.

Stop by this coming Monday to learn all about my new Organic Menu Plan On a Budget.  I’m looking forward to sharing with you the new site as we build a new community not just learning how to prepare meals but learning how to cook and doing it all on a budget!

Do you buy pastured and grass fed meat.  Can you share with me why or why not?  I’d love to also hear what is the most difficult thing about feeding your family real foods.  The cooking, the costs, etc…


29 Responses to Buy Local, Pastured Meat With Your Tax Return – Invest In Your Families Health this New Year

  1. Fawn says:

    We do buy it, we buy mostly through Wallace Farms, as he delivers near us 1x a month in Iowa City, and some from the local Amish farms. The higher cost does take some getting used to, but when I think about the poor factory raised animals and all the stress and the unnatural conditions they must endure; I just don’t want to feed myself or my family meat that came from animals in conditions like that. I hope people wake up and more and more people start seeking out food like this, thanks for the post!

  2. Great idea! We buy our meat from a local farmer (grass fed, sustainably raised, etc.), and it IS a chunk of our budget – but we plan for it and buy it once a year. That one purchase is big, but makes the weekly grocery bill quite small. So, I love the idea of using it when you get your tax refund – perfect timing and a great use!
    Pam@behealthybehappywellness recently posted..2013 Goals

  3. [...] Buy Local, Pastured Meat With Your Tax Return- Invest in Your Family's Health This Year @ A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa [...]

  4. Janet says:

    Sounds good to me :) Looking forward to it!

  5. Steph says:

    We do buy pastured & grass-fed meat for our family. We as well are on a tight budget, but what started off as a priority for pretty much me, now is a priority for my husband too! My husband is a life-long hunter, and has really come to respect the animals that God has given us to nourish our bodies. Through these eyes, he now believes that animals that are sacrificed for our nourishment need to be respected and to have the best life they can-which means being raised the way God intended-on pasture, without growth hormones, antibiotics and garbage food (literal garbage!). If we don’t want to feed any of those items to our families, it is necessary to pay more for meat. This will be the 2nd year our family is puchasing beef in bulk, and we plan on using a portion of our tax return to pay for this purchase. In our city, currently we can’t keep chickens, but we hope to be moving somewhere soon where we can and hoping that can bring the cost of pastured chickens down! Looking forward to this series :)

  6. Teresa says:

    We usually go in with my inlaws or a friend and buy a yearling from the local ffa chapter or 4H auction then have it processed how we want it processed. We started doing this about 16-17 years ago when I found out that store bought meat was artificially colored with red food coloring…causing many of my sons ADHD symptoms. After further research we found out that the growth hormones injected into industrially raised animals caused premature puberty. We then started buying or raising organic…including our milk. More research we and we found out about the chemicals in the plastics our food/beverages are sold in and I went back to glass containers or the old fashioned card board type. Eventually we just went as fresh and local as possible…including raising and growing what we feasibly can. I have found your emails and blog to be very informative and helpful. Thank you.

  7. Julia says:

    Love this article, we get grassfed beef with our tax return. We’ve been doing it for three years now. Going to try to get some pastured pork this year too. We have our own chickens, so we don’t have to worry about that.
    I was wondering about your grocery budget, what size family do you have? I would love to get my budget that low per week, but have a family of 7 and was wondering if that would be a realistic figure for a family my size only eating organic or nutrient dense? I’ve been over spending in that area and was hoping to get it down, thought your menu plan may help.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      This budget, Julia, is for my family of 5. One baby, and two young boys. However, I regularly have my entire family over my house to eat dinner. I would say 2 times a week. On those days I feed 6 adults and 5 children. So, I do know how to stretch food. My meals are very Mediterranean inspired. So, a lot of legumes, rice (can sub buckwheat if gf), and vegetables. The number one way, peasants kept themselves nourished in previous generations.

  8. Shari says:

    We have been buying pasture beef from a farmer in Wellman and this year we also bought part of a pig. I love looking in my freezer and knowing all that food is good for my family.

  9. Amy says:

    We are ordering from Wallace Farms too. Where do you purchase your meat from? As far as I know, Wallace doesn’t sell entire halves. This is something we’ve been interested in doing too. We are new to Iowa, so we’re still figuring it all out here.

  10. Nicole says:

    I think this is really a great idea, and you are totally spot on about it being a good way to apply funds. In the future, when we are not struggling just to get by, I will totally take that into serious consideration. Right now, we’re just trying to cut down our meat consumption significantly to minimize our exposure to these things.
    Nicole recently posted..It’s just money, honey

  11. Great post Diana, near and dear to my heart.

    I speak only for my own farm and experience, but for the best grass fed beef you may want to set the refund aside for beef finished later in the summer & fall for the most tender, finished beef. There are a lot of nuances that go into finishing quality beef so don’t just fall for the words grass-fed. We aren’t used to thinking about it as such anymore, but the best meat is truly a seasonal item.

    We really do need to start considering our food from the standpoint of investors rather than consumers.

    You think when the grocery store is full of millions of shiny boxes and products that our food supply is unlimited, but that is far from true.

    Gas drilling, coal mining, huge monoculture farms using GMOs, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, factory animal farms, industry and suburban development are all drastically reducing our available fertile farm land.

    Learn more about the impacts of drought, foreign ownership, declining number of farmers and barriers to land access for beginning farmers and it’s hard to deny that protecting our food supply simply can’t be trusted to industry or the government.

    Like you, I hate dwelling on the negatives when there are so many positive reasons for choosing better foods…it truly is an investment.

    Money will be useless if we have no wholesome food & water…
    Jackie @Auburn Meadow Farm recently posted..oh sad day…

  12. Shari says:

    I do buy grass fed meat as much as possible. I have a 13yo son…and I agree!! I make nearly all my purchases through the Iowa Food Cooperative. Lots of local producers are able to reach local buyers this way. Yes, it is an investment. And yes, it is worth it!

  13. Jenny says:

    I am probably going to say something many will not like to hear but here it goes. Those who can should rather than depending on.someone else. I realize some people cannot have animals but many, many could. When I am riding in.a vehicle I spend my time counting gardens. I am constantly shocked at how low the number is even though we r driving thru rural areas with homes with more than enough land for a least a garden. Many could raise chickens for eggs. Many could raise a few broilers and learn and perfect the becoming lost art of butchering. Many could have a goat.for milk or a pig or two. But, it requires a lot of hard, sometimes back breaking work and from what I’ve been told by many, that is the dealbreaker. I am one of the local farmers that raises approx 300 broilers for friends and family, raise pigs, sell eggs from my laying hens, milk goats for myself and family. I also have an extremely large garden.Its great that people trust me and want what I work hard to produce, but many could do more for themselves and choose not to. Independence is a wonderful feeling that I wish more would feel. Its an addictive feeling and very freeing. Producing, growing, raising your own food, as much as u can is the key to our future. We must experience to appreciate fully what it takes to eat. I do not mean.to offend just provoke thought. I find it concerning how close this country is to meltdown. Food, air, water and shelter are vital. I want all to at least think about doing everything they possibly can to be able to have those four things independent of anyone else. We all.can’t do it all but most of us, me included, can do more. I believe our very lives and our future depends on it.

  14. [...] Buy Local, Pastured Meat With Your Tax Return – Invest In Your Families Health this New Year [...]

  15. [...] Buy Local, Pastured Meat With Your Tax Return – Invest In Your Families Health this New Year [...]

  16. Hi there – I am looking to invest in pastured meat for the first time this year (and have a new freezer to do it with). But I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips on how to find it, things to consider, etc?

    Also, above you mention that you’ve seen “too many damaged families because of onset puberty”. I’m not sure I understand what this means. All kids will hit puberty eventually, and eating pastured meats will not change this. Can you explain more what kind of damage is occurring to families when children reach puberty?
    Victoria @ Green Idea Reviews recently posted..Living Green Tuesdays Link-up 1/8/2013

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Victoria, I was referring to industrialized meats. They carry so many hormones that it’s been linked to children hitting puberty earlier than they ever have. This is one of the huge reasons, I only buy meat from local sources pasturing their animals – grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, and pork.

      If you’ve never bought local meat before, I would first look into your local farmers market. You’ll usually find someone there selling some sort of local meat. You can then ask them if they know of other sources. Also, look into a local Buy Fresh, Buy Local chapter in your area. They’ll also have sources to share with you.

      Another way which I especially enjoy is looking into your local Weston Price Foundation Group. They’ll know even more sources including local homesteaders that aren’t necessarily farmers. You’ll be able to get great deals through them and they usually adhere to stricter guidelines in raising their livestock. No soy, etc…

      I hope you find this helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me :D

  17. Stacy says:

    Hi Dianna! LOVE all the ideas you share; thank you for taking the time to inform us ‘newbies’. For a family of 4-5, how much meat are we talking? and will your menu plan tell us which cuts to purchase,e tc? thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Stacy, for my family of 4 we purchase a 1/4 side of beef per year. That does feed my extended family around 6x per month as well. That’s 6 adults and 5 kids 6x per month. We also get a hog a year, and chicken that I raise or buy from Trader Joes or the Farmers Market. Yes, my menu plan will tell you which cuts you’ll need. I hope to see you via the menu plan!!

  18. Liz H says:

    We try to avoid conventionally raised meat as much as possible. We raise chickens for eggs and when they stop laying they go to slaughter. The rest of the chicken we eat is from my friend who does the slaughtering. She raises pastured chickens and it’s her teen son’s “operation.” Her father in law raises beef cattle so we get a lot of beef from him as well as pastured pork. Their prices are the cheapest because we go right to the farm and buying a 1/4 or 1/2 cow or pig is cheaper still. I also buy from our local farmer’s market and get a 10% discount when I buy in bulk. I check for environmentally friendly fish and seafood and don’t buy farmed salmon. It’s more expensive to to all this than to pay .99 a pound for hamburger but what we get back in health is more than worth the price. We still eat a lot of meat but we also garden to cut costs on produce and use the dirty dozen/clean 15 list to avoid most pesticides when we have to buy produce.
    After doing research on the meat industry I could never go back to buying conventional meat. I’d rather eat gluten free spaghetti everyday.
    Liz H recently posted..Autoimmune "fun"- Finding your meds

  19. [...] purchased all our locally raised, pastured meat for the year with tax money, and rely on a real food, food budget which has served us well.  Using a menu plan has proved to [...]

  20. […] feel bad about serving sandwiches for dinner. When filled with fresh vegetables, pastured meat, and homemade mayonnaise…what can be better than […]

  21. […] to handle that is unacceptable to be given to any child. Praise God in our situation we had already purchased our pastured meat for the year in January using our tax money, but I strongly believe that all children should have access to pastured meat filled with […]

  22. […] this earth, simply, by starting small gardens (even in containers), visiting farmers markets, getting to know our local family farmers, visiting u-pick farms, raising backyard chickens, preserving some of our food, and learning simple […]

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