Buying Meat in Iowa

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4pogo7

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 10, 2015
311
33
Central Iowa
Where have you found the best deals on meat in Iowa?

Also, when do you find the best deal, best sales?

Thanks
 
I tend to buy a lot at Sams of Costco. Especially whole pork shoulder roasts, and briskets. Often the lowest prices and large packages. 
 
I always find great deals at fareway on pork loin and Boston butt.
I watch their ads weekly, along with Hy-Vee. Fareway usually has the better deals, but every once in a while Hy-Vee will have one.
 
I tend to buy a lot at Sams of Costco. Especially whole pork shoulder roasts, and briskets. Often the lowest prices and large packages. 
I haven't tried Sam's for anything other than a couple whole boneless pork loins that were priced about like the sales Fareway runs. Never been to Costco. Is it worth having both memberships?
 
Personally I don't buy much meat from the stores... Most of my pork comes from my dad's farm where he raises them antibiotic free and open range. Some seriously good meat! The last couple years I have gotten my beef from another family farm... Also much better than store bought.
When I do buy from the store, it is always beef and pork from fareway. Chicken is almost always from Costco... They usually have a good price on it and it is the cleanest chicken around. Just 2 weeks ago they had 6lb packages of fresh wing pieces for 1.99lb. Got a pack of them and wish I had gotten more for the freezer.
 
Personally I don't buy much meat from the stores... Most of my pork comes from my dad's farm where he raises them antibiotic free and open range. Some seriously good meat! The last couple years I have gotten my beef from another family farm... Also much better than store bought.
When I do buy from the store, it is always beef and pork from fareway. Chicken is almost always from Costco... They usually have a good price on it and it is the cleanest chicken around. Just 2 weeks ago they had 6lb packages of fresh wing pieces for 1.99lb. Got a pack of them and wish I had gotten more for the freezer.
I would love to buy a cow and pig from a farmer if it wasn't such an investment to get that much meat at one time. Even if I were to process it myself, which I would really like to do, the cost of buying even a quarter cow is quite a bit. Maybe someday, or if I can get a smoking deal and process it myself.

I usually buy ground beef when it's on sale in the 10lb tubes at Fareway. Same for whole boneless pork loins, except for that one time at Sam's. When I bought pork butts last they were $0.88/lb at Hy-Vee. I would have bought more if I had my larger freezer at the time. For chicken I wait until Fareway or Hy-Vee has hindquarters or bone in breasts for $0.99/lb and then buy a ton. Fareway also had 80/20 ground pork in 10lb tunes for $0.99/lb not too long ago so I got some too. I make 1lb batches of breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, or whatever as needed with it. Now I am waiting for the super good deals on Turkey and ham since Thanksgiving is this week.
 
Does any one know of a place where you can get or order specific cuts or specific sizes of cuts? More like a butcher shop or meat deli instead of wholesale stores or local grocery stores?

Will Hy-Vee and Fareway do custom cuts or order in specific things?
 
If you order ahead of time fareway will do about anything you want there freakin awesome
Oh nice, that's good to know!

I keep seeing stuff on this site about people going to "their butcher" and it got me thinking that I have never been to or even seen/heard of that type of place in Iowa. Closest thing for me would be a meat locker but my experience with those is they just process animals for people, they don't sell their own meats there.
 
 
Oh nice, that's good to know!

I keep seeing stuff on this site about people going to "their butcher" and it got me thinking that I have never been to or even seen/heard of that type of place in Iowa. Closest thing for me would be a meat locker but my experience with those is they just process animals for people, they don't sell their own meats there.
you really don't have to order ahead of time either unless you want a large quantity... I go in and ask for a few bone in 8lb pork butts.  They usually come in a 2pk but they will separate them to find the size I want...
 
Oh nice, that's good to know!

I keep seeing stuff on this site about people going to "their butcher" and it got me thinking that I have never been to or even seen/heard of that type of place in Iowa. Closest thing for me would be a meat locker but my experience with those is they just process animals for people, they don't sell their own meats there.

I'm not sure where your located, but there are a bunch of butchers, meat lockers, and specialty meat stores all over the state. This site can help you find a licensed meat and/or poultry plant.

http://idalsdata.org/IowaData/meatAndPoultry.cfm

Once you buy from a locker, you'll never go back to the big stores.Fareway is close, but not the same.
 
I typically buy pork butts and baby back ribs by the case at Sams(it's about .50 to $1.50 cheaper by the case), but when it comes to the brisket and I go to the local meat locker/butcher. Their briskets are the top quality and there is no searching around, they bring out the best one every time. It does cost a little more, but I will pay for quality.
 
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I'm not sure where your located, but there are a bunch of butchers, meat lockers, and specialty meat stores all over the state. This site can help you find a licensed meat and/or poultry plant.

http://idalsdata.org/IowaData/meatAndPoultry.cfm

Once you buy from a locker, you'll never go back to the big stores.Fareway is close, but not the same.
This is exactly the information I was looking for! I am in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. I will definitely be looking into finding some in my area. Thanks!
I typically buy pork butts and baby back ribs by the case at Sams(it's about .50 to $1.50 cheaper by the case), but when it comes to the brisket and I go to the local meat locker/butcher. Their briskets are the top quality and there is no searching around, they bring out the best one every time. It does cost a little more, but I will pay for quality.
When you say, "(it's about .50 to $1.50 cheaper by the case)" is that compared to buying at the grocery store or compared to buying just 1 or 2 at Sam's?

I haven't bought a brisket before but I will keep that in mind when I searching for one. Thanks!
 
Sorry I did not clarify that, be $0.50 to 1.50 cheaper per pound is at Sams. The last time I bought a case of ribs at Sam's it was 2.48 per pound versus the cooler price of 3.99 a pound
 
No worries, I was just curious. That is a nice savings! How much does a case usually weigh? 
 
To be honest I cannot remember, but there were 18 slabs in the case and I'm guessing maybe between 50 and 60 pounds. The pork butts, it was 2 per package and there were five packages it was between 70 and 80 pounds.
 
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