How do you afford raw?

thecatlady3

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I have been looking at a PMR as well as using a premix like TC Feline. Just researching currently. Right now I am feeding Wellness canned with TOTW as a snack.
I have 3 cats and to continue feeding what I am feeding now it would cost $45/month for canned and $20/month for kibble.

Using a premix like TC Feline runs about $11/month. Boneless meat here is a minimum of $5/pound. That is for beef or pork. I checked boneless chicken thighs tonight and they were $7.99/lb at my grocery store, At 2lbs of meat for 10 days per cat that is a minimum of $110/month for 3 cats! More likely $135.

Is that what most spend to feed a raw diet?
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Are you in Canada?  In the U.S. I can find meat for a lot less.  I pay around 2.49 for beef and pork, because I always buy it on sale, and some people say they can find boneless chicken thighs on sale for $.99/lb, although I've never found them for less than $1.99, but that's still a good price in my book.  If you're in Canada, how far are you from the U.S. border?  I know some Canadians actually order their meats from Hare-Today.com and have it shipped to the border, then pick it up and drive it over.  I do order some meat from them and it averages, with shipping to about $5/lb, would be less if I ordered hearts and liver from them, but I don't. 

Have you checked into local coops in your area to see if there ARE any?  Sometimes you'll get lucky and find some and get really great prices.  Check Yahoo for B.A.R.F. groups in your area.  They would know about them.   I was able to get 10 lbs of ground turkey w bones for $18, so all I needed to do was add the liver and some additional muscle meat and I was set for quite awhile.   Plus they had chicken, rabbit, lamb, etc. 
 

furmonster mom

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hrmm...mmm... maaaaaaatttthhhhh....

I feed by the Frankenprey model.

I get a lot of main meats in bulk at Costco. 

I get organ meats at the ethnic (Asian/Mexican) markets. 

A few specialty items I get at the butcher:

Main meats:   One daily portion for 5 animals is 1lb 9oz = 1.5625lb

Chicken fryers = $1.20 / lb  x 1.5625 = $1.88 per day

Pork = $2.00 / lb x 1.5625 = $3.13 per day

Beef = $2.80 / lb x 1.5625 = $4.38 per day

Lamb = $7.00/lb x 1.5625 = $10.94 per day (eep!)

Now, remember, I'm feeding 5 animals.

Also, we have an 8 day rotation:  Chicken every other day, Pork for 2 days, Beef for 1, Lamb for 1

So, an entire 8 day rotation costs....

(4 x 1.88) + (2 x 3.13) + (1 x 4.38) + (1 x 10.94) = $29.10

30 days in a month / 8 day rotation = 3.75

3.75 x 29.10 = $109.13 per month ... for 5 animals

Now...

the cats each get 3.5 oz per day (.22 lb each)

the dog gets 9.5 oz per day (.6 lb)

So... to recalculate the rotation & month according to each animal....

Cats:

(4 x .27) + (2 x .44) + (1 x .62) + (1 x 1.54) = $4.12 each for 8 days

3.75 x 4.12 = $15.45 each per month

Dog:

(4 x .72) + (2 x 1.20) + (1 x 1.68) + (1 x 4.2) = $11.16 for 8 days

3.75 x 11.16 = $41.85 per month

That's the bulk of it... the organ meats are only .5 oz (.03 lb) per cat, and 1.5 oz (.09 lb) for the dog. 

Even if I took my most expensive organ meat, at about $3 / lb... that would add ...

(.03 x 3 x 8 x 3.75) = $2.70 per month for the cats,

and (.09 x 3 x 8 x 3.75) = $8.10 for the dog.



Okay...

That's enough math for the night....
 

peaches08

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A deep freezer really helps during sales.  I only buy meat on sale (chicken thighs with bones for $0.99/lb, pork with bones $1.99/lb, etc) and watch for sell-by dates.  Liver and gizzards are pretty cheap, and sometimes I can catch eggs on sale even though they are also pretty cheap.

I believe it was mentioned in other posts, premixes are going to be more expensive than making your own supplement mix.  You're going to pay for the convenience.
 
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thecatlady3

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Are you in Canada?  In the U.S. I can find meat for a lot less.  I pay around 2.49 for beef and pork, because I always buy it on sale, and some people say they can find boneless chicken thighs on sale for $.99/lb, although I've never found them for less than $1.99, but that's still a good price in my book.  If you're in Canada, how far are you from the U.S. border?  I know some Canadians actually order their meats from Hare-Today.com and have it shipped to the border, then pick it up and drive it over.  I do order some meat from them and it averages, with shipping to about $5/lb, would be less if I ordered hearts and liver from them, but I don't. 

Have you checked into local coops in your area to see if there ARE any?  Sometimes you'll get lucky and find some and get really great prices.  Check Yahoo for B.A.R.F. groups in your area.  They would know about them.   I was able to get 10 lbs of ground turkey w bones for $18, so all I needed to do was add the liver and some additional muscle meat and I was set for quite awhile.   Plus they had chicken, rabbit, lamb, etc. 
Yes, I am in Canada. Shipping to the border isn't possible. I'm on an island and it would involve a ferry to get it $$! We have a Costco but thighs are still $5 a pound. I guess I will watch sales for a few weeks and see if anything comes up otherwise not sure.
We don't really have any ethnic markets with cheap meats here. I live in a condo too so having a deep freeze may not work either. Darn!
 

furmonster mom

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Hun, why are you looking at only the thighs, when whole fryers are so much cheaper?

Also, with a whole fryer, you get the variety of bone sizes & densities, cartilage, as well as a few "extras" (heart, gizzard, liver).

Learning how to cut down a fryer might take a bit of practice, but there are several YouTube vids on it.
 
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thecatlady3

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Hun, why are you looking at only the thighs, when whole fryers are so much cheaper?
Also, with a whole fryer, you get the variety of bone sizes & densities, cartilage, as well as a few "extras" (heart, gizzard, liver).
Learning how to cut down a fryer might take a bit of practice, but there are several YouTube vids on it.
Because I am not certain that I can do Frankenprey. I mean the concept sounds great to me but I am worried about making sure I have the right amounts of bone and organ. I would just feel terrible if I screwed up and fed the wrong amounts of bone/organ and made my cats sick. And I know I need to feed more than chicken...
 

furmonster mom

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Hun, why are you looking at only the thighs, when whole fryers are so much cheaper?
Also, with a whole fryer, you get the variety of bone sizes & densities, cartilage, as well as a few "extras" (heart, gizzard, liver).
Learning how to cut down a fryer might take a bit of practice, but there are several YouTube vids on it.
Because I am not certain that I can do Frankenprey. I mean the concept sounds great to me but I am worried about making sure I have the right amounts of bone and organ. I would just feel terrible if I screwed up and fed the wrong amounts of bone/organ and made my cats sick. And I know I need to feed more than chicken...
Okay, I get it... you are just using the meat?

Still... If you stripped the meat off of a whole fryer, you'd have much more variety.

Plus, you can always use the carcass for making your own soup stock. 


Jus' sayn'.... you asked how we afford it, and this is one way I cut back my pricing.... drastically.

Hope you find a solution that you can work with.
 

pisces7386

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We've been feeding raw for almost a month now and we are starting to get a handle on it ( I think) . The price is a big thing for us too. We had been feeding friskies canned so we are trying to compare it all to that pricing (about $10 a week for a our three cats, two are growing kittens).

In trying to figure out the best meats to use to keep the price down and we have found that our best options are whatever is on sale :)   We haven't broken down a chicken , but just be careful about the true cost there. We had bought a frozen turkey breast (the turkey roasters that have the legs and wings removed) thinking it was a great deal at $1.50/lb. We were shocked after we pulled all the meat off to find that only 60% of the thing was meat . It actually worked out to $3.10 per pound of meat! We set our upper price limit at $3/lb so it was a bit of a shock to us. One thing that we have found as a decent regular meat is turkey drums... we consistently get 70%-75% meat out of the packages and the price isn't terrible.

Just FYI we have been using alnutrin w/ calcium. Our recipe is 3 lbs meat, 4 oz liver , 20 g alnutrin, and 1 cup water. 
 
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thecatlady3

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We've been feeding raw for almost a month now and we are starting to get a handle on it ( I think) . The price is a big thing for us too. We had been feeding friskies canned so we are trying to compare it all to that pricing (about $10 a week for a our three cats, two are growing kittens).

In trying to figure out the best meats to use to keep the price down and we have found that our best options are whatever is on sale :)   We haven't broken down a chicken , but just be careful about the true cost there. We had bought a frozen turkey breast (the turkey roasters that have the legs and wings removed) thinking it was a great deal at $1.50/lb. We were shocked after we pulled all the meat off to find that only 60% of the thing was meat . It actually worked out to $3.10 per pound of meat! We set our upper price limit at $3/lb so it was a bit of a shock to us. One thing that we have found as a decent regular meat is turkey drums... we consistently get 70%-75% meat out of the packages and the price isn't terrible.

Just FYI we have been using alnutrin w/ calcium. Our recipe is 3 lbs meat, 4 oz liver , 20 g alnutrin, and 1 cup water. 
I have been looking at grocery stores this weekend and there isn't much for less than $5/lb. I think Alnutrin is similar to TC Feline? I'm not sure if I can get albutrin here but TC Feline is made 45 minutes from where I live! I'm not feeding friskies but I'm spending quite a bit on canned. Still thinking raw will be pretty expensive for me :(
 

pushylady

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. I live in a condo too so having a deep freeze may not work either. Darn!
We live in an apartment and snuck in a small chest freezer. :paranoid:
It's indispensable for us now! If you do get one, I would get one that has a door opening like a fridge, not the classic chest one. That way you can still easily use the space above the freezer.
 
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