Canadians - a money saving idea
Have you noted that the prices that the farmers get for cattle on the hoof has dropped to much less than half the previous levels since that *one* animal in Alberta came down with mad cow disease, resulting in the U.S. closing the border to Canadian cattle? Many Canadian cattle used to be shipped over the border for slaughter.
Have you noticed any drops in the prices of meat in the stores?
Here's my suggestion - especially valid if you have a freezer.
Go to talk to the owner of a small, local abattoir (used to be called a "butcher".
Ask about the idea of killing a beef animal for you and when he could schedule doing it - in quite a few cases, it won't be for months, as others are using this plan.
Ask him how much he'd charge to slaughter an animal for you, cut it up and package it ready for the freezer.
Ask him also what percentage of loss there will be between the live weight of the animal and the weight of the meat once it is dressed (you won't be getting intestines, head, hoofs, etc.). It'll be in the neighbourhood of half of the live weight.
Ask him which local farmer raises high quality beef.
Visit that farmer, possibly some others, as well, and ask what price he'd ask for a beef animal on the hoof and whether that would include delivering the animal to the abattoir.
I'll bet that you'll find that you will end up with higher quality meat than you're used to, and at a much lower price.
If you lack a freezer of substantial size, make a deal with some relatives/friends/neighbours/fellow parishioners to go partners with you to buy part of the meat. (In a number of jurisdictions, you can't sell the meat unless you're licensed).
There'll be some discussion necessary about who wants what kind of meat, how thick to cut the steaks, whether you want quite a bit of hamburger, etc. Some will want heart, tongue, liver, kidneys, etc. (even stomach, to make tripe soup).
Just an idea that might help you eat better - for (likely much) less.
Start asking around now as to who might be interested in buying some beef co-operatively.
Good wishes, all, for good eating.