Co-operation, or the magic of sharing

May 5, 2009

The Tibbys and I went shares in a lamb this weekend. We paid $9 kg, which works out pretty well when you look at all the cuts you get — I’m sure the average price for buying the same cuts from a retailer would be substantially higher. It arrived on Sunday morning and Che picked it up from the market. I have a few night’s worth in the refrigerator, and I’ve frozen the rest.

I really like this idea of buying in bulk to save costs and splitting the purchase with friends when the quantities in question exceed my ability to store or use them. I can think of a few other obvious ones:

  • trays of eggs (free range eggs are damned cheap by the tray at Moore Wilson)
  • sacks of flour (the unit price at 20kg is much cheaper than at 1.5 or 5)
  • wine is always cheaper by the case

What are some other things that would be amenable to this treatment?



  1. My brother used to be a milk supplier to a dairy factory (pre everything owned by Fonterra). He could get HUGE blocks of cheese quite cheaply and we used to split it around the family.

  2. re that lamb. the full leg alone would cost $25 (min) to $30 in the supermarket. getting a dozen chops, a shoulder roast, flaps, neck chops, forquarter roast and shank in addition makes it a very, very nice deal indeed.

    speaking of cheese, i have a supplier in the south island that can send us 2kg for $9.50 shipping. we can split it one kg per.

    the cheese itself is pretty good, made with milk from the dairy farm next door.

  3. We love the idea of buying beef + lamb in bulk – but storage is the issue for us. We’ve been keeping an eye on chest freezers lately, but I swear there’s been a run on them on trademe since the economy turned to custard.

  4. Out of interest, how did the lamb-sharing opportunity arise? Do you need “contacts”, or can you just sidle into a local butcher and hiss “Psstt… got any lambs coming up?”

  5. Wai-ora Farm have a stall at the Waitangi Park market on Sundays, and I think Che just asked them about it. It looks as though you can order online though.

    Having said that, you should talk to your local butcher, if you have one. They usually will cut you a deal if you’ll buy a whole carcass or reasonable chunk thereof.

  6. @richard, we have a regular, smallish freezer. it’s also full of milk.

    half a lamb takes a lot of space, but not as much as you’d guess. plus, we eat it down pretty quickly, starting with a leg-roast on the day we get the beast.

  7. Cheers for the link. Definitely might be worth a look at for some nice midwinter grub.

    Though looking at it, there doesn’t seem to be any particular economic advantage to buying the whole lamb vs just a half at once. Still buying in bulk, so your point stays, but it’s EVEN MORE achievable for a single family.

    To be honest, I’d have to think very hard to locate the nearest butchers to my home. Neighbourhood butchers are very definitely casualties of the big supermarkets.

  8. Apropos chest freezers — they can really suck up the power. I’d be doing the maths on electricity bills before I invested in one.

  9. Word. We rented one for three months before we had our first child and the bill took a major hit. Being rented, it was a reasonably recent model, too.

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