Sunday, November 4, 2012

Frugal Living: The Chest Freezer is Stocked!

Yesterday I caught sight of the first snow flurries of the winter, oh so fitting it was also the day our chest freezer reached capacity.  No, it was not a trip to the farmers' market that resulted in the last installation.  A coupon, set to expire that day, brought me into a new business....UW Provisions.  With a $50 purchase, the coupon gave me free chicken and ground beef.  Why not...we'll check it out, and a new favorite was found for this frugal home!

UW Provisions, located in an industrial park in Middleton (oddly, right around the corner for the building that house my father's used car business in the 1970s through the early 90s), has been in business for over 50 years.  According to the manager, if it "walks, flies, or swims....we can get it for you".  Ninety percent of their customers are grocery stores or restaurants.  Bulk is how they sell most things, and the costs run about 20% less than what I'd see at Woodmans or Sentry.  And he was correct on selling any type of animal you can imagine.  The storefront, open to the public for no membership fee, featured shark, alligator, goat, rabbit (grass fed), and countless other animal products.  I was thrilled to pick up two packs of lamb meat for Irish stew later in the winter.

As I checked out I added my email to their distribution list.  The manager handed me his card and hold me that on Monday he'll begin taking orders for turkeys....fresh, Amish, and antibiotic free.....for $1.50 a pound.  Guess who I will be calling on Monday!  And I plan to ask if I can order, in bulk, the Klements breakfast sausage our family loves.  We saw many of their products, but not this specific one.  We have found a good price at Woodmans, but I bet this place can beat it.  Once there is more room in my freezer, a large purchase would save us on cost and the need to make a grocery run frequently.

My one complaint is that they have few meats that can be labeled organic, local, grass fed, etc. If this is not an issue for you, and you live in Southern Wisconsin, I highly urge you to visit UW Provisions (open 7 days a week, hours vary) for your regular use or for parties.  Bulk is the way they sell most things, so be prepared for huge cans of baked beans and boxes of hamburger patties.  Other options I saw included: pizza, frozen vegetables, liquor (not in bulk), wine, and any type of seafood you can imagine.

And so the freezer is full.  Bring on the season of eating.  Winter markets will be offered, and I'll use those for immediate meals.  But now is the time of year when meals are dictated more by what I pull from the freezer than what I find on special or at the market.  Our goal, finish it all before the next outdoor market season starts in May 2013.

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