It just lost my initial response to this. Basically, I wanted you to know that I cannot fathom anyone who is going to argue with you on the fact that your pricing has increased. Any moron who looks at the meat at their local grocery store can’t help but notice that the price of meat has sky rocketed. It’s not even affordable to buy a grocer’s steaks any longer, plus, that meat is crap. It has to be exhausting dealing with complaining customers. I’m sorry. I hope things work out for you as far as your being able to grow your own feed. I think it would be a win/win for you in so many ways: you control what your animals ingest, plus, you keep your feed expenses down since you’re growing your own, but, it’s just one more job for you, and you have to be exhausted, Kathryn. You’re definitely allowed to be cranky and a bit put out, but again, I’m quite certain Jeff’s comment was simply in jest (hey, I thought he was funny!). So, I’m curious, aside from the hogs, you’re also selling beef? I guess I missed this some where along the line. Are you selling chickens as well? If indeed you are doing all this, how in the world are you pulling this off? Truly? You must have the biggest biceps ever, and you must exist merely on a couple of hours of sleep as well as your beloved tea. If you’re growing crops as well, I have no clue as to how you can do all of this work singlehandedly. Have you hired an employee to give you a hand?
We’ve had quite a few Murphy moments here of late; nothing major but enough to set us back in both $$$ and schedule. And we’ve been making some hard choices with the biz, which has me annoyed at the folks who bicker with me about how much food ‘should’ cost. We’re cutting costs as much as we can without cutting corners. But that just isn’t enough for some folks who want the best quality at bargain basement pricing. So let’s just say I saw that comment and went into vent mode. Not my finest moment.
The good news is we are making good progress on raising our own feed. We won’t be there 100% this year, but hopefully next year. And yes, that will help dramatically with keeping our costs down. In that sense we’ll be master of our own ship, rather than going wherever the market pulls us. Towards that goal of feed independence, we might have found a combine that will work for us. It needs a heck of a lot of work to make it field ready (don’t they all), but it’s nearby and at a price we can afford. Jan, that combine I emailed you about? It was sold less than 48 hours later. Bummer. I emailed you but never heard back so I’m not sure if you got that email update or not. See, folks, I was conspiring with Jan offlist to get a combine down in OK, then store it at her place while we raised money to have it shipped up here. She wanted me to come get it so we could finally meet. Sorry that won’t happen; at least not for that particular piece of equipment. But you never know what piece of gotta-have equipment may show up on our radar next time…
Anyway, I’m having my late afternoon tea, after a day of good progress on several fronts. So life is OK at the moment. Thanks again Kimberly for soothing my ruffled feathers, and sorry everyone that I’ve been Miss Cranky lately.
He’s a man who loves a good meal (he’s told me about some of the wonderful meals he and his wife have enjoyed both stateside and in Europe), and is willing to pay for it (and for the experience). I’ll also add that he and his wife are debt free, so they have the means to pay for what to them is a memorable meal that others may balk at paying for. It’s a source of enjoyment for the two of them, and they are able to easily pay for their wonderful meals. I’m quite confident his comment was not to be taken in a negative manner. Kimberly
btw, the local farmer I buy my meat from grows his own feed. He leases land to do this. I know it has allowed him to keep his costs more in line. I wish this was something you could do as well; I’m sure it makes a world of difference in your profit line.
knows that the end price of ANY item is dependent upon the material and operating costs to manufacture said item, farmed items included. Likewise we ALL complain about the rising cost of items important to us.
I can’t think of a single commodity whose price hasn’t risen, we all tweak our budgets (business operating budgets/personal budgets) to accommodate the increase. Some people have made the choice to eliminate meat or cut back on meat from their diets due to cost. Then there are people like me, who look to other places to maintain their carnivore diet.
But our main farm income is from selling meats directly to the consumer, and yes our prices went up last year, a lot. I’d like to know how many folks got a 40% pay raise last year. Our feed costs alone went up by that much. I was only able to raise meat prices by about 10% this year before I started getting serious push-back from the customers. That means we need to cut costs by 30% in other areas, just to stay even with where we were last year. Since feed prices are a livestock owner’s #1 cost, cutting costs elsewhere to offset rising feed costs, is sometimes Mission Impossible. We still lost a few customers even after trying to explain that feed prices had gone up for everyone, and they’d be seeing those same prices at the grocery stores in the very near future. Those feed prices hit us little guys first, but they’ll ultimately hit everyone hard, sooner or later. That is the single biggest reason we’re spending $$$$$ over the last year and continuing this year, on getting combines and haymaking equipment of our own. So that we can control our feed costs better. But we’ll still be at the mercy of fuel costs, which have also contributed to those rising prices.
So I’m going to go find my happy place now, and try to convince myself that the below statement was in jest. But for folks who think farmers set their prices based on greed, and/or are just trying to rake consumers over the coals for meat prices, I hope you enjoy your new vegetarian menu options when more and more of us go out of business. We’re not at risk of going out of business entirely, since we also have hay sales and other non-meat products. But if feed prices continue to go up, the only places to get cheap meat will be China. Bon appettit!
Because DH is a chef, we have cut up most larger chunks to smaller. We did get out of the habit for a little while—he had started taking over the cooking. We’ve gone back to that now that he is seeing the outflow of money and not much income. purchased a larger chunk of beef and cut it into 3 thick steaks for less than it would have cost for 2 smaller steaks.
This was one of the first news stories I saw today. They were talking to a chef on other meats to grill this summer than beef steak, with a small bit on cutting your meats from larger pieces.
Of course that brought to mind the various discussions we have had on the lists about the drought and how it would drive meat prices up. On some lists we’ve discussed raising our own meat—which in itself is not cheap to do. In fact on the NewOkiePioneers list there was a recent how to discussion on butchering. But not everyone has the ability to raise their own meat or they aren’t up to butchering a whole cow, so how to save on meat?
This reminded me of a small book I have in my personal library, a book I have often recommended to people and decided it was time to mention it again. John Smith wrote the book “Confessions of a Butvcher, eat Steak on a Hamburger Budget and Save $$$”. This is a book I think everyone who lives on a budget should read.
While I have the land to raise meat on I am a soft hearted soul and can’t bring myself to butcher anything I name, and I name all critters (and equipment). So learning to cut meats myself from large chunk purchases was the best option for me. From one large pork loin I get: two small pork loin roasts, boneless pork chops, boneless pork ribs, and pork for stir fry. Roasts turn into steaks, stew meat and more. Sometimes purchasing a roast and grinding it is cheaper. There are a lot of ideas in this book and I bet some of you have some good suggestions too.
I just got contacted by a friend who asked if I still had my big Sportsman incubator and egg trays. He’s looking for a used one. I do.
The new models of this unit run $650-$700 and up depending on where you get them with a solid door or with a narrow window.
The full acrylic door for them new are listed anywhere for $50-$100
Egg trays a six pack of the chicken/quail size run around $50-$60 new, goose size are generally in a 4 pack for that price.
All of these prices would be plus shipping and we are talking something bigger than an excaliber dehydrator. It’s roughly 3 foot tall and over an egg carton wide. They weight around 30 pounds.
Mine is an older model with an acrylic door, and I have somewhere between 20 and 30 egg trays of all sizes. It currently needs a minor repair—dh is going to look at it tonight to see if it even needs a part, or if it is just a chewed wire.
The gentleman interested in it said he would buy any needed parts and repair it himself if parts were needed.
So say it doesn’t need a part (price would need to be adjusted if it did) what would you sell the lot for? I could deliver it on my way into Tulsa because he lives between me and Tulsa, so he’d be saving shipping right there.
That will mean that you have to trust him to not take off certain parts, switch things etc prior to you getting it. If he has your money and you have pictures…doesn’t necessarily mean you will get what you paid for.
For example if I paid for a car in the manner in which your going to do… (I can talk cars better than combines) it might be working with new spark plugs and wires and decent rotors designed to give me a good impression etc. When it arrives to me, the rotors could be changed, a few spark plugs could be missing causing the occasional misfire etc… Not things that I could readily or even consider photographing but are definitely different than when I left the vehicle after paying for it. Bottom line, I am trying to describe bait and switch which might not be apparent in photos but done between sale and possession. Guard against that type of stuff please.
Most banks support this so do many credit unions. All you need is his e-mail address and you choose the security question and answer. It’s immediate…usually takes about an hour for the person it’s going to and if you don’t give him the answer to the question he can’t access the money. It can be very useful. My inlaws use it to send Birthday money to the kids.
I was stuck for awhile in “what can’t we do” mode, and your various emails today got me thinking in terms of “what CAN we do?” instead. Here’s what we CAN do:
1) take a day off from DH’s job and drive out together, so that my concerns about going alone are laid to rest
2) take DH’s truck instead of mine, so that my concerns about my truck making it, are laid to rest
3) look this beast over in person, rather than having someone else do it for us (which we were having trouble lining up)
4) having cash in hand, ready to go, which either the seller would accept, or he wouldn’t. As my dad has always told me, it’s easy to turn down Monopoly money (ie, a promise to pay). It’s a whole ‘nuther thing to wave Ben Franklins around under someone’s nose, and tell them “this is all there is. Take it, or leave it.” I suspect DR would heartily echo that sentiment, and I believe he spoke about that a while in FPU. While cash is a great way for the spender to keep spending contained, it’s also a powerful motivator for the seller to be more cooperative.
5) and yes, Cindy, you’re absolutely right. If this is so important to our business (and it would be a fundamental part of our harvest plans) then it deserves some in-person time and attention. Kick those tires!
So now the Plan B is to sit down with DH, figure out when we can drive out there together, look this thing over, offer the man cash, and then drive home either with a whole lot of pics and a receipt, or our money still folded over in our pockets. Arranging delivery after that personal inspection and on-the-spot payment would be a much easier thing to arrange than trying to do it remotely. So now, the only two things to decide are: how high do we care to go, price-wise, and how soon can we get out there? Those are do-able items. Thanks, everyone, for getting me out of the “what can’t we do” mode. I’ll keep y’all posted.
I take it we are talking about the same price range we discussed offline recently. If so I happen to know as a fellow farmer that is a good chunk out of the farming budget. Therefore, I would pay the way that would come closest to guaranteeing that I get what I pay for (but then I’m that way on even a small amount).
1.Get in writing the agreed upon price, the agreed upon delivery, guaranteed condition (or as is if that is the case) etc. A contract, fax back and forth with witnessed signatures on both ends. Faxzero is a free online fax service for x amount of pages in a certain time period so this would cost neither of you anything.
2.Payment if you do a check do a cashier’s check, overnight it and make him sign that he got it.
3.Wire transfer will cost you to send and him to receive, unless he has a special deal with his bank.
4.Paypal, just changed a bunch of their rules and I’m not certain they now let you retrieve money – unsecured personal loans (UPL) if something goes wrong with the payment/delivery for non-ebay items. Check that and find out for certain BEFORE going this route. If they do still have it or if your debit card is a Visa that has that protection on it, then I’d go that route. No extra fees on your end, but it might cost him on his end and you may have negotiate that.
5.If you decide to drive, then get a cheap rental car to just go look, or if you would bring it home right then(not likely with the size of a combine), rent a reliable vehicle to pull it back. I know it would be a long day, but you could do that drive both ways in one day. Pack an ice chest and eat on the road. Doing the rental would be cheaper than a motel and far less nerve racking on driving the “what if?” truck.
6.If you pay for it that day, definitely get a receipt and take your own photos with the time date stamp on of the condition of the unit the day you paid for it—life happens, vandals happens and bait and switches happen. Also get vin or whatever id numbers a combine has on them of the unit you are discussing (to prevent bait and switch) and take a photo of that number if you are there too.
I take it this is a lot more than “walking around” money for this piece of equipment. Being a business owner myself, if I were spending a large amount of money on a piece of equipment, I’d have to make arrangements to go see it in person, kick the tires, take it for a test spin–or whatever you do with a combine. Just to make sure that what I see in pics is in fact reality.
The thought came to mind, what if he sent you and 20 other people the same photos? How do you know it’s not sold already? I guess that suspicion that Sharon mentioned is coming out.
Anyway, even if it mean getting a rental vehicle and a motel room, I’d have to go look at it in person before any money is sent. Yes a rental and an overnight stay are an expense, but it might save you $1000’s in the long run. It would allow you time to carefully look over the equipment, negotiate a deal and begin making moving arrangements.
DH had a really positive job interview on Thursday which would be relatively local, and another good one at the Rival Firm (to his prev employer) on Wednesday, but that one would likely involve moving to northern California and they won’t get back to him with a yay or nay until the first or second week of July.
He’s more interested in the local one, even though it wouldn’t pay as well, since it wouldn’t involve travel (it’s a long story.) It would however, involve a 75 mile a day commute. They already told him they were going to make him an offer on Monday, but that it wouldn’t be what he was making at his old firm. We are really hoping and praying that it is at least $75k, since the gas costs alone in the commute are going to be steep. He’ll have to take the truck, because the Saturn just will not make that kind of daily commute.
THEN…we went to dinner tonight at the friend of ours whose dogs we dog sit…she’s already done so much for us. Her vehicle was ‘dying’ (it needs new bearings) and she’s leaving for Tahoe in a few days, so she was thinking about getting a new car this weekend. When we pulled alongside her house, her car was in the driveway, so I figured she decided against a new one.
Nooooo….the NEW car is in the garage. I said, what, they wouldn’t take this car in on a trade? She said they would only give her $1500 in trade in since that’s what it would cost the dealership to repair the bearings (allegedly). So since she would basically be giving the car away, she figured she’d get the bearings repaired and then donate the car.
I thought, wow, this Corolla is in pretty good shape, and even if it costs $1500 to get it fixed, it would be a perfect commuter car for DH.
So I’m like, I’LL pay to have the bearings done if you want to donate it to a worthy cause like our family ! 🙂 She said, are you serious? I’m like, I am if you are. She’s like, ok, i’ll check out a couple of local mechanics and see how low I can get the work done for.
So we could REALLY use some prayers on our behalf for this car too..
AND DID I MENTION that ONLY THEN did I see it is A PRIUS sedan ????
Granted, it is an older one which “only” gets 43 miles/gallon in the city…but 2 gallons a day in a commute is a HECK of a lot better than nearly a half a tank. HOLY MOLY.
and there’s been a very big wave of spam going around lately from folks who have their emails hacked and then false emails sent out encouraging people to click on some link. Particularly from folks with Yahoo.com email addresses like yours. Can you provide some details about what this link is, and provide some alternate posting which doesn’t involve facebook? Thanks………….