We recently chipped in with some other families in our homeschool group to purchase a whole cow from a local meat processing plant. The processor made all the cuts and wrapped and labeled everything. They even split all the cuts evenly between the 4 families and boxed them up for us.
We ended up getting a quarter of the cow, (think half of a side of beef), and it cost us approximately$2 per pound. We got LOTS of ground meat, some stew meat, several roasts, a few different kinds of steaks, and even two livers. (Yeah... I think I'm gonna see if my neighbor wants those.)
I think I'm going to enjoy bypassing the meat department at the grocery store!