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With the price of eggs running at around $8/dozen in many parts of the United States, I figured it would be worth it to take a bit of time to think about some of the different steps we can take to save money on eggs. From someone who’s raised chickens for a bit of time now, these are some of the ways that I think you can potentially save some money here. Not all of the ideas will work for every person but hopefully one of them will save you a few bucks.
Join a CSA
CSA stands for community-supported agriculture, and it’s not an uncommon service that many farms offer (especially younger farms) to help them out with cash flow at the beginning of the year. What happens is a customer will pay a farm one lump sum upfront in agreement for a portion of the harvest over the next several months. So you may end up paying $300 in March for a box of food twice a month until September, or something like that. The time and the price varies, but the general idea remains the same.
While most of these (that I’ve seen) tend to revolve around vegetables and berries, there’s a chance that some of the ones in your area offer eggs as a part of their CSA package as well.
If that’s the case, depending on the average size of your CSA box (and this varies as well), you could actually end up saving a bit of money on your eggs. It would take a bit of research on your part to find the best CSA in your area and the ones that include eggs as well, but this is something to look into.
Buy direct from the farm.
Chicken feed is cheaper in bulk, and feed costs are the most expensive part of raising chickens (in my experience). If you can find a place that buys their feed in bulk rather than by the bag at your local Tractor Supply Co., then you’re liable to find somebody who can afford to price their eggs cheaper.
The other part about this is that if you’re buying directly from the farm, you cut out the middleman at the grocery store. Like any other business, the grocery store has to buy products and then make money off of them. If you can take them out of the equation, then you can potentially save yourself a little bit of money.
Find the little ol’ ladies.
There are plenty of people out there who raise chickens not for money but because they’re pets. The thing about chickens, too, is that the term “chicken math” didn’t come out of nowhere. Chickens attract chickens. Once you get set up with a flock, you somehow end up with a lot more than you originally planned for. “Just one more” at the feed store becomes a common occurrence during Tractor Supply Co “chick days,” and every other person you know is now magically getting rid of chickens and wants to know if you want theirs.
These people then end up with a mountain of eggs that they can’t eat all of and just want to get rid of. In my interactions with these people, they often sell these eggs fairly cheap. Don’t take advantage of these little ol’ ladies, or when their rooster attacks you, I’ll laugh, but do know that they often will sell a few bucks cheaper than the store.
Raise your own chickens
We’ve looked at the economics of raising your own chickens before, and I do believe that it makes economic sense to have your own. I’m a huge fan of Black Australorp hens. Last I checked, they still had the world record for yearly egg production (about an egg a day), they’re super sweet little boogers, and they can help to keep you in eggs without having to empty your wallet every time that you go to the store.
They’ll probably even give you some extra eggs that you can sell, too, making it so that they pay for themselves.
Start raising feed for your chickens.
If you raise your own hens, you may be cringing at the price of feed this year. The bulk of chicken feed is corn and soybeans.
If you have a little patch of land, can you raise a small patch of corn this summer? Can you put in a little plot of cover crops that you could feed to your chickens? My grandpaw does this with buckwheat. At the very least, this would cut down on your feed cost, decreasing the amount you spend on those eggs sitting on your table.
Should you buy in bulk with eggs?
Eggs last a fairly long time, but I don’t know if it would really be feasible for your family to try to buy eggs in bulk. For starters, a farmer right now would have to be stupid to offer bulk savings on his eggs to individual buyers. He’d have zero problem selling his inventory at standard prices without having to resort to this sales tactic.
Secondly, even if you have enough people in your family to warrant eating 2-3 dozen eggs a week (and that’s a lot), I don’t think buying a month’s worth of eggs would do much for you still. I don’t see how the savings could be that substantial, and you would end up with zero fridge space for other food. You could try to find bulk deals, but don’t get your hopes up.
Daisy’s suggestion: Check the expensive grocery store.
Daisy also had a suggestion about getting eggs at a better price. In her city, the less expensive stores like Aldi and Walmart had more expensive eggs than the slightly more upscale stores like Harris Teeter and Wegmans. She was able to find conventional eggs for $3.29 a dozen at her local Harris Teeter store. Check out her article here about how she uses Instacart to price check things before shopping and look around your own area – this might be worth the extra stop.
Egg prices are only going up.
For this reason, I think that it’s worthwhile to take the time now to figure out some ways that you could potentially save some money on your eggs. These are a staple food item that you need, so do your research and figure out ways that you can still afford to provide these for your family.
And let us know what you think about how you can save money on eggs in the comments section. Do you have any other ideas for getting your eggs less expensively?
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.