CAMPBELLSBURG, Ky. — After growing up on a farm, Chris Wright always imagined working in the agriculture industry.

“We always wanted to find a way to make a living doing it,” said Wright, the co-owner of Trackside Butcher Shoppe. “It was hard to make a living farming, so we did the next best thing and tried to make a living out of helping farmers.”

What You Need To Know

  • Campbellsburg butcher sees customers buying habits change to save money

  • Beef retail prices are up 15% from the same time last year

  • One UK meat specialist offers ways consumers can save when visiting the grocery store

After noticing a great need for meat processing in their hometown, Wright and his partner, John Edwards, started Trackside Butcher Shoppe in Campbellsburg. Lately, Wright has seen his customers’ buying habits change.

“They used to count on the big grocery stores to have stuff in stock all the time. You can’t count on that anymore, so we see a lot of people wanting to buy in bulk to try and save money as well as to make sure they have something in their freezer,” Wright said.

That’s because the USDA National Retail Report shows beef retail price was up 15% from the same time last year. Gregg Rentfrow, a professor of meat science at the University of Kentucky, explained rising gas prices and labor shortages are contributing factors to the rise in meat prices.

“Processing speeds are increasing. We are harvesting more animals but we’re still not quite to pre covid numbers. What’s driving a lot of that is labor,” Rentfrow explained.

Trackside Butcher Shoppe employee packaging hamburger meat. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)

Buying in bulk, planning ahead and storing meat are just some ways consumers can save, and Wright is seeing that first hand in his shop.

“Right now we are booked out for two years in advance on anyone that wants to get a beef processed, so the main thing we try to tell people is plan ahead,” Wright said.

As well as breaking down the meat you buy.

“If I go to a grocery store, I can buy a whole boneless pork loin, and that whole boneless pork loin maybe $15-20, and so I can cut that whole boneless pork loin into individual chops and save money,” Rentfrow said.

That’s an option Wright gives to all of his customers.

“Once they try us out they realize hey, I can send beef to the butcher shop and I can do everything the way I want it. When you go to the store you may not have that variety to choose from,” Wright said.

Rentfrow also stressed that consumers should look into loyalty cards and programs as another way to save at the grocery store.