Meat Subscription Review: Good Chop vs. Butcher Box
By Mike Thayer
I love to cook and grill, I have a well stocked pantry, I've got a freezer full of goodies, which is mostly meat for grilling.
One thing I don't love however, is grocery shopping. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate it, but it's time consumption that doesn't feel all that productive.
So last month, I tried a meat subscription club, Butcher Box and while it was convenient to have meat delivered to the house and the meat was good quality stuff, the price per pound was a bit high at $8.86/lb., which included 2 pounds of 'free' promotional ground beef. Pricing the same cuts at the local grocery store would have been at a cost of $7.26/lb. So even though Butcher Box is 'giving' me 2 pounds of 'free' ground beef per month for life (for as long as I subscribe), that 15 pounds of meat total per month is still coming in at $8.86/lb.
Still drawn to that convenience factor however, this month I tried a different meat subscription club, called Good Chop. A box of meat cost me $100, a mix of beef, chicken and pork, which cost me less than the $133 Butcher Box cost me. Good Chop is running a special right now, a discounted price for my first few boxes of meat that normally cost $149.
Here's what I got delivered today: Two kinds of steak, ground beef, ground Italian sausage, boneless/skinless chicken breast and a pound of bacon.
Like Butcher Box, the shipping was on time, the box was nicely packed, all meats frozen and in great shape, complete with nicely portioned packaging for each meat. So in comparing the two meat subscriptions on that basis, there's no difference, same quality service provided.
Here's where Butcher Box stands out from Good Chop. They're less expensive than Good Chop. I only got 11 pounds of meat in my first Good Chop Box, which breaks down to $9.09/lb. I get more meat at a lower price per pound with Butcher Box. And when this Good Chop discount ends and I have to pay regular price that will be about 10 pounds of meat for $149, or $14.99 per pound! NO THANKS! I don't have to go through a taste testing to know that price difference will or won't be worth it. It just won't be. Besides, neither Good Chop or Butcher Box can beat the prices of buying locally.
I'm giving Good Chop just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. While my initial out-of-pocket expense is cheaper than Butcher Box, when you figure in the price per pound, Good Chop is actually more expensive. Neither Good Chop or Butcher Box are wallet friendly options, buying local is the way to go with a far lower price per pound. The convenience of having meat dropped off at your door be damned!
Related: Meat Subscription Review: ButcherBox and free ground beef
Related: EveryPlate meal kit club vs. going to the grocery store
You need to try Wild Fork Foods (www.wildforkfoods.com). They are not the same as the subscription style meat delivery services. Instead you pick out your items a la carte and they give you an estimated weight on anything that varies. Their quality is awesome, but just like you I am not willing to lose any significant money for some fancy delivery service.
Great deals on chicken, good prices on pork and beef (especially when you account for quality. They have prime brisket for like $5.19/lb and its flavor is unbeatable).
Also strongly recommend throwing in their seasonings that look good to you. Yet to be let down by them.
The business model is like Amazon prime where you pay for an annual subscription (only $29 if I recall) and as long as you order $50 or more delivery is free and fast. (They deliver Wednesday through Saturday and offer two day free shipping)
Hope you try it! I’ve probably spent $1,000 or more with them as a primary source of groceries and I send their mixed box of smoked salmon to relatives as a knockout gift.
Posted by: Rex Lundstrom | 12/03/2021 at 10:08 AM
I've tried both. You're absolutely correct on the very similar meat quality but high per lb prices after the promo prices end. Being disabled "normal" shopping is difficult for me. I get my groceries delivered thru Walmart and Aldi's delivery. My local meat prices are much higher than both meat companies. In my area good (meaning tender & flavorful) steaks are $10-$17 per lb. Ground beef is cheaper at around $5.60lb. Bacon will run you $7.00lb. I only get my beef steaks via the meat companies because ground meats, chicken, pork, and seafood is much cheaper here. Therefore I'll probably continue to get just beef thru the meat companies and save approximately $5.00 per lb. I suggest everyone take advantage of the promotional prices because you can always cancel once the price increases. There are several companies to chose from where you can get initial deals. So far the steaks I've cooked have been yummy.
Posted by: Stacy Haley | 12/05/2021 at 10:32 AM
Very helpful article! Thanks for taking the time to do the research for us.
Posted by: C | 01/04/2022 at 03:38 PM
Thank you for the article and for the people in the comments who also added some helpful info.
Posted by: Victoria | 01/12/2022 at 10:27 PM
FIRST-TIMERS BEWARE. I just received the first AND LAST box from GoodChop that I didn't understand that I ordered. I found their website to be inflexible and confusing. When I saw what their "choices" were, they included cuts I never use, and was trying to order more of the ones I do use. I tried to find out if I could, but got no answers so I (THOUGHT) I closed out of the website without ordering.
The care and quality of their products, packaging, and delivery seems obvious; to some of us, their website was rigid and confusing. BEWARE.
Posted by: Jennifer L Maybery | 03/23/2022 at 12:48 PM
Thanks for the article. I'll stick with Butcherbox. I've tried buying local but beef and pork is not always available where I live. I also do Sizzlefish and Wild Alaskan sometimes.
Posted by: Camille | 04/06/2022 at 10:40 AM
I was with butcher box first. Yes, love their products and price but it doesn’t help when it takes FedEx FIVE days (only 350 miles from our home, so even if they drove 35mph it would only take 10 hours to get here) to deliver your box and all your meat/fish is thawed and spoiled. This happened three times to me. Yes they refunded my money but meanwhile we had nothing in freezer. I tried to tell butcher box they needed an alternative company to ship their product but to no avail. So hopefully I’ll have better luck with Good Chops. As for price, do not mind spending more for organic, hormone free, healthy meat and chicken. You can’t get that at your normal grocery stores
Posted by: Sue | 04/26/2022 at 02:51 PM
I get imperfect foods delivered to the house, I like their meat better than my local grocery stores. Also they have snacks and pantry items. They have organic, hormone free etc. I like their Pork, Chicken, Hamburger, Sausage. If you spend 60 dollars delivery is free. You can set a schedule and get deliveries every other week or every week. And you can skip weeks. I have been a customer for 3 years now. During the pandemic I was doing every week, but now I do every other.
Posted by: Mom of 2 Teens | 06/10/2022 at 11:54 PM
I ordered Good Chop for the first time last month. The original order was 4 days late (in the Arizona sun) and obviously ruined. Customer service was extremely nice and promised a new delivery within the next 5 days.....never happened. I contacted customer service again and they were extremely nice and promised a delivery in 5 days....still didn't happen.
Caveat Emptor ( I am probably using that phrase wrong, but it sounds cool).
Posted by: Matt Hardin | 06/14/2022 at 09:50 PM
I've tried both Crowd Cow and Butcher Box. Crowd Cow, even though local to me, has delivered to the wrong unit in our development twice, their seafood offerings are limited, and their prices are higher. Butcher Box has not had any delivery problems nor food being thawed (as another commenter had). My "beefs" with them are: (1) Their box options are limited. They do have a "Basic" box on their website at $99 if you can find it that would be perfect for my household of 2, but that option doesn't appear available to me; I just sent them an email asking them why. (2) They offer a dizzying array of sales each the week, and it's best to "add them to your box" just in case, as that essentially reserves that for you and they may not be available if you wait until you're ready to order. The catch is that there are so many sales, some on the same items, and that the prices often change, that unless you have a great memory, you won't remember whether the price you see is better or not. I wait until I'm about ready to order and then have to waste a LOT of time to sift through what has been between $1,000 and $2,000 to "cut" it down to aroundd $300-$400, which isn't easy. It also isn't easy to cram all of that meat into my bottom freezer. At least 2 months ago, I suggested to them to allow grouping by meat so that one can winnow down the list much faster. Nothing so far. Still, the quality of most of their meat is noticeably better than the local grocery store, but there are some things I now buy locally where the difference isn't noticeable and/or the price difference is substantial. Remember folks, that delivery services may save you a trip to the store, which isn't free, or at least some time in the store perusing what they have/don't, which is replaced by time online.
Posted by: Brian | 11/05/2022 at 05:28 PM
The butcher box beef is all grass fed, the chicken is all free range organic, the pork is heritage bred and the seafood is wild caught. At my grocery store all but the chicken of that quality costs more than butcher box, so it actually will save you money if that's the quality of meat that you prefer.
Posted by: Matt | 01/04/2023 at 08:00 AM
I use Omaha steaks. Have been with them over 20 years.
If you watch for 19.99 and 29.99 specials you get a good deal. Gold membership earns you points and when they add up you can get certain items added to order free, and shipping is free if order is over a certain amount
Love the company
Posted by: Sylvia Susoeff | 01/31/2023 at 10:49 PM
We used butcher box and the quality was good. The main problem was packaging leaking as it was thawing. The perforations between chicken breasts were too narrow. And their customer service was lacking. Improve the packaging and we may come back.
Posted by: Kim Ry | 02/19/2023 at 03:46 PM