Want To Buy Your Beef In Bulk But Don’t Have The Freezer Space? Consider The Meat Locker

You won't have to pass these kinds of signs up anymore, if you have a meat locker.(rockman057)

You won’t have to pass these kinds of signs up anymore, if you have a meat locker.(rockman057)

American are used to the concept of buying in bulk now, carting home everything from economy tubs of peanut butter to crates of toilet paper. But although it’d be cheaper per pound to buy, say, half a cow at once instead of different cuts here and there, the problem of buying meat in bulk is that it takes up a whole lot of room in the freezer, space many people just don’t have. That’s where rentable meat lockers come in.

Although the phrase “meat locker” sounds a bit scary if you’ve watched too many crime TV shows, it’s really just cold storage room, explains NPR’s Morning Edition. Some businesses have started renting out space in those meat lockers to regular people who need some extra storage.

One new meat locker just opened up in Corning, N.Y., offering rentable plastic bins –$ 8 for a larger size, $5 for something smaller — that sit on shelves in the freezer.

You go in and you say, “Hey, I’m making ribs tonight, how’s about I get into that meat locker?”

“And what we’ll do is we’ll bring the bin out to you, and you can take out what you want from your bin, and then we put it back in. They’re all labeled,” a staffer at the meat locker explained to one potential customer.

Like many things in the retail world, what’s old is new again: meat lockers were popular in the 1950s, before home freezers became popular. Though buying meat in bulk might seem old-fashioned or just weird to the modern shopper, the meat locker business has some major appeal to anyone looking to save money.

One customer who grew up eating in a home that bought in bulk says he figures he’d rather share space than use his own freezer at home.

“I figure by the time you run a refrigerator and a freezer both, it’s costing you more than $8 a month just to run them,” he explains.

The group in Corning has spurred interest elsewhere in the area, as its leader says it’s now working with several others who want to set up their own meat lockers.

A Carnivore’s Solution To Space Constraints: The Meat Locker [Morning Edition]