Originally Posted by Anemone
When we were young (before we ever went overseas), I can remember my parents doing this. We had two quite large chest freezers in the basement. IIRC, my parents bought a side of beef, a lamb, and at least 20 chickens every fall. But I know the beef & lamb came to us already cut & wrapped in butcher paper & tape, and always had what was in it written on it in marker. I think they bought pork too, but I don't remember. The chickens came from family friends who had a farm.
We also would either go to pick-your-own farms or the farmers market and I remember helping my parents chop, prepare & freeze bags of carrots, corn, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and I think beets for my Dad. We would do berries in their respective seasons as well. And we always made a trip to the apple orchard, and my Grandma would come one day, and Mom & Grandma would do a ton of pie crusts for the freezer, then they'd do some apple pies as well, and I remember peeling, cutting, and coring apples, then they would cook them down and then put them through the applesauce maker. No idea how many quarts of applesauce mom froze every year, but I'm sure it was quite a lot.
I freeze some stuff too and can even more things since our freezer usually too full to add too many fruits too (and I like how they taste better canned), but I don't know if I could butcher my own meat. I'm a little bit squeamish and really don't like blood/guts. I had a brief "career" in the meat/deli department at SKH where I worked at the CS desk because I needed more hours to pay for college. Let's just say that it wasn't something that I enjoyed and ended with me cutting part of the tip off of one of my fingers and needing a skin graft to repair it.
I pretty much stuck to any of the other departments to earn extra money after that, even thought they still wanted me to help in the meat/deli department.