I see many say "buy a half cow, it will save you money. It's like 5 dollars a pound".
In some areas of the country, particularly very rural areas, this may be true, but in most cities and suburbs it just doesn't make sense.
Here's how it breaks out for us. When you buy a whole or half cow, you do get a decent price per pound, let's say 5 dollars. The rub is that most of that meat is ground beef and roasts that are difficult to cook in a manner that makes them enjoyable. Sure you'll get some Ribeyes and other good steaks as well.
For us, there's 2 big issues with this, first, we love steaks. We want to pick the cuts we want when we want them. We don't eat very much ground beef or roasts as a percentage of the total we eat.
Second, we can get the cuts we want, including ground beef, for cheaper at the local grocery store by shopping sales.
Below is the ads for our area this week. I can get tri tip for 4.77lb and ground beef for 3.47lb. Next week sirloin and ribeye will likely be on sale for 5.99lb or so. Compared to the value with a whole cow, this is such a better and more convenient option for us.
If you're in an area where meat is hard to find and expensive, a whole cow makes sense.