Bones make excellent stock, but beef and lamb bones aren't as economical as they once were. Hounds are bemoaning the high prices, and discussing possible alternatives. greygarious pays around $2 a pound for raw beef bones. "Those were free, or a pittance, 40 yrs. ago," says greygarious. "Along with the return of head-to-tail eating has come head-to-tail pricing." schoenfelderp hasn't seen bones for less than $2 a pound either.
Chicken stock is a cost-effective alternative to stock made from mammal bones. Compared to chicken stock, "[t]he other stocks are expensive to make, both because of the cost of the meat and even of bones, and because poultry yields more flavor per pound of meat than mammalian meats," greygarious says.
Duck wings are another option, if you can source them. RelishPDX found that six pounds of oven-browned duck wings made fourteen cups of an incredibly rich stock—plus a half cup of rendered fat. Pretty good for $1.19 a pound!
Discuss: Cost of Bones