fat is a huge part of the diet of my partner and i, and anyone who wishes to come stay here and be fed for a time. based on our lifestyle choices, cheap or free is very good. here are some of the ways i obtain fat outside of the land where we dwell.
1) trade or buy in bulk. find a farm that raises pastured pork and work out some trades, or buy in bulk. i can buy fatback from a local guy at $2 a lb if i buy 15 or more lbs. that is pretty cheap, and rendering the fatback into lard is really easy, plus you get delicious "cracklins" as a part of this process. trading is also an option with this particular farmer. he loves trading sweet potatoes for fatback, and we have found sweet potatoes to be one of the few domesticated annual crops that we enjoy growing (for now).
2) scavenge from processors. if you have a local deer processor they will give you all the trimmings from the processing if you call and ask. we told them we wanted the bones to make bone broth, and they told us to come pick them up. to our surprise each bag of bones comes with meat trimmings that can provide for many meals. there is generally some fat trimmings as well, but not a whole lot, as deer tend to be lean. i have found it worth my time though to render venison tallow on occasion when an animal has a lot of fat trimmings in the bag. they tend to cut off most of it as "trash".
3) find a local that raises grass fed beef. this works if the person does not sell to market, but raises beef for their family. it also only works if they are scared of fat, as most modern humans are. i know a person that raises grass fed beef for her friends and family, and she has the processor toss out the fat trimmings, which is protocol, generally. i now have her save it for me. sometimes this may cost some extra money, but very little, and 70 lbs of fat can come from one bull.
if i have more thoughts of gathering fat i shall return