After some grocery shopping this morning I thought I would pass along a great tip. First of all, I usually go prepared with at least a weeks worth of meals planned. I check the sale flyer and see whats on sale and go from there, chicken was on sale this week and I scored a great price on boneless, skinless chicken thighs. A much better deal than breast. While cruising the meat isle I came across some great deals……
Ham hocks, 85% ground beef, pepper and onion sausages and lean ground chicken. All marked down to be used in the next few days. I will put these in my freezer till I use them but there are two ways you can approach your meal plan when you find these deals.
If you have the money to spare, get these items at a great deal and freeze them for another time. I have a small deep freeze that cost less than $200 new, if you can afford one it is a great investment in saving money. Or if your tight on funds, like I am this week, change up your meal plan right there. I will be making Ham and bean soup, Spaghetti with sausages, Bourbon chicken meatballs and the ground beef was already on my meal plan for Tacos. Bonus!
There are better times to look for these deals, especially the beginning of the week. Stores increase stock for the weekend and have to get rid of what didn’t sell. This is especially true for summer holidays, you will find burgers and steaks marked down on Monday and Tuesday So I hope you find this info helpful in planning your grocery budget. I should mention, with all the spotlight on couponing these days, I don’t use many coupons. I cook mostly from scratch with some convenience items so there are not many coupons for the things I need. Of course I use them for detergents, cleaning supplies and hygiene products but 40 cents off 12 rolls of paper towels just isnt convenient for me. Coupons for flour, sugar, frozen veggies, etc are prized but not offered often. Still, using sales and markdowns will save you lots with a little thinking and preparation. My next post, I will share my meal plan / grocery list sheet. It saves me tons of time in preparation.
How often do you cook with ground beef? It can be an inexpensive protein when 1 pound feeds a family of 4 or 5. Once a month I buy a 10 pound bag from a local meat market because they give a discount when you buy a large quantity. I separate into 1 pound freezer bags and throw in the freezer. And we are talking high quality, 85%, no pink slime, freshly ground meat. We live pretty frugally so beef roasts or steaks are not made often and even then, only when they are on sale. So what exactly can you do with 1 pound of ground beef?
One of our favorites is Salisbury steaks. Mix the ground beef with an egg, bread crumbs, a little Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt and pepper and form into pattys of desired size or number of family members. Fry the pattys with a little butter, a little water to steam, turning till they are cooked thru. Remove from the pan and add some sliced onion and sliced mushrooms with a tablespoon of butter and saute a few minutes. Throw in a jar of beef gravy and put the pattys back in the pan. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.
Hamburger stroganoff is just as easy, fry it up with some onion, salt and pepper. Add a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of milk, a couple spoonfuls of sour cream and come beef bouillon and serve over noodles.
How about veggie beef soup? Start by cooking up the hamburger loose with salt and pepper. In a large cook pot add 2 big boxes of beef stock, veggies of your choice (I use corn, peas, lima beans, string beans and chopped carrots with a large potato, diced), add a small can of crushed tomatoes or tomato juice. Add the hamburger, season with salt, pepper, dried basil and a pinch of tarragon with a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Toss in a bay leaf just dont forget to take it out later. Cook at a simmer and taste it, adjust the seasonings and sugar to your taste. I like to add a tablespoon of margarine just for a little richness.
The options go on and on….
Shepard’s pie is so easy
Hamburger barbeque is a Pennsylvania Dutch favorite (some would know it as Sloppy Joes but this version is sweeter)
Meatloaf can be made in so many different ways
Meatballs and Spaghetti or meatball sandwiches
How about Sweet and Sour meatballs? A little pineapple, peppers, brown sugar and a touch of cider vinegar
Hamburger gravy is as simple as that, hamburger fried up with gravy added, served over noodles is an old farmers easy meal.
And of course the old stand by…. burgers. But mix it up, look for new toppings, it doesn’t have to be same old.
We never get tired of hamburger and a meat main ingredient for around $3.40 cant be beat. Allrecipes.com is one of my favorite websites, they have recipes for everything. And my new favorite is Pinterest.com although my recipe board is mostly desserts, I don’t know how that happens.