Make the Most of Your Food Dollar

Dear Friends,

This week we have been focused on saving money by planning our meals. Today we are going to make a simple game out of it. I have been doing this for forty years. When my son was little, I played this game each week. I would check the grocery store sales and see what was a good bargain for the week. Then I would see how many meals I could put together with the sale item.

Let me give you an example.

Ground Beef is at a “good price” per pound and you buy 15 pounds. We posted this on Facebook and look at what everyone came up with.

1.    Burgers on the grill
2.    Meatloaf
3.    Taco Tuesday
4.    Spaghetti Meat Sauce
5.    Cheeseburger Bake
6.    Hamburger Stroganoff
7.    Sloppy Joes
8.    Nachos
9.    Mexican Casserole
10.    Salisbury Steak
11.    Hamburger Steak smothered in onions
12.    Stuffed Peppers
13.    Chili
14.    Enchiladas
15.    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
16.    Hamburger Pizza
17.    Quesadillas
18.    Shepard’s Pie
19.    Goulash
20.    One Skillet Lasagna
21.    Taco Salad
22.    Chili Mac
23.    Cheesy Beef and Rice Bake
24.    Meat Pockets baked inside of Crescent dough
25.    Tamale Pie

Now pay attention to this next part. If you buy 15 pounds of ground beef and you leave it in the refrigerator and not use it; you have wasted your time shopping and money. I work hard at being kind to myself. So here are some tips to help you process your ground beef bargain.

1.    Go to the grocery store when you are not tired.

2.    Have a plan for when you get home to process your bulk Ground Beef. I make two or three meat loaves and pat out patties for the grill, hamburger steaks, and Salisbury Steak. Then I put the rest in the crockpot with a cup of water to cook the meat while I am making the burgers and meatloaves. I stir it every 15 mins to break it up into little pieces. I drain it before bagging.

3.    I love my vacuum sealer for all the items in my freezer.

4.    Do not stack patties as they are hard to break apart and you could get cut. Ask me how I know. LOL You could freeze on a cookie sheet then stack them with wax paper between patties.

5.    If you don’t have a vacuum sealer then use freezer bags and get the air out. Be sure and label the packages with the date and item. Keep a Sharpie in the box of bags. I bag up two cups of precooked ground beef in my bags and lay the flat to freeze.

6.    If I am not rushed I will chop up several onions and cook with the ground beef. This saves me a step when I start to cook. Be sure and label that you have precook onions in the ground beef.

7.    Write it on a piece of paper, put on a white board, or put it in your phone to keep up with your inventory of food in your freezer. This will help you to remember what is in there. Also put it on your calendar to update your inventory monthly. It is essential to saving money and using up your food before buying more. It will get rid of freezer burn.

8.    Make a note card for any of the entrees above and find a recipe that works for your family. Many of the FlyBabies who posted these on Facebook included their recipes. This will keep you from racking your brain to what you can fix.

One of the things that my grandmother taught me is to think a head. What can you do today to make your life easier tomorrow? She would take advantage of supermarket sales and stockpile the items that she knew she would use. My grandmother worked outside the home as a seamstress at a suit factory. She raised a garden and preserved veggies for the freezer.

We will keep looking at this process of saving money and feeding your family. Tomorrow we will look at another item that frequently goes on sale.

Let’s save some real money,

FlyLady

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