Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cooking and Freezing - Works for me Wednesday

One of the things that I have done forever to make my meat budget stretch and save me TONS of time is to buy a family pack of meat, cook all of it, bag it, and freeze it. This is what I did this weekend:

This is 6 pounds of ground beef that I have divided into 13 meal size portions for my family! I usually brown half of it and bag it as is, then make 1 meatloaf, and either taco meat or sloppy joes with the rest. I bag all of them into individual ziploc bags then put all the bags into a one gallon bag in the freezer. Here is what I was able to get this time:

1 meatloaf

2 bags of sloppy joes (2 meal sized portions for all of us)

3 bags of taco meat (3 meal sized portions for tacos or taco salads)

7 bags of cooked ground beef

This saves so much time!

Here are some quick meals you can make with a bag of ground beef:

  1. Hamburger Helper - read what I recently wrote about how to dress up a boxed dinner here.
  2. Spaghetti - add to a jar or can of spaghetti sauce
  3. Haystack Casserole - a family favorite, get the recipe here.
  4. Taco Soup - also a favorite, get the recipe here.
  5. Beef Stroganoff - Thaw ground beef, add a can of cream of mushroom soup, a 1/2 c. of sour cream, and 1 envelope onion soup mix. Heat through, serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice. Yum!

I love the convenience and time savings this provides, it also allows me to stretch my meat budget by pre-portioning meals. Also, say it with works for me!

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great Works for me Wednesday ideas!


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I've been doing this lately and it works great.


sabakose said...

When you go to use this say for taco meat, then do you microwave it, cook in the skillet again? Does it ever get dried out?

I think I may just have to try this!!! :-)

SavingSomeGreen said...

I microwave it - and no it doesn't get dried out. It actually can tend to get a little bit oily, so I have to drain it again.


Sally said...

I do this with my vegetables too. If I have had them for a while and not had a chance to use them, I chop them up and put them into the freezer in 1 cup portions.

Jackie L. said...

I used to do this, but got out of the habit for some reason. I think you may have inspired me to try this again. Thanks!

Krisi and Adam said...

I have done this as well. Right now my freezer is to full to make anything else. My goal is to use up what we have until the end of the year and do some more once a month (more like twice a year) cooking.

Thanks for sharing the ideas to use the cooked meat with -- that Beef Stroganoff sounds great.

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