Tips for saving money on ground beef.
Buy hamburger in bulk packages, divide into desired amount then put in freezer bags and mash flat. This is great for saving room in your freezer. It also helps when thawing out the meat, it's a lot faster.
I like to use 1 quart size baggies. Fill it 3/4 full then flatten it. I find using a whole pound of hamburger (in most, but not all) meals is too much and isn't always needed.
We watch for our local market to put ground beef on the loss leader sale for $1.08 or close to that. Then we buy about 40 to 60 pounds because we know they usually only run this great sale every 2 to 3 months.
We have a presto-sealer machine. I stuff the bags and my husband does the sealing part of it so it doesn't take as long. The bags are kind of pricey, but we can reuse them once or twice even though it says to throw them away. Heck ya, they are going to tell you that! I won't reuse a poultry bag. When cleaning them thoroughly with soapy water, then I dry them thoroughly and then store them away in a dust free place with paper towels stuffed in them. Next time I use them I just clip off the top straight. No more freezer burn and it's great having all those flat packages in the freezer. They thaw out fairly quickly too.
The $1.08 a lb. ground beef is in Marion, Arkansas. One time they had it for 98 cents a few weeks ago! They run their hamburger on a good price maybe once every two or three months. Just a small market with only two stores, Marion Market.
Add oatmeal to it when cooking. Makes it stretch and no one knows the difference.
In answer to your question about stretching hamburger, buy a package of TVP Add it to your hamburger and it takes on the taste of whatever you are cooking and it is pure protein so it is healthy too. You can also add ground turkey to your hamburger and in the long run it is cheaper too.
I sometimes cook my hamburger loose and if it has a lot of fat, run water over it in a colander with hot water to take the fat away. You can also add onions, peppers, celery, carrots, or any veggie. Then freeze in zip bags, adding some water to eliminate air to keep from freezer burn. When you go to use it, bullion can be added for more flavor instead of salt.
Some of the things I use this in are, creamed hamburger on toast or biscuits, chili, chili dogs, tacos, spaghetti, goulash, manwich, sloppy joes, or hamburger helper. Makes a great quick meal.
Try this: Take oatmeal, onion or onion salt, garlic, salt and pepper, add one pkg. Hidden Valley dry Italian Dressing mix, and a little bit of catsup. Mix all up and make patties. You can cook on a stove or barbecue. Delicious!
I have a book from the library called "365 Ways With Hamburger" It has great ideas. The author is Doyne Nickerson.
When making meatloaf, I add some ground pork to the ground beef, along with a pack of dry onion soup mix (from the dollar store). The pork is less expensive and makes the meatloaf moist and tasty.
Feel free to post your ideas below.
I save money by purchasing better quality and less fat meat. I love the hamburger meat at Costco in the meat department. I used to buy the fattier hamburger at the store and then I found that I was pouring off a ton of grease. Well, fat/grease weighs quite a bit and is not that good for you and I found that I was actually getting a better deal with the better meat.
I then take it home and cook up a large batch of it and freeze it in my Tupperware containers. When I am ready to make spaghetti I just defrost it and add sauce and simmer it. Or I make tacos or mix a can of cream of mushroom soup in it and have it over rice.
I'm with the person who says buy the pricier meat. You save in the long run with that. Also, if you are trying to save money by reusing your freezer bags, think of what you are wasting with the paper towels and soap and water. When I was a newly wed, 45 years ago, cheap meat was a great deal, especially after two children. Now, I go for quality. Besides being married to a professional chef now doesn't hurt. Your ideas sound good though.
Re: your meatloaf recipe, add some veal too. !/4 lb. pork, 1/4 lb. veal and a 1/2 lb ground beef.
I agree about Coscto. I just got some for 1.99 a pound, pretty lean. I usually cook up about half with onions and garlic and then freeze most of it into dinner sized servings. I also try to use less than a pound when packaging, no one ever misses it. Costco also has great prices on stew meat, chicken breasts and most other meats (if you have a freezer).
I don't bother with cheap hamburger meat. There is so much fat in it that it shrinks to nothing. I buy lower fat content ground beef, but I always buy it on sale. I've found that my grocery store begins discounting their ground beef about 4:00 in the afternoon. This is beef that will be thrown out if not sold by midnight, so it is deeply discounted. It is always still fresh. I buy as much as I can. Then I cook what I want and pack the rest for freezing.
The cheapest and healthiest way is to forget the meat altogether..! Just a thought :-)
Buy very lean ground beef. (I buy 93% lean) Don't pay good money for fat that you have to drain off and throw away.
When a recipe calls for one pound of ground beef, use only 3/4 lb. This is healthier because it cuts down on your consumption of red meat.
365 Ways With Hamburger ---funny you mentioned that Margeth. I have that book. Bought many many yrs ago but don't believe I've ever used it....not sure why but maybe I should hunt it up!
We like to buy the big family packs of hamburger from Sam's Club. My hubby fries up part of it and after it cools I package in freezer bags. I also freeze some of it raw and we put some in our tupperware hamburger keepers for the freezer. Having some already cooked ground chuck is so convenient and a time-saver.
Oh, no, another ground beef recall. The very best idea about ground beef that I've read recently on thriftyfun.com is to buy whole cuts of beef and grind your own. Apparently much of the risk of contaminated ground beef is caused by the mixing of ground beef from different cows.
We buy free range organic beef only. The reason is that they treat the animals humanely and don't add any artificial hormones or chemicals to the meat. The animals are free range and are not kept like sardines in a shed for their entire lives before they are rounded up and beheaded alive, turned upside down and left to hang upside down to bleed to death before they are butchered! Cruel!
We buy in huge quantities when at a loss leader in the health food store. I make up about 20 pounds of meatloaf and then use that recipie to make meatloaf (of course, LOL) and also to make meatballs for hoagies, sphaghetti, noodles, pizza, ect. I bake these up and freeze for quick, healthy meals in minutes. Some of the baked meatloaf I have crumbled into all kinds of dishes instead of regular ground beef. It is cheaper, too, with the added oatmeal, bread crumbs, diced onions, eggs, ect. It REALLY stretches the meat and makes it go along way. It's even good in tacos, burritos, ect.
Buy meat loaf mix. It's cheaper than hamburger and you can use it to make anything. It gives spaghetti and tacos a better flavor.
I boil my ground beef, strain it, then skim the fat off and package the broth for the freezer. This way I have my meat and beef broth for cooking. Saves money not having to buy beef broth.
To each his own. We can live without meat. But if you must eat beef and you really care about your health buy beef without harmones and antibiotics and grind your own. Some of this cheap hamburger comes from several different countries and is washed with ammonia. You don't know if you got that bunch or not. Local stores might grind their own but where did they get the beef? A food processor will grind beef cubes and the meat has a wonderful taste. You can buy replacement blades for your processor if they get dull. If you use a lot of ground beef get a meat grinder.
I would like to comment on how tasty the picture of the double cheese hamburger with tomato looks. I have bought a large package of the best ground beef, also a smaller package of cheaper ground beef, mixed them together and used for hamburger purposes
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