With prices everywhere rising out of our control, we are all looking for ways to save money when grocery shopping. One of the obvious way to save money on your grocery bill is to buy your items in bulk. Today I’m going to share how we save money by buying our ground beef in large quantities. Ground beef is one of the most versatile meats that you can stock. With it, you can make a variety of dishes, like Porcupine Meatballs, Burrito Pie, and Mini Meatloaves. Although buying in bulk means putting more money up front initially, the price per pound is lower when you buy a large package of ground beef instead of a number of small packages.
But, what do you do with 4 pounds of fresh ground beef? It can be a little overwhelming, since you want to put it to use within a day or two of purchasing it. One way that I like to use up a large package of ground beef is to mix it up for hamburgers. I add onion, salt, pepper, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, gluten-free oats, and egg, form them into patties, and place them in a single layer on a wax paper lined baking sheet. I place this baking sheet into the freezer until the burgers are frozen solid. I then put them in resealable bags, and have frozen gluten-free burgers on hand for whenever I want. I can take out as many burgers as I need from the freezer, and making a great meal can not get any quicker than that. You can also use the frozen patties to make homemade Salisbury Steak, served along with some mashed potatoes, you have a great meal in 30 minutes.
In a similar fashion, you can also prepare and freeze meatballs ahead of time. I mix them up the same way I do hamburgers, form them into meatballs and freeze. Once they are frozen, I store them in a resealable bag and keep them there until one of those “I-don’t-know-what’s-for-supper” days. Some people pre-bake their meatballs before freezing them on baking sheets, I actually freeze mine before baking, and bake them while they are still frozen – no need to defrost. It works really well, and is very convenient. I then add them to whatever sauce I will be serving them with, or put them in the slow cooker to simmer for a few hours. In addition to being convenient, you also know what is in your meatballs – there is no mystery there.
Besides a basic burger and meatball, scramble fried beef is probably the most popular way to use ground beef. Tacos, chili, and meat sauce for spaghetti all start with the same basic step: Frying your ground beef, breaking it into small pieces, drain (I like to rinse at this point as well), and add onion and garlic. If you’d like, you can also add shredded carrots at this point, increasing the veggie content without anyone knowing. But, what are you supposed to do with 4 pounds of seasoned ground beef? Well, thanks to Canadian Beef, I now know that you can fry all 4 pounds at one time, season it, and freeze it on cookie sheets. When your recipe calls for ground beef, simply measure out the pre-cooked amount of cooked ground beef, and continue with your recipe. This eliminates a step when it comes to preparing a quick dinner, since your meat is already pre-cooked. This process works great for any recipe that calls for you to fry up your ground beef as the first step . To see how it is done, watch this short how-to video by Canadian Beef:
Here are a few gluten-free recipes that would work beautifully with the precooked ground beef:
What are some of YOUR favorite tips & tricks to lower the grocery bill a little?
This post is written not only to help you save a few dollars on your grocery bill, but also to feature Canadian Beef’s excellent selection of Easy Cooking and Quick Tip videos. Check them out for more great tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Canadian beef. In addition to being a major sponsor of the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I am attending this weekend, Canadian Beef is also a sponsor of Eat, Write Retreat in Philadelphia at the end of May. Canadian Beef is giving away six scholarships to Eat Write Retreat - you have until midnight tonight (April 10, 2013) to enter! My fingers are crossed!