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Reducing Stress and Saving Money

March 18th, 2014 at 08:37 am

Meal planning is saving us money and reducing stress. No eating out yesterday. I made a lasagna on Sunday for Monday's dinner. Hubby put it in the oven for me and was fully cooked when I got home from work. Today will be another successful "no eat out" day. I have a whole turkey in the oven and hubby is prepping the potatoes for me so that when I get home from work all have to do is prepare the mash potatoes and make a little bit of gravy with the turkey drippings. Mash potatoes, turkey and corn for dinner today. I don't think turkey should just be for Thanksgiving. I love that I usually get between four or five meals out the turkey for future dinners. I paid $14 for the turkey so each dinner portion comes out between $2.80 to $3.50. A bargain in my eyes! Tomorrow, I'll be making soft tacos with all the trimmings and I'm stretching the meat by trying the recipe below. I purchased dry red kidney beans for $1.30 a pound. Beans are a big staple in our meals.

Use this thrifty base as a substitute for ground beef in your favorite recipes. It makes enough for two yields of most recipes, so don't forget to double the recipe it's used in.

Master Meat Mix
Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: About 3 lb. 6 oz.
Ingredients
•1 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved
•2 lb. 85 percent lean ground beef
•2 large eggs, lightly beaten
•1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 cup fresh parsley
•1 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
Directions
1. In a large bowl, using a fork, mash kidney beans with reserved liquid. Add beef, eggs, onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and mix gently but thoroughly with your fingers.
2. Divide mixture into 2 portions, about 1 lb. 11 oz. each. Use immediately or place each portion in a large ziplock bag, squeeze out air and seal. Refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month.

2 Responses to “Reducing Stress and Saving Money”

  1. snafu Says:

    So happy to see someone else who finds meal planning to be a benefit from both finances and by reducing that stressful 'what's for dinner,' feeling of panic as I walk through the door! I keep a sheet of 'Make-overs' in a 3 ring binder so I have easy to make ideas for any left over beef, lamb, pork, poultry or fish. I've no problem exchanging turkey for chicken in any meal. Based on what's at hand it's easy to combine poultry with rice or potato or pasta. If your family is adventurous they might eat turkey & Brunswick Style Chicken Pie.

    If you have more turkey left over than anticipated just slice and pack meal sized portions in Zip Bags for the fridge freezer. Date for best before [BB] 4-6 months out as feels correct for you.

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    This reminds me of how I make barbecued hamburgers for my nephews, only I use oatmeal to stretch the meat.

    For Barbecue

    2 lbs of 80% lean hamburger
    Finely sliced onion (both white and red onions) about half of each type
    Finely sliced garlic clove (crush before) you can also add powdered garlic
    1 cup (or a little less) old fashioned uncooked oatmeal
    Soy sauce
    Red wine (2 Buck Chuck)
    Dried parsley
    Dried sage
    Rosemary (if you can buy it fresh, its better)
    Thyme (ground coarsely)
    Black pepper
    A little oregano
    A little basil
    Sea salt

    Mix it all up if you feel like it doesnt have enough herbs, wine or soy sauce, put in more. For some reason, they come out juicy and tasty, but not greasy - I think the oatmeal is what does it.

    Make burgers (6 to 8) and put on the grill fight off any dogs or salivating men until its properly cooked and guard your plate bringing to the table to eat.

    Serve on toasted buns with condiments, cheese and tomatoes. We also made olive burgers with Spanish olives and mayo with it and was good.

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