A little beef goes a long way

Tonight I was doing my usual dinner prep and I decided I would share how I stretch 5lbs of ground beef. I kind of call it ‘partial freezer cooking’. Freezer cooking or once a month cooking involves one huge prep day of dividing all your groceries into individual meal portions, with lots of chopping, portioning, and some cooking involved. While I would LOVE to do this, I’m not there just yet and this works for me, for now. I hope someone finds my method useful! It makes for quicker dinners most days of the week.

On the menu this week is chili and lasagna. So I purchased 5lbs of ground beef. I typically spend between $9-$15 depending on fat content, store, and sale. I placed all of it into one large pot to cook.

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Once drained I put about 4cups {2lbs} in my crockpot and made my chilli for tonight’s dinner.

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I then put a pound aside for sloppy joes. This is a quick meal that Bryan can make when I’m at work or if I’m too busy to cook. Paired with some shells and cheese- EASY!
Now, I didn’t have a can of sloppy joe mix, if I did, I would have mixed it in ahead of time.

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The rest of the beef I put in a large mixing bowl and dumped in 4 jars of pasta sauce. I would love to one day make my own, possible with my new vegetable garden next year! But for now, the $1 jars from save-a-lot are delicious and work for us! Hunts also has $1 cans of sauce that are tasty too! I don’t know how anyone pays $4-$5 or more for a jar of sauce! If you do, please tell me why! hahahaha!
Once mixed, I put 6 cups into a gallon freezer bag for lasagna, and filled 2 quart freezer bags with 3 cups each for spaghetti. I prefer to make meatballs for spaghetti, but again, this is a quick and easy meal for when it’s needed.

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By the time I was done, the chili was heated through for dinner time! So simple! …and saves so much time, which we could all use a little more of.

So we have in the freezer:
Chili that will last us for at least 3 more dinners.
And prepped beef for:
A Sloppy joe dinner.
2 Spaghetti with meat-sauce dinners.
1 lasagna dinner that will feed us for 2 dinners.
Not to mention all the leftovers that Bryan can take to work the next day!

Nine dinners, and at least six lunches for Bryan, all from just 5lbs of ground beef.

I also do this with chicken breasts and especially on meatloaf days. I’ll cook a meatloaf that feeds us twice and I’ll set aside some of the raw mixture to doctor up and make meatballs out of that will last us …forever! You’d be amazed at how many meatballs can be made from just one pound! Bake them up on a cookie sheet, add sauce, and place individual servings into quart freezer bags- BAM! All you need to do is boil up some pasta!

Hope I inspired you tonight to save some time and stress at meal time 🙂
❤Leanna

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