Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frugal Living--Making Ground Beef Go Farther!

I learned this trick from Michelle, who sadly no longer has her website. She had a website called "Leaving Excess", and I learned many good tricks from her. Unfortunately, her website became the excess in her life and she let it go to concentrate on her family. But here goes for making your ground beef go farther.

You will need 8 pounds of ground beef...

I like to use a combination of ground beef and ground turkey.  The ground turkey is better for you, but it is also cheeper than ground beef (unless you can get ground beef at an excellent price!).

along with 2 onions, four carrots, and 6 celery stalks.

First, chop your vegetables into small pieces.

If you have a food processor, it would probably work wonderfully for this. I really wanted one, but really didn't want another small appliance in my kitchen. The first time I did this, I chopped all the vegetables by hand. It was very tiring to say the least. I found a hand chopper on clearance for $4, and almost ran to the checkout. The hand chopper works so nice. You can chop your vegetables into any size you wish. I used to chop them all sooo small, because I feared if my family knew that there were vegetables in their meat, they wouldn't eat it. Now they all know I do it (the carrots are a BIG giveaway!), so I don't stress about trying to chop them into invisible pieces!!

Place all your vegetables into a bowl and mix them up.

Start frying your hamburger with the veggies mixed in the meat.

Place the amount you desire into freezer bags. 

I like to put it into quart size bags, then place those bags into a gallon size bag.  Place in the freezer, and you are finished!  It is nice to have hamburger already made up, and just pull it out and thaw it.  I generally use ground beef for taco's and casseroles.  It took a couple of hours out of my day, but saves a huge amount of time from another day.  It also makes a huge amount of grease, so have a large bowl handy for draining the meat.

This also helps my grocery bill go farther.  I started with 8 pounds of meat, and when I was finished I had 12 packages made up.  I can't really say whether they were each exactly a pound or not, but I have what I know my family will need for meals.

I have also experimented with other vegetables in the ground beef.  I generally always use the carrots, onion, and celery; but sometimes I have been known to sneak something else into the meat.  The last time I made this I had a few mushrooms leftover that I chopped into it, and I have also chopped broccoli stems into the meat.  It is a good way to get some extra vegetables into your family's diet, and a good way to use up things that you may not have another use for.   I sometimes will add in some brown rice to the ground beef.  This really helps make the ground beef go farther.  As I said, we generally use ground beef for taco's or casseroles~ the rice in the ground beef works perfectly for the taco's, and if it is in a casserole, no one will probably ever know.  Try whatever you think would work for your family!

Have a great day!

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