If you’re looking for ideas for quick and inexpensive meals to serve your family, here are some meal prep ideas. It’s a balance to find recipes that are inexpensive and don’t take hours to prepare.
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Ground meat used to be inexpensive, but it is more expensive now and it can add up quickly when serving a family. One way to stretch it is to use in casseroles, cornbread, and other things.
Great way to save time & money
Don’t like to cook? This free printable will help with that.
Reduce time in the kitchen by browning ground meat for more than one meal at a time. If you don’t plan to cook several meals with ground meat right away, it freezes well.
When you buy ground meat in bulk, it is usually less expensive per lb.
These two items have saved us money from eating out:
Stretching ground meat
Browned ground meat in the freezer – either just plain or with taco seasoning already included
For my family of 3 adults, when we cook a meal with ground meat, we use about 1 ½ to 2 lbs. of it per meal. This allows for a few leftovers too.
I’ve found that I can stretch about 2 1/8 lbs. of ground meat to cover 3 different meals with these dinners instead of 6 lbs. of ground meat:
Tacos – use about 1 1/3 lbs.
Meat & Cheese Enchiladas – use about 1/2 lb.
Mexican Cornbread – use about 1/3 lb.
Now, I know different families like more meat than others. In my family, they like more meat, so I must be careful how much I stretch it.
-Brown 2 1/8 lbs. of ground meat and add the taco seasoning as directed on package of seasoning mix
-Put the browned seasoned taco meat in freezer bags to have ready for your next meal – dividing the amount according to what you need to make a recipe.
-Label the outside of the bag with the date, what it is, and how many lbs.
Other Tips for Meal Prep
Brown ground meat in bulk and leave it plain to cook and/or freeze.
This can be used for meals such as spaghetti, tator tot casserole or manwiches.
When we have things in the freezer we can quickly turn into meals, it reduces the amount of times we think about eating out which saves money in the long run.
It also saves time in preparing the meal.
Half of the battle of cooking is deciding what to cook.
When making recipes with ground meat, brown more than you need for one meal, and it can be frozen for future meals. Buy ground meat in bulk as it is generally less expensive per lb. Stretch the meat by preparing meat & cheese enchiladas and Mexican cornbread. When there are quick meals available, it helps limit the temptation of picking up food to eat or eating out. This ultimately helps save money and time by planning.