This is part of a series on meals on a budget. In this post, I will share budget-friendly menu ideas and freezer tips, recipes, and time-savers all related to Ground Beef.
I typically purchase 80/20 ground beef when it is on sale for $2.49/lb in 4-5 pound increments. This cut has a higher fat content, but I always rinse my ground beef after browning it. The extra fat is rinsed off without taking away from the flavor of the meat.
Some of our favorite ground beef recipes include:
I brown, rinse, and drain the meat and put it back in the pan. I make my own taco seasoning (recipe). This is a great item to prepare a double batch for the freezer! I freeze it flat in a quart-size zipper freezer bag. To use, simply thaw in the refrigerator, heat over medium-low heat, and serve. Yum!
- Meatballs (to eat with pasta or as sandwiches)
If I make my own meatballs, this is my recipe (makes 2 ½ – 3 dz meatballs depending on size)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage (sweet or mild)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
½ c breadcrumbs
¼ c milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand. Roll into balls, fry in 1 tbsp oil until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towel.
To freeze: place meatballs on a cookie sheet in a single layer in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a gallon-size freezer bag and place back in the freezer.
To use (from frozen or immediately): meatballs can be cooked slowly covered in sauce on medium-low heat for 3-4 hours. They also cook great in a crock pot on low for the same cooking time.
- Meatloaf (serves 8)
This is the perfect recipe to freeze!
2 lbs ground beef (or can use a mix of ground meats, I prefer beef)
2 tbsp Seasoning salt
1 c breadcrumbs
¼ c Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand.
To freeze: Shape into a loaf and place in a gallon-size freezer bag.
To use: Thaw if frozen. Place in a covered dish and bake at 325* for 2 hours or until meat reaches internal temperature of 160*.
- Beef Stroganoff (slow cooker recipe)
1.5 lb stew meat
1 medium onion, sliced
1 c beef broth
1 c sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Combine first three ingredients in slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 6 hours. Add sour cream or yogurt and stir to cover meat mixture. Serve over wide egg noodles.