Eating healthy on a budget....about Meat....

Hey all,
I have been away from this blog for quite a while, but have been spending the last few days really studying how to cut my grocery bill while maintaining a healthy diet.
I have found a few things that I am thinking of trying.
1.) Buy meat that is reduced...meaning it's expiration date is tomorrow..but you can freeze it.  This includes tough cuts of meat that are already cheap but made cheaper by the fact that "time's up", so to speak.
With tough cuts of meat you can use a crock pot or simmer on the stove in a dutch over for a few hours to make it tender, and you'll never notice the difference. Except in your pocketbook.
I bought two packages of red meat..beef round top steak reduced...each package was around 2.30 cents per package..each has a little over a pound of beef. 
What I like to do with these thin steaks is to cook them in a crockpot..add bell peppers, green ones mostly....because they are the cheapest...and onion and beef broth (I found a great substitute for wylers beef broth..it's  knorr beef broth 2.08 for a huge jar)...and let it cook till the meat falls apart...then into a pan on the stove I add a can diced or stewed tomatoes and then add a cup of juice from the crockpot and a packet of brown gravy and make tomato gravy.. Then I pour the gravy back into the meat....and I make mashed potatoes on the stove with 5 or 6 potatoes... Put the gravy and meat over the potatoes.
You can serve this meal with some green beans if  you like...
Grand total for this meal..
meat 2.32
potatoes 1.00 maybe...
broth .05 cents
2 green bell peppers .80 cents
1 can tomatoes...80 cents
1 beef gravy packet 33 cents
1 onion 10 cents
1 can green beans (or two depending) 80 cents to 1.60.
That's 6.20 cents for a good dinner or 7.00  with 2 cans of green beans.
for a family of 4 That is a 1.55 a meal per person (a 1.75 for 2 cans of Green beans).
And if you don't like canned you can use frozen grean beans for not much more.
To up the vitamins in your meal....leave the skin on your mashed potatoes and put a clove of garlic in there...

2.) Extending you meat with additives...
I buy 93 percent lean meat and I get mine from the commissary.
I know how lucky I am because meat is pretty cheap (compared to walmart)
To get the most bang for your buck, you can add stuff to your ground beef to make it go further..
for things like meatballs and meatloaf you can add crackers or oats...a cup or two can make a pound stretch much further...especially if it's meatballs. You can also use barley.
For mexican food, I like to add black  beans...you can double or triple your meat with this and it adds fiber and tastes great.  I especially like this in tacos or enchiladas..
black beans and hamburger also make great chili...
And it is a cheap dinner
a half a pound of hamburger at the commissary 1.50 in reality land 2.20...
1 bag of beans 1.20 to 1.50
1or 2 cans of tomatoes .80/1.60 cents
1 packet of chili seasonings
(or even better, make your own here.)
buying your seasonings in bulk and putting them in baggies is cheaper and you can buy only what you need...a plus when you are trying to save money.
Grand total: 4.90/5.70 in reality land.  That my dears is enough for a lunch and a dinner. 
I personally add rotel tomatoes to my chili...gives it a little kick for the same price. 
that's about 8 servings for a grand total .61/.71 cents a serving.

So those are two of my ideas for saving money in the meat department...tomorrow I will talk chicken. 

What do you do to make your food budget stretch when it comes to the meat department?
Any ideas are appreciated.
Have a wonderful day,
Chris out.


ouch! that hurt.

yeah...somehow the electric company has been undercharging me and overcharging my neighbor...now it's time to pay the piper. 761 dollars worth.
That is an average of around 30 dollars a month more than my neighbor.
Which means not only do we have one heck of an electric bill.
We also use too much energy.
So It's time to be vigilant about turning off those lights and unplugging things.
For the longest time I have thought putting or pluggin in those power strips and then turning them off at night took care of the problem.
They still draw energy.
So tonight I went around unplugging small appliances.
We'll see how or if things improve.
better now than never.
I am not sure I hold much store in those energy saver lights.
They cost a lot and ours burn out every other month.
I am not sure the small savings is worth the outlay and constant light bulb changes.
My clear bulbs last longer.
I also wrote up this thing people call a Bud-get (N): A budget (from old French bougette, purse) is a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving and spending.[1] A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods. In other terms, a budget is an organizational plan stated in monetary terms..
A budget is NOT when you pay all your bills and then the rest of the money is just a great big free for all.
So my budget consists of bills, grocery money, gas money (currently an arm and a kidney), spending money for everyone in our family, SAVINGS ( a new category lol) and project money...
we are idea people.
My project currently is fencing off an area for a garden.
Tim's project is garage organization.
We each have 60 dollars a month allotted to our project after initial outlay.
Either way we are going to have to be cutting back whether we like it or not.
So I am going to be eating dinners with the family.
I am also going to be making menus so I don't overspend at the grocery store...
(which isn't hard to do these days)
Do you guys have favorite family recipes?
Post them and I will put them up to share.
I am thinking about making this blog a kind of open forum where anyone who wants to post can post.
Let me know if you all are interested.
The more ideas the better.
Talk to you all later,
Chris out.


emergency essentials for your car

Hey all,
It's been a while....but I have been busy.
I am cleaning out closets and organizing my food storage areas.
I have been working on getting the different areas organized.
If you don't know where things are, you can spend money you don't need to spend on items you already have.
Which is why I have been cleaning.
Tonight I put a bug out bag in my van.
It has 4 mre's (meals ready to eat)...a swiss army knife...an emergency blanket.
I am going to put together a first aid kit for the car as well.
I would also like to put emergency purified water in the car and a case of mre's.
Each MRE has 2000 calories.
A case has 12...or three days of food for a family of four.
You can get mre's through emergency essentials (in the link on the left).
They stay good for a long time..
at least 3 years.
usually for many more than that.
Especially if stored indoors.
flares, and orange triangles, jumper cables, a flashlight..a firestarter wouldn't go amiss either.
A jack and a spare tire...
These are all good things to keep in the car.
If you have anything you like to keep in your car in case of emergency...put it in the comments below and I will share it with everyone.
Have a great night guys,
will be back soon with more information and updates.
Chris out.