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.


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Thanks for these great suggestions. They sound yummy too.
As to saving money on the meat: I like to buy family size packs and divide and freeze. Also a big fan of the ol' crockpot myself. I've read about canning meat or sauces with meat in it and I know that would be a savings as I tend to forget things in the freezer for too long, but have gotten better about it since making the Palm Springs property goal. HaHaHa... I find a good goal can make me save cash like crazy. Anywhoo, I should really check into canning the meat since I love canning all kinds of other stuff.
Good to see you back at this blog!

Val N. said...

I have made tacos for 4 with about 1/2 pound (or even less) of leftover meat (any kind of meat will do) by adding cooked rice to it in the skillet before adding the taco seasoning. Since the meat is already cooked, it also makes this a very speedy meal for crazy nights.