Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stretch the Meat, Stretch the Dollar

We are all aware that meat is one of the big expenses at the grocery store.  Here are some ways that I have learned to stretch the meat, I'd love to hear any you have to share!

1) Serve it in casseroles, it takes less to satisfy everyone.
2) Use intensely flavored meats, like ham, bacon or sausage in with a starch-potatoes, pasta, or rice.  The flavor goes a long way and you can use less.
3) Plan leftovers into your menu.  If I am roasting a chicken for one meal, you can bet that in a couple of days, there will be Chicken Noodle Soup, or chicken and dumplings. This way, none is wasted.
4) Soups stretch meats.  My Taco Soup feeds us all one and a half times on 1/2 lb. of hamburger.
5) Add beans.  They are such a good-for-you protein, and cheap too!  You can add canned, mashed beans to dishes like Sloppy Joes or Enchiladas, and no one will ever know.
6) Add oatmeal.  Use this one for stretching ground beef in burgers or meatloaf.  Just add the oatmeal to the ground beef while it is raw, about 1/2 c./ lb.  This trick helps keep burgers from shrinking too.
7) Serve bread on the side.  Adults and children alike enjoy bread with a meal, and it is filling.
8) Serve a variety of side dishes.  Everyone's plate should look full when it is loaded.
9) Cut your meat into small pieces when adding it to a casserole or soup, you get meat in more bites of food this way.

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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

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