Our family is a big meat family - I mean if my husfand could live off of meat and potatoes he would! But meat is such a huge budget killer! Bodie and I both hunt and we both strongly believe in eating what you kill - and we do. We get a freezer full of dear meat in the fall, and then we will also have dove, goose, quail, and duck if we are lucky. Sometimes though it is nice to have a little ordinary browned burger for your spaghetti or for taco night. I read on some other wonderful persons blog a long time ago about a way to stretch your burger and make it a little healthier for your family so here it is replayed for you!
First of all I try to by the least expensive ground chuck - and usually I can get it at Kroger for less than $1/lb b/c I buy it after it has been marked down - this is usually within a couple days of its sale by date. Now some people won't buy meat like this and I understand, but my thought is since I'm either going to be cooking it that day or the next or freezing it, that it is alright. So I will usually get atleast a 3 lb roll, if not a 5 lb. roll. This weekend I got 2 5lb rolls marked at $4.17 each, then I had a coupon from Kroger's for $1.50 off $5 or more of ground beef, and another coupon for $3 off when you spent over $15 in the meat department (I bought some other marked down items as well.) So let's say my 5 lb rolls cost me an average of $3.25/5 lbs. = less than a $1/lb. I take that burger, brown it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder/salt.
Next, you need to stick about 3-5 carrots and 2-3 celery stalks in the food processor until they a nice mush (yeah, I know it sounds disguisting but I SWEAR you can't tell!..too much).
Add this to the burger and let it cook for a little while...
A little "orangie" but looks the same as above right?!
Take the skillet off the burner and let it cool. Then divide up into freezer bags (I use a 1 cup measuring cup and put in 1 1/2 cups which when weighed equals 12 oz.). This is where I see some of the bigger savings from preparing the meat ahead of time. By doing it this way I get 7 "1 lb" bags of burger instead of only 5 or less.
My thought is this, when I'm mixing this burger in with spaghetti sauce, nachos, or chilli - am I really going to miss the 4 oz. I shorted myself from the true pound? Or am I really going to notice the extra veggies that I used to strecth my burger...probably not (at least I don't...however DH did find a celery string that wasn't processed enough and being the big veggie lover he is, he definately let me know!).
So this is just one way that I'm trying to not only stretch my wallet but also my burger these days!