It’s going to be a rather full day at my house. Definitely a 2 cupper. (Meaning I will need at least 2 cups of joe just to get my posse out the door this morning.)
On the agenda?
Oh, the grocery store. Love and loathing. My three little darlings count it success if there are melon samples in the produce section. I count it success if we make it to the checkout with two or less trips to the bathroom.
It is no stretch of the imagination that my grocery bill is growing and the contents of my cart are dwindling. For a Type A budgeter like myself, this is cause for alarm. Getting the most out of my food dollars, while making healthy choices, is crucial. (After all, somebody is going to have pay for these kids to get through college!)
One of my favorite tricks revolves around ground meat. I never buy less than 90% lean ground beef. When you buy lower quality meat, you are paying for fat that cooks away and leaves you with less meat, not to mention it’s not the best choice for your health. (Investing in yourself now, will reap many rewards later, including money saved on preventable health conditions.)
Many recipes call for 1 pound of ground beef, but I always cut the amount in half and substitute the other half with brown rice or veggies, depending on the recipe. I use Minute brown rice because it is quick and studies show that it offers the same health benefits as the regular. You can try this tip with any recipe that calls for ground meat.
As a rule of thumb, 1 c. of cooked brown rice is about equal to 1/2 lb. of ground meat. Use less, if you want to add lots of veggies.
For example, when I make enchiladas, I add 1 c. cooked brown rice to 1/2 lb. of ground beef. Saute some red peppers and onions in olive oil until tender. Add to the ground beef and continue with your recipe as written.
If I make any kind of pasta dish, I omit the rice and load it up with shredded carrots, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. Cook veggies in olive oil until tender before adding to meat mixture. (If it were up to me, I’d be satisfied with a veggie sauce, but hubby loves his meat!)
For beef stroganoff, I add lots of mushrooms and onions in with 1/2 lb. of meat. My whole family adores mushrooms so I can never go wrong there.
I do this with sloppy joes, tacos, lasagna… pretty much everything. (Also, a great way to sneak veggies to my unsuspecting girls!)
This trick really stretches our meat dollars and it’s a healthier way to eat, too. I watch for sales and buy ground beef in the biggest size possible to save more. I wrap and freeze it in half pound increments right away so it’s all ready to go.
Off and running for the day!
Given enough coffee, I could rule the world…