Sunday, April 11, 2010


I had grand plans for yesterday, and I got 95% of them done. Not too bad. But I was definitely over-ambitious and was worthless when I got done.

Friday, I had Kelly stop by Sam's Club and get a case of ground beef. We do this every 6-7 months, because the 90% lean ground beef there is about $0.80 per pound cheaper (and sometimes more) than buying the family packs there at Sam's - and that is way cheaper than the same stuff at any other grocery store here in town.

Of course once you buy that much meat, you have to DO something with it. :-) I've done this for several years now, and always before I would cut up some of the logs into 1, 1.5, or 2 pound sections, bag and freeze them raw for future use in meatloaves, meatballs, or meat patties. Then I would start browning meat and freezing the ground beef in 1 or 1.5 pound portions. Not only does this save us a lot of money over the months, but it saves me a lot of time in the kitchen.

This time I decided to take it a step further. Instead of just freezing the raw meat, I actually mixed up 7 meals worth of meatloaf (3 different recipes), 3 bags of meatballs, 4 meals worth of taco meat. I also bought 8 pounds of ground Italian sausage last week at HEB. Three went into one of the meatloaf recipes, and the other 5 I browned and mixed with an equal amount of ground beef. This is now frozen for 10 different Italian based meals (spaghetti, lasagna, etc.) when I usually mix the two. The remaining beef was browned and frozen as before.

That's A LOT of work on 80 pounds of beef plus 8 pounds of sausage. But I got it all done in one day. I had also planned on taking some of the beef right after it was browned and cooking up a couple of meat sauces in triple batches and freezing them for the casseroles they go in. But I ran out of time, energy, and my back and feet were killing me. All of the above plus clean up took about 8 hours, maybe more. But it will be so worth it in the amount of time it will save us. We love just being able to pull out the meat already browned - it makes meal prep so much easier on those days.

Next time I think I will do it again, with a couple of minor changes. On Friday evening I think I will cook one log (10 pounds) and go ahead and do those sauces that night. Then I can refrigerate them overnight and bag and freeze the next morning. Then proceed on Saturday as I did yesterday. But my freezer is nicely stuffed and I really don't want to eat any ground beef for several days. :-)

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