Looking for more ways to save money? Here are some ideas for what to add to meat to make it stretch.
I recently shared How to Save Money on Meat. These ideas have been working very well for me lately and I’ve been saving quite a bit on our grocery budget!
With these in mind, I’ve been considering more ways I can save.
What to Add to Meat to Make it Stretch
I had mentioned that we’re eating less beef. When we do eat beef, I’ve found that I can use much less ground or shredded beef in a recipe if I add any of these to the meat:
- Extra veggies
Now, most of these are a no-brainer. We’ve been taught these tricks forever, right? Right. But I still feel like it’s worth a mention as I share a few specific ways we can stretch our ground beef (and shredded beef too!)
Recently I cooked three pounds of meat for tacos. I then put only about two cups of cooked meat into a bowl with a can of black beans, a can of corn, and a can of rotel. This was a delicious combination in our tacos that night, leaving all kinds of cooked meat left over for me to use in several meals in the future.
I used to employ these tricks a lot when our first set of kids was younger. Now that we have more mouths to feed, I’m implementing them again. And note this: while we are currently feeding a lot of small children again and I can get away with stretching meat because they are little, we are also still feeding at least 4 adults at every meal. These meat-stretching ideas are working just as well for the Bigs as they are for the Littles. No one is complaining about “mom holding back on meat.” Why? Because no one has noticed!
Make Meat Secondary
Typically, we think of meat as our main dish, then our carbs, veggies, and fruit as side dishes. But what if we change our thinking just a little bit and serve meat as a “side dish.” Or as an “add-in.”
I’m not willing to compromise our health and add a bunch of fillers or empty carbs to our diets in an effort to fill us but not nourish us. I’m simply looking for ways to stretch our meat into providing more meals! So adding nourishing add-ins like beans, rice, corn, and extra veggies to our meals really makes sense!
And don’t forget what I learned when I did the math here: Fruits and vegetables are actually not expensive. We can eat a lot of them and easily! stay within budget!!
I’m finding that these meat-saving tricks are also simplifying my kitchen life. How? Well, I don’t have to cook as much meat. This means that I don’t have to plan ahead as much. It’s easier and faster to open a can of beans than to thaw and cook meat, right? Like, much easier and faster!
Keep sharing the ways you are saving too. I learn so much from you!
Karen Weger says
We follow a certain way of eating (Trim Healthy Mama) and they have a meat hack – adding finely chopped mushrooms to ground meat and then seasoning it. I use my food processor! My family hasn’t noticed it yet!
Laura S says
Cooked lentils! I can add some in to my ground beef and no one minds. :) For instance I use half ground beef and half lentils in my sloppy joes and they are eaten with no complaints.