Saturday, August 16, 2008

A burst of energy

I braved Kroger to find the last foods on my meal plan. After salivating in the ice cream aisle, I whipped by meats on the way to broccoli.

I almost couldn't believe it when I found lean ground beef marked 99-cents/lb--with a sell-by date of Sunday!

Reduced-for-quick-sale meat is like a ticking time bomb in your fridge.

It can make a great impact on your grocery budget, but you have to cook or freeze it within 24 hours for safety.

12 pounds and a lot of cleanup later, I have 6 meat loaves ready for the freezer.

38 comments:

Marie said...

I love the reduced meats! Good idea on making the meatloafs. I usually just divide and freeze it to deal with later! And 0.99 a lb...thats great! Ground beef (the 80/20 crappy stuff) sells normally for over $3/lb here...I would go crazy for 0.99!!!

Anonymous said...

Man I wish I could find a buy like that!!! That would sure help our tight budget out! Good for you! Hope you are feeling ok!

Kristina

Tubo Family said...

Great deal and good job making use of it. How nice to know you have several tasty and healthy dinners in the freezer.

jackie said...

You go girl! Wish i'd found some .99 ground beef. I would have mustered up the energy.

Kim said...

WOOT!! Way to go, Meredith! God always seems to put you in just the right place. :)

jackie said...

To cooki it all up or freeze, that is.

Michelle said...

I always buy from the reduced rack at our grocery store. I wish I had 6 meatloaves in my freezer.

Take Care
Michelle

fairyflutters said...

Well good job!!! That's a great idea making the meat loaves and freezing them. I've never tried that. Generally, I'm not a fan of frozen meat but maybe that way it would be ok. :)

Anonymous said...

Meredith, Do you have a recipe to share for meatloaf that will make very lean ground beef come out not-so-awfully-dry? I love meatloaf but the really good ones have so much fat, therefore we haven't had it in ages.
Mrs. L.

One Woman's Journey said...

You are smart and I am proud of you. Now a pound of ground beef makes 2 small meatloaves for one. That is all I need. Sure a change of when there were 4 children in the house.

Scrappy Quilter said...

I love finding a bargain on reduced ground beef--I've never found .99/lb, though, what a blessing! I never thought about making meatloaves with it; that's a great idea! I usually brown it into crumbles, drain and rinse, then store in the freezer in meal sized-packets.

Beth said...

Oh, I LOVE having meatloaf frozen in the freezer. Makes for such a nice quick meal, and my family all really like meatloaf...it's comfort food, I guess. :)

Anon--For really lean beef I think the key is to use extra egg and plenty of bread crumbs. No recipe, I'm sorry, I go by look and feel.

I save all the end pieces of our homemade bread and make bread crumbs, they really help the texture of meatloaf and don't add a distracting chemical taste like store-bought bread. Eggs help hold everything together and also add some moisture.

(Meredith and others with diabetes would probably have to go easy on the breadcrumbs because of the blood sugar issues.)

VanderbiltWife said...

Wow, I am super impressed!! I think it finally hit me last night. I was a zombie after work and volunteering.

mama k said...

6 meat loafs! You go mama!

My husband wishes. haha
(I've cut our meat consumption lately.)

Ewokgirl said...

Wow! That's an amazing price! I thought I was doing well when I found lean ground beef for $1.99 this week. I bought 6 pounds, made a meatloaf, then used the ground-beef mixture recipe from Frozen Assets for the rest of it. I felt a little guilty when my husband was in nirvana over that meatloaf. Beef is the hardest animal protein for the kidneys to process, so he rarely gets it at home.

I assume you're feeling a bit better based on your post title? I hope you continue to improve!

gclyne said...

Ah yes, the 'manager's specials' meat section at kroger. My hubby refers to it as the "Eat Now Or Die" meat, and we always have some variation of it in the freezer. Great find on the lean ground beef! I found chicken drumsticks and thighs marked down to around $0.75 per package once; I bought 12! And a long time ago at Harris Teeter, I found a whole organic chicken for $5. I always breeze by that part of the store, even if I'm running in for something unrelated; you never know what you might find...

Grace

Heather said...

Excellent work! you'll be happy for those quick dinners when the new baby arrives for sure ... and maybe even before!

sarah mc. said...

WOW, Go Meredith! This is something I just learned a few weeks ago...our local Dominicks seems to mark down meat very late at night. Last time I was there I bought 5 lbs of organic 93/7 ground beef for 99 cents a pound! Crazy! The week before I bought about 12 pounds of non-organic 93/7 for about $7.00. Needless to say, we have frozen hamburgers to last until Christmas...and now I have a new perspective on buying meat : )

melody said...

I love, love, love shopping the reduced produce, organic section, meat and bakery racks/areas at kroger, and get great deals. You can snag a gallon of organic milk for less than the regular milk when it is marked down. Last week I bought a bag of peaches for 1.00, 3 green peppers for 1.00, 4 very large baking potatoes for 1.00, 8 roma tomatoes for 1.00 and fresh spinach for 1.50 all reduced produce at kroger. Using these "close to the edge" products forces me to incorporate them into meals immediately and prevents waste in my house.

ispeakbeanish said...

There's always something so satisfying about having meals like that packed away in the freezer.

Julie said...

Hey Meredith! Edy's has a low sugar vanilla that's actually pretty good!

AND!

You can make your own chocolate sauce with some cocoa and splenda and cream.

Not that I would *know* about of any of these things... I'm just sayin'

:o)

You are sooooooooo nesting!

mamacita said...

I think Sarah Mc is right -- our Kroger seems to mark down the meat overnight, or possibly just very early in the morning. And I've noticed that there is a lot of "manager's special" meat on Monday mornings -- I guess they stock up for the Sunday shoppers, and those are the leftovers. But if you go around 9 or 10 a.m. on Monday, that's when they seem to have the most to choose from.

Meredith said...

"Eat Now Or Die" meat--Grace, your husband cracks me up!

Meredith said...

I'm not going to post the meatloaf recipe on its own, because mine is only a variation from a favorite, Martha's Family Cookery Book.

Is it the best meatloaf ever? Probably not, though my husband rates it better than most of the meat-and-three places around here. We do like the fine texture & the fact that it's not crumbly or dry.

You can order this cookbook here.

I have adapted the recipe to make it friendlier for my husband. It's still too high-carb for me to eat right now, though.

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 to 1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp salt (why my husband loves it)
1 egg
1/3 cup no sugar tomato sauce (or 1/4 cup ketchup)

I use my Kitchenaid to mix. Fills one large loaf pan firmly packed.

It takes about 1 hour at 400 degrees. I accidentallly cooked ours at 350 but it came out fine.

I change the sauce from a ketchup-based to a tangier tomato sauce.

1/2 - 1 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 or 2 stevia packet, or splenda (1 Tbsp. honey)
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic

I put this sauce on the last 15 minutes of baking.

Anonymous said...

Your carbs must really be restricted if you can't have a piece of this meatloaf. I am diabetic and I could have that. Those are big meat loaves so your husband can count on some yummy meatloaf sandwiches this week for lunch. Did you freeze the extra loaves in loaf pans or just approximate the size of the pan and wrap the loaves in freezer paper?

Glad you had a good Saturday.

Meredith said...

I have to follow a strict meal plan for a week so that we can establish a baseline and see how much, if any, medicine I will need.

A regular diabetic or someone who has sugar under control could count the tomato/oats in the meatloaf as a carb exchange.

I'm just not at the point where I can be that flexible right now.

Meredith said...

I had a stack of disposable loaf pans for freezing. I left the 7th meatloaf to cook for last night and YES, leftovers are much welcomed in his lunchbox : )

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe. I'm amazed that one cup of oatmeal in the recipe seems to be the only carb and yet you can't eat it. I hope your super-strict diet will work for you as you eat to keep baby and mama healthy. (I cannot imagine what you are eating.) It will be worth it all when you see that sweet new baby's face - and it won't be too much longer now.
Mrs. L.

Meredith said...

My diet includes carbs like 1/2 baked potato, 1/2 cup corn, etc.

It's just that I'm not sure how many carbs are in this meatloaf, and what I would have to swap in order to substitute meatloaf for an item on my plan.

Can I count 2 ounces of meatloaf as 2 ounces of beef at dinner? and how many carb exchanges would that 2 ounces of meatloaf include? Enough to subtract a carb exchange from that meal?

It's all very confusing for now!

Anonymous said...

Would it work to figure how many carbs in a cup of oatmeal or a cup of tomato sauce, etc. and then divide it by how many pieces you cut the loaf into? And I would think you could divide the meat part by portions such as a two-pound meatloaf could be divided by 12 to get a 2 oz. serving of meat. Just a thought.
Mrs. L.

Anonymous said...

Oops - obviously, that's 16 pieces not 12
Mrs. L.

erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erika said...

Thank you for the for the recipe. Sorry to hear about your blood sugar issues.:(

Anonymous said...

You won't regret the time spent doing this, Meredith! Meals in the freezer are a lifesaver, there's no doubt about it! Nice work. :o)

Brenda

Domestic Accident said...

MEals in the freezer are life savers for mothers - especially tired, pregnant ones. Way to go.

Lora K. said...

Have you ever tried making your meatloaf in muffin tins? I love to cook mine that way. It cooks quickly and it's a great portion size. Though I don't know the weight of each portion. I may start going to Kroger on Monday mornings to get the great deals as well.

Lora

Centsible Savings said...

That's great about the meat! I'm able to keep my freezer stocked with sales like that! I gave you a bloggy award!http://www.centsiblesavings.com/2008/08/i-got-award.html

Anonymous said...

I found whole chickens (huge ones) for $3.99 each ! I bought 2 ! Also some ground SIRLOIN for ).99 per LB . Reduced meat is the only reason I shop in the morning ! My favorite to make and freeze is meatballs ! That way I can do either speg. or meatball subs when I have a crazy day or fail to properly plan ! :-)
Lora in GA