Eating on the Cheap

Meats can usually be bought at a lower price per pound in larger packages, so
it makes sense to buy at least one if you can afford it every time you shop.
When you figure the cost of things, figure the cost according to how much it
will take per meal, rather than how much per pound.
Roasts are a nice, if rather expensive meal, but there are ways to have your
roast and eat it too. Generally speaking, a five dollar roast can make 5 or 6
meals, depending on how you handle it.
First, buy the largest roast you can find for what you can afford. Chuck roast
is fine; just tenderize it with a splash of vinegar before salting and
roasting, and cook with the lid on and a little water in the bottom of the pan.
Cut it into meal sized pieces and freeze it. (As an added bonus, the smaller
the roast, the less time it takes to cook.) Roast one piece, then make a point
of saving enough for another meal before you serve it.
Another method is to roast the whole thing the first day, and just enjoy. The
second day, cut the remaining roast into as many meal size portions as you can.
Get a meal out of a little leftover meat
You can chop up a half cup or so and make a stew with it, or you can grind or
mince a half cup, and make sandwich spread. Add boiled, chopped eggs, pickles,
onions, cheese, olives, green peppers, any and all these things, or whatever
you have on hand. Mix in enough salad dressing or mayonnaise to make it
spreadable. A food processor can make a smooth and tasty sandwich spread in a
Slice off a few pieces to eat over mashed potatoes with gravy, or in gravy over
bread. Freeze gravy with the slices already in it. It only takes a minute to
pack and freeze things, and you'll find this is the simplest way possible to
have convenient, inexpensive, and good food.
For a stew, you can use any vegetables you roasted with the meat, plus the
gravy if you made it. Take out enough gravy to use in another meal. (Always
make as much gravy as you can from the drippings) Take out anything you want to
save from the pot you roasted in, and just add water to the rest, then thicken
with cornstarch mixed in a little cold water. Add it to the pot and bring to a
boil, then add a small can of tomatoes, or tomato sauce, and more spices if you
After you've cooked a roast, or fried steak (or liver), or bacon, put the pan
just as it is, in the refrigerator, and when its time to cook again, brown a
up or two of rice in the drippings. Add water or bouillon, then add spices such
as garlic, pepper, and allspice to taste. The bits and pieces of meat that
would otherwise have gone down the drain are usually enough to provide a hearty
meat flavor to your dish. Add vegetables if you like, or use them as a side
When you buy meat, buy beef heart or tongue, pork or beef liver, chicken
gizzards, livers and hearts. Extend an amount of ground beef or turkey with
grains and vegetables.
The best cheap meat loaf ever -
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup barley and/or wheatberries(partially cooked)
1/2 to 1 cup of mashed potatoes (use leftover boiled or baked potatoes if you
have them, just mash them first)
1 cup of leftover cooked, chopped vegetables of any beans, peas,
corn, or whatever
You'll need a can of tomato sauce and cracker or bread crumbs, salt, pepper,
and an egg.
Any other kind of grain can be substituted for the barley or wheat.
Mix everything except half the tomato sauce and bread or cracker crumbs. Then
add enough crumbs so that the mixture is barely stiff enough to hold its shape
when you make a ball of it. Put into a shallow baking pan, and cover with the
remaining tomato sauce. Bake about an hour at 375 degrees. There's enough here
for four to six hungry people.

Food is generally the most controllable expense we have,. As in anything else,
our monetary savings are directly proportional to how much time and effort we

Want more frugal ideas? Go here: More From Your Guide

Cindy Sue

Oregon Grown and Raised

Ambition is that grit in the soul which creates disenchantment with the ordinary
and puts the dare into dreams.~


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