*** because I have a chronic illness, take care of my mother, & was working full-time, I had to find short cuts to feed my husband. So these are those tips that I have for money saving and time management ..
**** stores sale meat often 5 packages for $20 or $25. I usually try to buy the largest packages and divide them up at home. Another store had ground beef 3 lbs packages about $7.50 and divided them up.
*** I usually buy freezer bags in 1 & 2 gallon ziplock bags. I usual buy 5 packages of meat for $20. I then divide up the meat and label it so that is in portion sizes. When a whole loin goes on sale I ask the butcher to cut it into a roast and different size chops. I get about 4 chops 'butterflied'. that way I get it in the bulk price in cuts that I want.
** when using recipes require a lot of spices I put the spices in disposable cups or bowls. you can also use shot glasses. it also gives you a chance to read through the recipe.
**** I use a MEAT MIX for hamburgers, meatloaf, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.. I pat them into burgers for the grill. Freeze them. Make sure you freeze them flat. when they are semi frozen put was paper between them and put in a freezer bag. they r ready for a cookout. I fry meat mix and divide it into recipe sizes so that I only need to defrost it to add.
**** I save butter or small containers to frrze broth to season canned veggies, boil noodles or rice, etc.
***** I use a permanent marker on the ziplock bags and containers with contents and date.
I usual set my crockpot with my roast or I go ahead and put it in a baking bag the night before and put in fridge to put on the next morning... if roast potatoes and carrots are seasoned and the baking bag is sealed the potatoes will not brown..
*** I like frozen veggies when I can't get fresh. sometimes I use canned. I drain the veggies and rinse. in the saucepan I add minced onion, 1 bouillon cube, 1/2 can water, .... let get hot and add veggies. taste and season with salt and pepper...
*** with canned green beans drain and rinse. in saucepan put 2 slices of bacon and fry. take bacon out and put in canned green beans. stir to coat with drippings put minced onion in them and stir add 1/3 cup water. let cook on Med low.... sometime I've boiled 2 small potatoes in broth and then add them to potatoes.
*** a store here sometime carries a ground beef roll. Walmart carries a roll that is about 1/2 the size. I semi-freeze the roll an cut some into burgers for the grill. I put wax paper between layers and put about 6 burgers in a freezer bag. I divide up the rest for spaghetti, chili, etc. Use a serrated knife to cut it.
*** with chicken a dumplings add 2 tsp of flour to a coffee cup 1/2 filled with COLD water. stir until flour is dissolved. pour in hot broth and add 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup. this will give you the gravy and keep broth from being so thin..
I love to prep my meat the night before... when I know what I'm cooking..... I season my meat or mince my veggies. so cooking is kinda assembling. I also like flavors and spices in my food. therefore I season my meat and put it in a ziplock bag and refrigerator overnight. again if its going in the crockpot or baking bag. if your using the pressure cooker put everything in ziplock bags so they r ready to go...