6 Ways to Stretch Ground Beef

I'll admit, B and I are still learning how to budget. There was a time not long ago that we were stupid college kids who lived well beyond our means. And when the end of the month came and we were just too broke to afford groceries, we learned really fast how to make what we had last or else we were eating PB&J until the next paycheck. Thankfully we no longer live beyond our means and have actually started saving money (imagine that!), but there was once that time.

Ground beef can be pretty cheap. Cheaper than most things anyway. We stock up on ground beef, in fact I have 8 Lbs of it in my freezer right now.

When you're short on money though, 1 Lb of ground beef may need to last more than a day. So I've made a list of the top 10 ways we stretched our ground beef.

1) Chili. Chili is simple and cheap to make. A pound of ground beef, a can of tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, 4 cups of water, 2 beef boullion cubes, 2 cans of kidney beans, and a can of tomato paste.

There are multiple things you can do with chili. You can eat it over rice or noodles. You can put it on hot dogs. You can put it over nachos with cheese. Mix it in with mac and cheese and you have chili mac. Put it over burgers. There are many things you can do with chili to give yourself something different and still make it last 2 or 3 days.

2) Tacos. Like chili, tacos are quick, cheap, and easy. A lb of beef and a packet of taco sauce.

You can take taco meat and mix it with refried beans, now you can stretch it further. Eat it as a taco, put it in a burrito, make quesadillas , make enchiladas. Put it on nachos, burgers, hotdogs, etc.. Taco meat is very simple to last a few days.

3) Pasta Sauce. Tomato sauce, dried Italian seasoning, some diced tomatoes, ground beef and if you have sausage you can add that too.

Pasta Sauce can obviously be used over noodles, you can turn it into lasagna, you can turn it into Chili later on, then you have all the things you can do with chili.

4) Shepherds pie. Ground beef, frozen mixed vegetables, and mashed potatoes. Shepherd pie is filling so you're sure to have leftovers.

5) Meatballs. Take your ground beef and mix it with a cup of cooked rice and you can get twice as many meatballs. Meatballs can be turned into subs, added to pasta, put over buttered noodles, made into sweedish meatballs, or even put over rice with gravy.

6) Vegetable soup. Add ground beef to vegetable soup. Soup will typically last 3-4 days in my family.

If we ever need to make something stretch (or I just feel like I'm getting sick and won't want to cook for a few days) these are our go-to meals when we have ground beef on hand. Tonight or tomorrow I'll have a post for pork and one for chicken.

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