First, let me put everyone’s concerns at ease…no, I’m not turning into a food blogger.
Not even a little.
However, I am passionate about travel. Therefore I’m always looking for ways to save money in our day to day expenses in order to travel more. If this is something that interests you too, check out my post Saving Money, Traveling More.
One of the easiest and most rewarding ways I’ve found to save money in my day to day life is by being intentional with our food budget. That means planning out things to make for dinner (and sometimes breakfast/lunch too!) By taking the time to thoughtfully consider what I’ll feed my family, we save money, eat healthier, and waste less.
These are a couple things I keep in mind when making our family’s meal plan each week:
- What does my local grocery store have on sale? I receive emails each week with the sale items and my list almost always starts here. Typically, I can make at least 1 full meal out of what’s on sale + what I have on hand. I also use the sale items to stock up on snack or non-perishable items that we eat regularly.
- Are there any ingredients that I can buy and use in more than 1 meal? Here is a quick example. If I pick up a rotisserie chicken I will often split the meat and use it for two different meals. I might serve the chicken over rice one night with veggies, and then make chicken enchiladas another night.
- What do my evenings look like? I’d love to say that I spend 2 hours in my kitchen each evening preparing a perfect meal that our entire family sits down for all together. But that would be a big lie. In reality, we’re running in a million different directions almost always. Some meals need to be super quick. I try to reserve high maintenance meals for nights that we have nothing else going on.
- How can I incorporate a freezer meal? Before I lose all credibility, let me clarify and say that I don’t truly mean a freezer meal. I mean a meal that I’ve cooked and frozen. As you will see when I get to the list, I love making chili and spaghetti sauce in big batches. And there are so many different things you can do with each of those. I try to have one night per week where we eat something I’ve cooked and frozen.
After I’ve considered each of these things, I’m ready to really dive into the possibilities of things to make for dinner each night of the week.
Here are 20+ things to make for dinner with a pound (or two) of ground beef:
*If I have a special recipe that I recommend, I’ve gone ahead and provided the link. Otherwise, Pinterest is a great way to find recipes.*
- Sloppy Joes
- Chili with Cornbread
- Baked Ziti
- Honey Garlic Ground Beef With Broccoli
- Lettuce Wraps
- Spaghetti Sauce with noodles (or served over Chicken/Eggplant Parmesan)
- Beef Enchiladas
- Meatballs (you can make and freeze. Serve as appetizer or main dish with vegetables)
- Stuffed Peppers
- Ground Beef and Red Onion Pizza
- Meat and Spinach Pasta
- Cheeseburger Soup
- Shepherd’s Pie (Okay, I can’t bring myself to make this…it was what nightmares where made of when I went to camp. But I’ve heard it’s excellent!)
- Cowboy Pasta Salad
- Chili Dogs
- Sweet Potato And Ground Beef Bowl
- Taco Salad
- Cheesy Tortellini
- Taco Soup
I’ve also found that I really enjoy having a cute organizational way to meal plan (totally dorky, I know…but whatever works!) I am loving my
Knock Knock What to Eat Pad. In an organized way, it helps me keep track of what we’re eating each night and what groceries I need to purchase.
One final huge money saving tip as you consider these things to make for dinner: Fresh Market sells their all-natural ground chuck at a huge discount on Tuesdays. I make a point to plan my meals around this Fresh Market special!
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