When I was growing up in Las Vegas, my mother was so organized. I often wish she would come to my house and get my uncontrolled clutter into some sort of order. My mother’s freezer looks quite a bit like this.
Trust me when I say that you don’t want to see my freezer. Mine isn’t even this good.
However, one thing that I did retain from my mother’s organization skills was the way she would buy ground beef in bulk and then separate it into one pound packages for freezing. Can someone tell me why it is so hard to package ground beef in anything but round numbers? I mean really, what recipe has ever called for 1.28 lbs of ground beef? Shouldn’t the butcher be trying to get each package as close to the nearest pound or even half pound as possible? — Okay rant over.
We recently purchased our second vacuum sealer and it is worth every penny we spent. Of course, the picture I took was of zipper top freezer bags but that is because I knew I would be using this meat this week so it wouldn’t be in long enough to freezer burn. Sometimes I don’t want to lug out the sealer for a small amount of meat.
The meat comes out almost as good as if it was fresh and since I am buying in bulk I get a discount per pound. For example, one pound of 80% ground chuck costs $4.38 at Walmart near me but I go to Fred the Butcher and purchase $25 of other meat (which unfortunately is not hard to buy) and I get a 10 lb bag of 85% ground chuck or 93% ground sirloin for $3.49 per pound or $3.89 per pound respectively. So better quality meat (less fat) at about $5 less for a 10 lb bag. If you do this just once a month you save $60 over the course of a year and you always have meat on hand.
The best parts are 1) since we package the meat in flat packages it stores nicely in the freezer and 2) it takes no time at all to defrost the meat, just in case you forgot to plan something for dinner.
What tricks do you use to save money in the kitchen?