I started looking for kitchen time savers, once I became disabled and had good and bad days. The time savers help me get food on the table when I have my bad days, or just busy days. On my good days, I will try and do some time savers, which allow me to get thru my bad days or enjoy my good days longer, because I am able to get in and out of the kitchen faster. I try to make as many of our meals from scratch, so that I know what is in our foods, but also because I have the time. Nothing is wrong with convenience items, when you are under a time crunch, and they normally beat fast food any day.
1. I buy ground beef in family packs, cook, and divide up into meal size portions. I will divide up the meat into 1 lb. 1 1/2lb, and 2 lb packages and either put in foodsaver(generic from walmart) or ziplock bags. These can be frozen for months. I season the ground beef, by adding onion, green pepper, and some times garlic:
I will divide up the meat into 1 lb. 1 1/2lb, and 2 lb packages and either put in foodsaver bags(generic from walmart) or ziplock bags. These can be frozen for months. By having this on hand, I can always whip up spaghetti or tacos in less than 15 minutes. Also, how many recipes do you make, start with ...cook ground beef.... Saves that step.
I also buy family packs of ground beef and go ahead and make up our hamburgers with seasonings and freeze them in serving size packages. It is so much cheaper buying family packs, that 95% of the time that is what I buy and then split out what I need.
I buy multiple roasts when they are on sale for $2.99 or less. I normally find roast for this price at Kroger, Martins, or Food Lion, at least once a month. I will take some time before freezing to process these roasts. We do stirfrys, so I will cut one or two roasts into thin strips and repackage into meal size packs. I also will take 1 or two roasts and cut them into chunks, for soups, stroganoff, or other beef dishes requiring beef cubes. If you do not have room for this much meat, then cut 1/2 a roast into strips and the other 1/2 into cubes. Since I have room in my freezer, I would rather process several roasts and only have to do this every couple of months. I do leave several roasts whole to make roast beef(check out the roast beef recipe on The Hungry Mouse site and you will never buy deli roast beef again) or pot roast. I tend to cut up the majority of our meat, so that we use less beef and more veggies in recipes.
Rib eye Steaks:
We love rib eye steaks on the grill, so when we catch them on sale for $5.99lb for whole or half boneless rib eye and are running low, we head to the store. I normally find them at this price at Kroger. The last one we bought, was about $52.00 and we asked Kroger's butcher to cut them for us into 3/4 inch thickness , giving us 16 large steaks. Even with that thickness the steaks are pretty big and 2 steaks can feed 3-4 people, so after we cook them, we normally cut them in half so you won't feel like you need to groan and finish it all in one sitting. Where can you go and get 16 large boneless good quality steaks for $52? What a deal if you have room in your freezer!
Split Chicken Breast:
I buy split chicken for .99 cent and again buy a large quantity at a time. These I always repackage these either by putting 1 or 2 per package, depending on their size. I like to cook with chicken broth for flavor, so I make chicken broth every 1 to 1 1/2 weeks and throw 1 or 2 split breast in for flavor and also so I keep shredded cooked chicken on hand. Here is the recipe I use to make chicken broth with split chicken breasts: http://whatthehellers.blogspot.com/2013/03/home-made-chicken-broth-with-shredded.html
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts:
I buy these when they are on sale for $1.99 lb. The breast that come in the packs are so big, that i use a kitchen scale and cut and repackage them into individual 4oz size pieces. I have been doing this awhile, so I am pretty good at judging the size as I cut, but if I cut too big or too small, not a problem as I also cut chicken chunks and chicken tenders and package into meal size portions. I either buy two big family size packs or several regular size packs. I try to buy and cut enough, so that I only have to do it every other month or so. I wrap the individual pieces in plastic wrap and lay on a cookie sheet and put in freezer until freezer. Once frozen, I put all the individual pieces in a big gallon size bag, so I can keep them together.
Boneless Pork Loin:
I buy these when they are on sale for $1.99lb. I do not cook these as is, because it is just too much pork at one time for us. I cut thin slices, to cook up as pork cutlets, cut small cubes or strips for stirfrys. I repackage these into meal size servings. I normally only buy 1 at a time, because my family does not eat very much pork; however, if you family eats more, this is a good price to stock up when you can. I bought one the other day to repackage up:
I have a meat slicer that I purchased 7-8 years ago at Bass Pro Shop for about $35. My husband hunts, so the purchase makes sense to us for processing deer meat, but we also use it to slice up this pork. If you do not have a meat slicer you can ask the store butcher to slice this up for you in any thickness you want or use a sharp meat knife. With the 3.68lb pork loin, I sliced some up for boneless thin pork cutlets, cut 1lb into thin strips for stir frys, and cut 1.25 lbs up into chunks for a recipe I am using this weekend for honey pork and peppers. Here is the recipe for Honey Pork and Peppers: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=179831868101450629#editor/target=post;postID=6307662502041697474