If you’re sick of throwing away wasted food and tired of spending all your time in the kitchen, you need to read this.
Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
But how does it get to the dinner table in the cheapest and quickest way? Let’s talk about it. There’s buying in bulk, and browning in bulk, and meal starters, oh my!
Keep scrolling to learn all the best ground beef hacks. You’ll also find some freezer friendly ground beef recipes and the ever-so-popular Perfectly Seasoned Ground Beef Recipe!
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Buying Ground Beef in Bulk
I encourage you to look for bulk buying opportunities for ground beef, if you have space for freezing it. The reason – it saves you money, it saves you sanity, and it will keep you from going back to the store.
This will save you money when you find price markdowns on “need to sell today meat” – with this meat, you need to brown and freeze it immediately. Or when you see the loss leader prices on grocery store sales. Stock up, brown it up and get it into your freezer!
Browning Ground Beef in Bulk
Because I find myself buying ground beef in bulk – when it’s on sale, I also find myself with a large amount that I need to “process” quickly. Sometimes I make a few batches of meatballs and brown the rest. Sometimes I make a few meatloaves and don’t brown any. Sometimes I brown it all.
When I brown larger quantities of ground beef at the same time, I get out my 2 giant pots/saucepans and do about 4-5 lbs. in each pan. Because this will take a little longer to brown, you run the risk of some of the meat really sticking and almost burning to the bottom of the pan (even if you turn it really often.)
I highly recommend adding 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water per pound you are browning to the pan.
This will help keep the ground beef from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and it will steam/burn off as the beef browns. Browning 4-5 lbs. in one pot can take up to 20 or 25 minutes, so be patient. And stick nearby, so you can turn it and stir it as it browns through.
Whenever I buy large quantities of ground beef, one of two things happens.
#1 – I stashed the individual packages that I won’t be using that week into the freezer.
#2 – I brown it all at once and turn it into spaghetti sauce and/or taco meat…then once prepared, I use and/or freeze in meal size portions. Three, I brown some, form some into meatballs or mini meatloaves.
(For spaghetti sauce, I like to make my own sauce with Italian seasonings, some garlic and onions with crushed tomatoes. And I never forget a pinchful of sugar when making my own sauce!)
Perfectly Seasoned Ground Beef
If you’ve ever watched one of my freezer meal assembly videos, you’ve heard me share this before. But in case you haven’t, here is my recipe, and some other tips too!
When browning ground beef, I always (well, 99.9% of the time) add this seasoning to the beef as it is browning. It’s a ‘ratio recipe’ – meaning it’s a certain amount of seasoning per pound of ground beef.
I keep it simple with just minced/dried onion and garlic powder, plus a little salt and pepper. With this simple and “generic” seasoning, then you can use the browned ground beef in a variety of meals – tacos, enchiladas, chili, soups, and more!
Perfectly Seasoned Ground Beef Recipe
I use this ratio in 99.5% of ground beef recipes…
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tbsp minced, dried onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Few pinches of salt and pepper
In a large skillet, add the ground beef with the minced onion and garlic powder and saute for 7 to 9 minutes, turning often until all the meat is browned.
If you plan to freeze it, let it cool completely before adding to freezer bag or container.
Use the perfectly seasoned ground beef in your favorite recipes.
Freezer Meal Starters
So, about this 4-5 lbs. of ground beef that we just finished browning. Now what?!
I usually use this seasoned, browned ground beef and add it to the freezer as a meal starter.
First you let it cool completely after it’s been browned. And then you add it to container or freezer baggies. You can decide what to make with it later.
It’s a “meal starter” – meaning, you’ve already started cooking the meal. You can quickly thaw this meat and use it for whatever your menu calls for that night.
I will take these 4-5 lbs. of browned ground beef and make complete meals for the freezer (see ideas below.)
I LOVE being one step ahead of dinner.
LOVE is not the right word.
I NEED to be one step ahead of dinner and my hungry boys.
And this is a great way to do that!
Every month, we share a new ground beef meals plan for our MyFreezEasy members – so they can take advantage of meat sales and keep their freezer loaded with a delicious variety of meals!
You save big money by buying in bulk or on sale. You save big sanity by stashing meals in your freezer.
Put an end to dinnertime stress with MyFreezEasy!
It’s MORE than freezer meal plans…
You choose the recipes your family likes, then MyFreezEasy pulls them together and gives you a customized meal plan with:
- complete recipes plus doubled version to freeze so you can easily prepare and cook your meals
- shopping lists so you can get in and out of the store
- streamlined assembly instructions so you can spend as little time as possible on the freezer meal prep
- downloadable labels with directions for cooking so you know what to do when its time to cook/reheat the meal!
You can create your customized meal plan from your computer, or even from your phone while you are at the grocery store!