Thursday, May 31, 2012

TIME is MONEY: Cooking Ground Beef in BULK can be FAST & EASY!!

Time is a precious commodity.  The older my children get, the less time I seem to have.  I am always on the lookout for ways to be more efficient, it almost seems to give me MORE time in my day.  I’ve also learned that being efficient is a frugal way to live.  I spend less on food and/or products.

When I a young adult, prior to marriage and directly after, I found myself talking to my uncle who was a well-to-do stockbroker.  He was on many boards and managed millions of dollars.  (As a child it was interesting to talk with him.... and as an adult, it has become even more interesting!)  On the few occasions we talk about money, it is very apparent that we couldn’t be further apart on the budget spectrum.  My budget is pittance compared to his; he works with SO much more.  Yet, even during these conversations, I have learned so much about weighing what is worth spending the time to save money and what is not.   I plan on posting more ideas on time efficiency because I truly believe it a valuable thing.

I was recently at a “women’s education meeting” at church.  That month’s topic was on cooking meals in BULK.  This is something that I already do—but I was hoping to learn something new.  I was not disappointed.  The new trick is so fabulous, that I had to share.  It has saved not only time, but effort as well.

Buying meat in bulk, when it is on sale, can save you hundreds of dollars!!  (Meat is one of the most pricy items of your food budget!!)  I have always bought lots of meat when it is on sale and froze it for a later meal.  However in the last year, I have learned how much TIME I can save by cooking it in bulk as well.  Until this “women’s education meeting” I had been buying my ground beef and cooking all of it in a skillet on the range.  It was a long drawn out process that DID save me time over the long run….BUT I learned a new trick that required LESS effort to cook all that ground beef that I have been using for the last 6 months!! 

      What do you DO with all that precooked  crumbled ground beef?

1)      Taco meat for tacos/soups/ or anything requiring ground beef!!
2)      Sloppy Joes
3)      Beef Taquitos

HOW do you EASILY cook the ground beef?
1)      Purchase at least 5 lb. (or MORE) hamburger
2)      Preheat oven to 350 F
3)      Break into ping pong ball size LUMPS in a large glass casserole dish.  (You can add chopped onions & garlic if you desire)
4)      Cover with aluminum foil
5)      Bake at 350 F for approximately 35-45 minutes OR 400 F for approximately 35 min.
6)      Pull the pan out and DRAIN OFF the fatty liquid.  Rinse off meat.
What the ground beef looks like when you remove the aluminum foil after baking!
Make sure to drain off the fatty fluid to make your meals healthier...and that slight "sludgy" stuff!! (in the left corner of the picture)

The final product:  COOKED & drained ground beef....ready for your next meal to THROW in at your convenience!
7)      Using a potato masher or slotted spoon break up the hamburger.  If it is still a bit pink—put it back in the oven for 10 minutes or so.
8)      Use what meat you need for the current recipe, and bag the rest separately (for individual FUTURE meals) into Ziplock baggies.
9)      Squeeze out air.  Seal.
10)   Flatten out on counter.  Freeze flat.  When it is frozen, it stacks like books in your freezer.
11)   When it is time to use:  DEFOST: 45 seconds in the microwave.  Flip.  Microwave 45 seconds more.  Flip.  Microwave 30 seconds and use in your desired recipe.

Happy Stretching Pennies...


  1. is it ok to freeze the baked ground beef EVEN if it was also been freezed when raw?

  2. Yes. You can thaw meat, cook it, and refreeze it.

  3. Yes. You can thaw meat, cook it, and refreeze it.


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  5. Does it have to be covered with foil or will a cookie sheet over the top be fine?

  6. Thank you, going to try this, hopefully it saves me some time!