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It's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of stretching your grocery dollar. If you can make something and stretch it into more than one meal it means that you are putting money in your pocket by not spending for an extra nights' worth of meals. And, really, it can't be simpler to do. I'm going to try to make this a semi-regular feature because it's such a good idea to start thinking about. The same basic ingredients can make more than one meal if you know how to work.
First, you're going to need to determine what you can use the same cut of meat for. To illustrate what I mean, I'm going to use a roast and show you how I cook it and stretch it into more than one meal. Take notes, this is good stuff!
First we need to cook the roast for its initial meal. I chose to make a nice roast beef, carrot, mashed potato and dinner roll dinner. To do that I used my crockpot to cook the roast low and slow. Here is how I did it:
Layer some onion on the bottom of the crock.
Add some carrots.
A couple ribs of celery. Just break it up into pieces.
Add your hunk of frozen beef.
Pour 1/4 cup of water over the beef.
Sprinkle on salt, pepper and garlic powder. Remember pouring the water over it? That helps the spices stick to the beef and not just fall off into the water and veggies.
Add more carrots.
Sprinkle on a little more onion.
Chop some poor man's parsley (also known as celery leaves :)) and sprinkle them over the whole lot.
Cook it on high for 6-8 hours. Take the meat out of the crockpot and shred it up. Take out the carrots and strain the rest of the onion and celery out being careful to save the liquid. Measure your beef drippings and add water until you have 1 cup.
In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle on a 1/2 tablespoon of flour and whisk until combined. Let it cook over medium heat for a couple minutes to cook off the raw flour taste. Add the drippings slowly, whisking constantly and continue stirring occassionally until the gravy boils and thickens. Remember, gravies thickened with flour must boil before they will become thick. If you have more drippings you can double the recipe accordingly.
Serve your roaast beef with the carrots and whatever other sides you wish (mashed potatoes are always good) and liberally apply your gravy to the plate of wonderful food.
That is meal one. Put your leftover shredded beef into a zip top bag in the fridge, we'll use those in a day or so to make another amazingly good dinner.
Beef roast: $4.50
Carrots: $1.50 (one pound bag)
Onion: $.49 (I used about 1/2 of a medium onion)
Celery: $.25 (2 ribs)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder: $.05
Pat of butter: free
Meal total: $7.59 or $1.27 per person
BUT!! You have leftovers.....probably 1/2 the roast or more. So we can subtract $2.50 from our totals.
New meal totals: $5.09 or $.85 per person.
Not to shabby at all is it?? Cooking once and eating twice can be an amazingly economical way to go. I'll see you back here on Monday when I share what I did with the other half of the roast.