My family of 3 adults and 1 toddler is currently working on getting rid of all of our debt. My husband and I live with my father to help consolidate bills and save us all money.
Because of our goal to be debt free, we keep to a budget for our groceries. Everyone’s budget is going to vary base on their own income and where they live, but for us we aim to stay around $70 a week.
That’s $70 for 7 lunches and 7 dinners, plus snacks and breakfast for my son.
To help do this, we use the chest freezer I bought when I was pregnant a lot. We buy our meat in bulk when it’s on sale, and package it up for different meals before freezing it.
Trust me, you don’t want to take one of those huge 5 pounds of beef rolls and just throw it in the freezer like that. It’ll take forever to thaw and then you’ll have to use all 5 pounds super quick!
One of the ways that we do this is by making frozen mini meat loaf muffins. We freeze them raw so they’re ready to bake, but you can freeze them after being cooked and cooled too!
I want to be clear that any recipe will work with this. Seriously. If you have grandma’s recipe written down, it’ll work. Just shove that recipe into a muffin tin and freeze away. You’ll have to check on them to take them out once they’re 160*f, but once you make these muffins once you’ll be able to write down how long you need to cook them for and it’s super simple after that.
Here’s my recipe:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, chopped to your preferred size
- 1.5 lb ground beef
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup dried plain bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Your preferred sauce for meat loaf
- If you’re baking these before freezing them, preheat the oven to 350*f. Otherwise, line your tins with plastic wrap. This will make it easier to get the frozen raw meatloaf out of the muffin tin.
- Melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Cook them until they’re soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool so they don’t cook the beef.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, milk, onions, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Mix well.
- If you’re baking the muffins now, brush your muffin tin with vegetable oil or olive oil.
- Divide the meat loaf mix into the muffin tin holes. Lightly pat them into each of the tins.
IF YOU’RE BAKING NOW:
- Get your preferred meat loaf sauce ready.
- Make your meat loaf muffins for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add your meat loaf sauce. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160*.
- Let stand for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy! Or let them cool, wrap them up, throw them into a freezer bag, and warm them up later in the microwave.
IF YOU’RE FREEZING RAW:
- Cover the tins with plastic wrap. Freeze until the meat is set and won’t deform. Pop the meat loaf muffins out, wrap them up, and throw them into a freezer bag.
- When you’re ready to cook them, bake at 350* for 20 to 25 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160*.