Thrifty Thursday: Meals in a Hurry

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Have y’all ever found a great deal on ground beef, but you had nothing you wanted to make with it?  Or nights when you come home from your day and wish you had something you could just pop in the oven to make for dinner?  I do that all the time.  Then, I got a little motivation and inspiration.  It has made my life a lot easier.

Whenever you make anything from ground beef, from meatloaf to pizza toppings, or taco meat, make extra.  Or take an afternoon or evening and make up a few meals worth of ideas, then get them in the freezer for later!  It’s simple, cost effective, and definitely worth the saved time.  You can even get creative with other meats that need prep before being made into your favorite dishes.

For ground beef items, I look at how I use the ground beef.  For tacos, pizza topping, and even sloppy joes, I brown the ground beef first, season it, and freeze it in appropriate proportions, labeled with what it is and the date I prepared it.  Meatloaves are left uncooked, and are in small, single serve portions perfect for nights the kids decide stay at a friend’s, or for a fun meal.  Sometimes, I’ll roast chicken and shred it, leaving it unseasoned for just about anything you’d like, such as enchiladas, casseroles, or as a salad topper.  The uses are endless!

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Here’s my favorite meatloaf recipe that I use to make my mini meatloaves.  It’s a pretty nice feeling to come home an know you can pull these little gems out of the freezer and make a nice, healthy dinner for your family just by adding a salad and a sweet potato!


Momma’s Best Meatloaf

3 lbs ground beef

3 eggs



1 t chopped garlic

2 t Worcestershire sauce

1 t mustard

1 t parsley

1 t Montreal Steak seasoning

1 C bread crumbs

Ketchup, tomato sauce, or barbeque sauce to top with


Mix everything but the breadcrumbs and sauce topping well, making sure the eggs are well mixed.  Add the breadcrumbs, mixing until the meat no longer sticks to your hands.  You may need more or less, depending on the moisture of your meat.

Form the meat into mini loaves.  I make them about 6 ounces each, which makes them perfect for a single serving once they are cooked.  Place them on waxed or parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Once frozen, pop them in a labeled bag and you are all set for when you need them!

To bake, put them on a cookie sheet, in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Check the internal temperature to make sure they are cooked.  Internal temperature for meatloaf should be 170 degrees.  Glaze with your sauce and leave them in the oven a few more minutes.  Viola!  Perfect dinner, quick, easy, and healthier than takeout or something out of a box.

What recipes do y’all have that would work to freeze and use later?



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