Recently, Stephen and I have set a new budget. We have a monthly budget that’s divided into a weekly budget, because it’s easier to plan for one week rather than a whole month. Part of this budget includes $40.00 a week for groceries. It has been surprisingly difficult to plan meals for only $40, but I enjoy the challenge! Some ways I have cut costs has been by planning meals around what is on sale. There is a great website (called MoneySavingMom.com) that allows you to sign up for email updates when the news sale ads are out for your local grocery stores. For example, when Foodlion releases their sales ad for the week, I get an email with all of their deals. This has been extremely helpful in meal planning! This site also lets you know when a coupon is out that will match with a sale. For example, there is a printable $2.00 off Tresemme Shampoo/Conditioner coupon out. If you use this coupon at Walmart (where Tresemme Shampoo/Conditioner is $2.48) you can score Shampoo or Conditioner for .48 cents! (The best thing about this deal is that you can print off as many coupons as you would like–and the coupon doesn’t expire until the end of January! You better believe I’ll be stocking up!) I love that I get notified when these kind of deals happen, and I don’t even have to do the work! Yes….these are the sort of things that get me excited these days.
Anyways…..part of our money saving plan is always having ingredients for some cheap meals at home. This prevents us from going out to eat (which we may do on occasion, but that comes out of our spending budget). We have a pretty well stocked pantry, and I try to buy a few things each week to add to it. This allows us to throw together a meal, even if we didn’t plan for it. These meals include pancakes, french toast, sesame noodles, pasta with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, omelets, etc. We ALWAYS have these ingredients on hand, so it makes it pretty simple to throw a meal together. I am also trying to build up my freezer supply. Freezer meals (that are already made) are usually very economical and great to have as a backup! They are also helpful for Stephen, because he often has to fend for himself on nights when I’m in class. Today I created my first set of freezer meals–burritos. I have seen frozen breakfast burritos on Pinterest before, so I decided to create my own recipe for regular frozen burritos. I know Stephen will like them, and it’s something easy he can eat when we didn’t have a dinner planned or he gets home from work late.
Freezer Friendly Burritos
1 lb. Ground Beef
3 cups White Rice (cooked)
3 Green Peppers
3 Onions (Yellow)
Taco Seasoning (to taste)
16 Burrito-Sized Tortillas
Optional (For Spicy Burritos):
Green Tabasco Sauce
**These would be great with shredded cheese as well–I just didn’t have any!
**If you like beans, add beans! I would have loved to sub beans in for the meat, but Stephen hates them. That would make this meal so much cheaper!
Start cooking your rice. I use a rice cooker. While your rice is cooking, chop all of your veggies! Easy.
Brown your ground beef in a frying pan (not a wok….like I used) and drain. Put the meat in a bowl, and then saute your veggies in the same pan. Once the veggies are cooked, place them in a bowl as well.
Make sure you season the ground beef and the veggies as they cook. I used this homemade taco seasoning. I also sprinkled on some extra cayenne pepper for some added heat. You will probably need to add salt as well (if you use a homemade seasoning. I’m sure a packaged taco seasoning packet has plenty of salt!)
Lay out your ingredients and you’re ready to assemble!
I layered the burritos by placing rice, beef, then veggies. (I promise it looks more appetizing in real life). I also created some spicy burritos for Stephen (by adding sliced jalapenos and Tabasco). This would also be a great time to add some shredded cheese!
I wrapped each burrito in foil and placed them in a large Ziploc bag. Then, I put them in the refrigerator to chill before placing them in the freezer (this prevents freezer burn). Reheat them by TAKING THEM OUT OF THE FOIL (I must write that on the bag…somebody will need that reminder!) and wrapping them in a paper towel, microwaving for approx. 4 minutes. That’s it! I was very surprised that this recipe made 16 burritos! I just hope we don’t get tired of them before we finish them 🙂
Ground Beef: $3.00
Tortillas : $3.96
Green Peppers: $2.07
Onions: > $.25 (part of a large bag I scored for $.99)
Rice: approx $.50
Total Cost: $11.14
I could have definitely cut the costs on this one (I’m still learning!) by using beans instead of beef, which would have made a more authentic burrito. But, it works out to less than one dollar per serving, so I’m okay with that! Especially when I see frozen burritos for sale at Walmart for $1.50-$2.00 (each), which are much smaller and more unhealthy than mine. Homemade for the win!