Monday, June 9, 2014

Ask Sara: "My Husband Won't Eat Meatless Meals!:

Ask Sara:

"Hi. My name is Heather, and I've been trying to cut my grocery bill, but my husband won't eat a meal unless it's full of meat. I get so discouraged with money saving meal ideas that only include meatless meals and beans and rice. Help!" 

Hi Heather. First of all, good for you in trying to balance your grocery bill with your husband's preference for meat in every meal. I'm sure it gets frustrating seeing the cost of meat rising while you're trying to get your grocery budget down.

Here are a few ideas for keeping meat in meals while keeping your grocery budget down:

1. Let Him Know the Situation
Most men, when faced with a problem, want to fix it. And in any budget there has to be sacrifice. So, present the issue to your husband--meat is expensive, and you need to keep the grocery budget down. Find a compromise he can live with, and your budget can handle. Working together to solve the problem will hopefully keep some of the tension and stress out.

2. Learn How to Stretch Meat
If you want some specific tips on learning to stretch meat, I have a post here on the 5 S's of Stretching Meat. But, you can turn one pound of meat into two-plus meals with a little creativity. Adding meat to soups, pastas, salads, and stir-fries will really stretch.

3. Use the Freezer
When you find a good deal on meat, pick up a bunch, wrap or bag it well, taking care to get the air out so you avoid freezer burn, and stick it in the freezer. Stocking up on meat when you have some extra wiggle room in the budget or find a good deal will help the grocery budget.

Here are some ideas for some meals that help stretch meat. They're some of my husband's favorites, so they're husband approved! I can easily turn 1.5 lbs of meat into two dinners and one or two lunches for our family of 4 by shredding or cutting it into chunks and adding a hearty side.

Main Dishes
-Beef Stew 
-BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
-Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
-BBQ Chicken Pizza
-Buffalo Chicken Pizza 
-Hamburgers or Sliders
-Sesame Beef Stir Fry
-Chicken Fried Rice
-Beef Enchiladas
-Beef Burritos
-Chicken Tacos
-Carnitas Tacos
-Chicken/Beef/Carnitas Tostadas
-Spaghetti and Meatballs
-Meatball Soup
-Pasta with Meat Sauce
-Pasta with sliced Sausage
-BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad
-Greek Chicken Gyros
-Chicken, Rice, Broccoli Casserole

Hearty Sides
-Black Beans
-Refried Beans
-Rice Salad
-Caesar Salad
-Roasted Vegetables
-Twice Baked Potatoes
-Baked French Fries
-Macaroni and Cheese
-Baked Potatoes
-Broccoli Casserole
-French Bread with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

These are just some ideas, but you can still have meat in every meal without breaking the bank. What are some of your favorite ways to please a meat-eater without using too much meat?

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