So when I got home Friday with umpteen pounds of pork ribs, I had to decide what to do with it all. First, I put the ground chicken directly in the freezer, reserving one package and the ground beef for a meat loaf which I made a little bit later that day. Then I looked to see what I could use for marinades and that determined what I did with some of it.
I put two full packages of ribs in the crock pot to cook with some balsamic vinegar and soy sauce and a few other things, and just cooked it until it was shreddable. I added liquid smoke to that, making it more like kalua pork. I later put that into a few different containers in the fridge. We already had chicken, rice, and beans in the fridge, so there are some great items in there for burritos, nachos, salads, and other meals. Sunday, we took some of the shredded pork to my in-laws for their dinner. I mixed in BBQ sauce and made rolls for sandwiches. We had the same thing plus fruit from the produce basket for our dinner.
Anyway. While those ribs were cooking, I took my other 4 packages of ribs and the chicken legs and started dividing up into other containers/freezer bags.
I found a balsamic vinaigrette dressing which works well for marinade, some bbq sauce, and made an asian style marinade. Split the chicken legs in two bags and two of the pork packages into two, so I had 6 bags to mix meat and marinade in. I put 1/2 c marinade to about 1-1/2 pounds of meat, sealed the bags, squished them around, and put them flat in the freezer. I made two BBQ pork, one asian pork, one asian chicken, one vinaigrette pork, and one vinaigrette chicken. When I'm ready to cook them, I will thaw them and stick them in the crock pot or bake them in the oven or cook on the stove, depending on my mood. I also made 3 bags of plain ribs out of the remaining 2 packages. That took about 15 minutes total, to start 11+ dinners (including the ribs in the crockpot, which fed us for more than one meal AND four more adults for dinner)!!!
When I made the meatloaf later on Friday, I mixed equal parts ground chicken and beef, then froze the remaining beef in 2 separate packages. We only ate half of the meatloaf, so I made a lunch for The Rock and put the rest in the fridge. He ate the rest when he got home from work Sunday. Not too bad for about $4 of meat -- dinner for all of us and two lunches for The Rock!
I picked up the produce Saturday and made menus last night using whatever sides we have on hand, what came in the basket, and the meats that are in the freezer. I also cut out all the coupons in my circulars on Sunday. More on that tomorrow.
I shop case sales and look for the best prices on rice, flour, sugar, oats, dried beans, and just about everything else as far as staples go, so before I run very low I stock up.
This week, I will choose a baking day -- muffins and rolls to freeze for quick breakfasts, maybe some pancakes or waffles, bread because we're out, and maybe some pizza crust. I like pizza. Yum.
We have a chest freezer in the garage, and are looking at getting another so we can buy 1/4 beef next spring. Beef prices are so expensive right now! We haven't been eating much, but man I could go for a good steak. Buying it by the quarter is a lot of money at once, but it's a set price per pound, meaning it's ALL 2.39/pound (or whatever), including steaks and pricier roasts. If you have the space, it can definitely save you some money!