Last night, I shared my basic meatloaf recipe. Tonight you get the sequel…making the most out of meatloaf by using the same meatloaf mixture to create meatballs.
Before you think I’m obsessed with meatloaf, let me assure you that I’m not. What I am obsessed with is saving my family money while making nutritious, homemade meals. These days, that’s easier said than done.
Anyone who’s been to a grocery store lately knows that the price of food is on the rise…and continuing to climb. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the price of beef alone rose 12% from March 2010 to March 2011, then rose another 5.9 % from April 2011 to April 2012.
For those of us living on a budget, these rising costs can make our hard-earned dollars feel as if they’re stretching to the breaking point. That’s why it’s especially important to make every dollar—and bite—count. I like to start my menu planning with the premise that my meat is going to serve double duty. Of course, the easiest way to do that is to serve the same meal twice, a simple strategy known as “leftovers.” Unfortunately, this type of meal planning is rarely effective.
In my house, the slightest hint of leftovers sends everyone rushing for the nearest McDonald’s or pizza place. I can’t say I blame them. It’s hard to get excited about a reheated meal. Enter my meatloaf muffins and meatballs. One basic recipe creates two different meals. I save money by serving “repurposed” meat, and no one’s the wiser! With just a little creativity and careful planning, I cut my meat costs in half and—even more important—leave the leftovers behind.