Saving time and saving money

By: Jill Maxwell
By: Jill Maxwell

We all know - time is money. So, any way to save some time is a good thing. Here's something I do to save a little time during the week.

We all know - time is money. So, any way to save some time is a good thing. Here's something I do to save a little time during the week.

I admitted yesterday I do the Hamburger Helper or Chicken Helper thing. They're just convenient when it's been a long day or if I forgot to get anything out of the freezer that morning. We also like casseroles in our house and experiment with combinations. This is what I do to make all of these quicker - and save a little money.

If you buy the 5 pound package of ground chuck (which is usually cheaper) or a whole chicken, you can pre-cook and freeze it. Right now, Kroger has ground chuck (80% lean) at 1.99 a pound for a 5 pound package (comes to about $9.95) and Food Lion has the whole roasting chickens at .99 a pound (a 5 pound chicken would be about $4.95).

I then pre-cook the meat. For the hamburg, I fry it up with some seasonings and drain it well; the chicken I put it in a big stock pot with some seasonings, boil it, then taken it out to cool and pick the chicken off the bone. Once the meat is cool, I package it in plastic bags and freeze them! I'll get 4 bags out of the hamburg (each will be a little over a pound) and 4-5 out of the chicken.

Since it's already cooked, making casseroles or the boxed meals is simple and quick. You can season the hamburg for particular dishes and label the plastic bag. I usually do some for tacos or enchiladas. You can microwave the frozen meats long enough to thaw a little and throw them in the pan with the rest of the meal to finish cooking.

Another added bonus is that chicken broth from boiling the chicken and it's usually much richer than store-bought. You can also freeze that to use in future recipes. If you use a plastic ice tray and freeze it in cubes, you can use it for seasoning dishes by just taking out what you need!

So, we're here not just to help you save money on groceries. Saving time, for me, is important because it's time I can spend with the family.

If you have any tips, please feel free to post them. As I tell my husband (as I place my finger in his left ear to block the flow and speak into his right ear), it's nice to know someone is listening!
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