This is Week 2 of my month of budget-friendly family meals and the featured ingredient this time is ground beef.
While ground beef is thought of as economical, the leanest form is on the pricey side -- at about $4.49 a pound for extra lean, labeled 93 percent lean.
This week, I'm going to stretch one pound of extra lean ground beef to make six mini BBQ meat loaves with the help of old-fashioned rolled oats. Oats add fiber and are a traditional meatloaf addition.
The sauce uses ingredients found in most pantries and refrigerators: ketchup, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. If you have these on hand, you can deduct them from your final grocery total, saving you even more.
Add prepared mashed potatoes and frozen green peas for a meal that comes in at $10.87. Because the recipe makes six mini meat loaves, you can prepare meatloaf sandwiches for two the next day and save some money on lunch.
Reach Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ground beef: (a little over 1 pound extra lean): $4.62
Oats: ($2.19 for 16 ounces, but you only need 1 cup, so about q of a package): 73 cents
Milk: ($3.59/gallon, 16 cups in a gallon, you need 1 cup): 22 cents
Ketchup: (2.26 for 24 ounces, you need 16 ounces): $1.52
Worcestershire sauce: (pantry)
Cider Vinegar: (pantry)
Prepared mashed potatoes: $2.59
Frozen green peas: $1.19
Mini BBQ Meat Loaves
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup skim milk
2 cups ketchup
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the oats and milk in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside while you prepare the sauce. Combine the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
Add the ground beef to the rolled oats and milk. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and pepper and mix together until all ingredients are well combined.
Form into six oval patties and place in a baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until meat loaves are done.
Makes 6 individual meat loaves.
Coming next week: Week 3 of Karin's budget-friendly family meals: Chicken Barley Chili is hearty without a lot of meat.