Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Canning ground beef and sausage

The price of beef has gotten so high that I’ve almost given up on buying it anymore.  I feel as if I need to get a second mortgage on the house just to purchase meat these days.  Yet, there are some meals that just aren’t the same without a little ground beef in them. Ground chicken or ground turkey can be substituted but really sometimes I just want beef.

I happened upon these at half price a few days ago and it was senior day so I got an extra five percent off the sale price.  I never thought I’d see the day when almost $4 a pound for ground beef would look like good a bargain.  I will use these very sparingly.

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You know how ground beef recipes often say, brown the meat first? Well I’ve decided to get that process done already.  I’m gonna can this into 1/2 pint jars for quick meals.  There is only me so 1/2 pint will be enough for one recipe.  That’s about 1/2 pound per jar.  Each recipe usually becomes two or three meals.

I knew the beef wouldn’t be enough for a full canner load so I bought some sausage to can at the same time.  On sale $5 for three and the 5% senior discount. Again this will be canned in 1/2 pint jars for quick meals.  I like sausage gravy every now and then.

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In order to can ground beef or sausage it needs to be cooked first.  I decided to use only 3 packages of the beef and made a meatloaf with the fourth one. It went into the freezer for a Sunday dinner and leftovers for other meals.

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I used the dry canning method.  Which meant no water was added to the jars, just the browned and drained meat.

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I ended up with 6 half pints of beef and 6 half pints of sausage.

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The fat was saved from the beef and the sausage to be made into lard for cooking.

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So why did I can these instead of putting the browned meat into the freezer?  I’m trying to use down whats in the freezer so I can clean it before summer produce starts showing up at the food bank.

More importantly, it’s thunderstorm, tornado, and flood season. We’ve already had flooding twice and have one going on right now. More rain expected all week.  The water usually doesn’t cause me problems but power outages due to flooding can.

Loosing all the food in my freezer three times due to weather related power outages has taught me a very valuable lesson. Never rely on only one method of food preservation.

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