You're short on time, you're short on money, you're short on ideas!
Does this sound like you? If so, I want you to join me this year at the Bargainista Blog. Each month, I'm going to give you a Grocery Outlet shopping list and recipes that will provide 2 meals for a family of 6. My goal will be to keep the total serving cost right around $2 per person, as well as keep your prep work simple. We're going to do this by focusing on similar ingredients between the 2 meals or using the leftovers from the 1st night's meal in a different way for the 2nd night.
Here's our plan for January: the first night we're going to make a hearty chili in our slow cooker. Perfect for a cold winter's night and super quick when it comes to prep time! Then the second night, we're going to take the leftover chili and bake up some burritos. We'll also make sure to pick up some fresh salad makings to round out the meals.
Now if you've made chili before you might think it's a bit boring - but that's only because you've not yet tried this kicked up version complete with sausage! I have made many chili recipes in my day, but I have to say this one is by far the tastiest!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground bulk sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
- 3 cans chili beans
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bag sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 bags 10-ct tortillas
- 1 bag corn tortilla chips
- 1 container organic salad greens
- 1 bottle salad dressing
From the pantry:
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp beef bouillon
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper
I was able to find everything I needed at Grocery Outlet to complete my two meals. My total cost? Just $26.51! That works out to $2.21 per serving (2 meals at 6 servings each). Plus, I should have some food leftover - for instance, I bought an entire bag of yellow onions.
Download a PDF of this recipe to print out here: Chili Recipe
Night One: Hearty Slow-Cooker Chili
I was inspired by this chili at AllRecipes.com which combines ground beef and sausage! I changed up the recipe a fair amount to incorporate ingredients I found at Grocery Outlet and had in my pantry. I also wanted to make sure this recipe wasn't too spicy, so I omitted some of the spicier ingredients.
Lucky for me - I found the ground sausage for just $1.99 at Grocery Outlet! Elsewhere, you'd pay about $4! I also found great deals on the other ingredients for this dish including the yellow onions, green bell pepper, and chili beans.
To cook your chili, start by browning the ground beef and sausage in a skillet. While your meat is cooking, prep your other ingredients and place them all in a slow cooker - this will help maximize your time in the kitchen! Once the meet is fully browned, drain excess fat and add to the slow cooker. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.
When complete, simply spoon into bowls and serve! Top with the shredded cheese and serve with the tortilla chips and a generous side of salad.
Night Two: Chili Cheese Burritos
Night Two is going to be a snap because you already have your chili assembled. Preheat you oven to 350°. Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan. Fill a tortilla with a nice dollop of the chili and top with cheddar. Roll and place on the sheet or in the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until warmed through and the tortillas are just baked.
Serve with a side salad.
I had a couple of these for dinner last night and they are AMAZING! I'm thinking of making a huge batch and freezing them to send with my husband for lunch! My 7-year old son thought they were delicious too, and he's not normally a fan of chili.
The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.
Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!
Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.