Need to find some simple and frugal ground beef recipes that will help stretch your grocery budget? Here are some easy recipes that we use!
Frugal Ground Beef Recipes
All meat seems to be going up in price no matter what the cut or what kind of meat it is. But I still love ground beef because it’s easy to stretch into several meals. (Roast Beef can be stretched too…here’s how!)
We usually have a steer that we raise for beef every 2 years but after a recent trip we came home to a freezer that had died and we found that we lost all of our beef for the next year. After some tears and a lot of cleaning up, I just decided that I needed to find more recipes that I can make with ground beef since it’s the cheapest “cut” of beef that I will be able to get at the stores until our next cow is ready.
I thought this list of frugal ground beef recipes would be great to share with you all since I know that we can all use recipes that will help stretch our food budgets over the coming months. I hope that you will be able to find a few things you can add to your menu!
Frugal Ground Beef Breakfasts
Homemade Sausage Patties – These are awesome. We not only use them for breakfast but for any meal that needs sausage! You can also add them to Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches for a more hearty breakfast.
Breakfast Hash – I love to make this when we are trying to make a protein-filled breakfast! I never use a specific recipe, but I just brown up some ground beef with garlic and onion powders then I add in whatever veggies I happen to have on hand. Spinach and diced sweet potatoes are some of my favorites to add.
Breakfast Muffins – These muffins use the sausage that I linked to above. Yum!
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole – This recipe also uses my homemade sausage patties above. This one is great to make if you have company for breakfast or if you are just looking for something warm and hearty to serve on a cold winter morning.
Frugal Ground Beef Main Meals
Old Fashioned Goulash – This is a nice, quick, simple, and frugal meal to make. Great for stretching one pound of ground beef into a large, filling meal.
Texas Hash – This is a great recipe that uses all frugal ingredients. Chop 1 onion and 3 stalks of celery. Cook together in a skillet with a bit of oil or butter until soft. Add in 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef and cook until browned. Then add in 1 cup of cooked rice and a cup of canned tomatoes. Cook and stir together until the entire mixture is combined and heated through. It can be seasoned with Worcestershire sauce or Hot sauce. – From the original Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Cheeseburger Bake – A nice and warm supper meal. My recipe calls for a homemade baking mix for the topping which makes it even more frugal.
Shipwreck – Who hasn’t ever made a big dish of Shipwreck when trying to stretch a dollar? This is so easy and frugal. Brown 1 pound of ground beef. Peel and slice 2 large potatoes and layer them at the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish, add the hamburger over the top. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Thinly slice 1 large onion and layer it over the beef. Top with 1 can (or about 2 cups) of cooked kidney beans. Pour 1 can (or about 1 1/2 cups) of Tomato soup and 1 can of water over the entire dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Cheeseburger Soup – This recipe uses dairy products which brings up the price a bit but it’s still a very tasty way to stretch a pound of ground beef on a cold winter night.
Homemade Tavern Sandwiches – This is a South Dakota/Iowa staple! These loose meat sandwiches (that are not the same as Sloppy Joes!) are just about as frugal as you can get.
Sloppy Joes – Always a favorite! To make these meals even easier you could use your own Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning.
Beef Cabbage Rolls – This recipe is something that my grandma used to make all the time! It can also be found in the original Fannie Farmer cookbook. Mix 1/2 pound cooked ground beef plus 1/2 cup cooked rice with a bit of salt and pepper. Add a little Tomato Soup from a can to the beef and set aside. Boil 8 large cabbage leaves in water for 2 minutes until they are soft and pliable. Place a small amount of the beef mixture in the middle of each cabbage leaf and roll up into a tight bundle. Put a toothpick in the roll to help it stay. Put the rolls in a casserole dish along with the rest of the soup and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Old Fashioned Meatloaf – Meatloaf is always a hearty meal staple. A great meal for winter!
Hamburgers – Although not the most frugal ground beef dish since it’s hard to stretch the meat for these…they can still be a great way to use ground beef and they are so easy to make. Plus you can make homemade Burger Buns to make the meal even cheaper. Add extra sides to the meal as well such as Olive Oil Oven Baked Potatoes and Homemade Coleslaw and no one will even notice that you made the burgers a little smaller.
Homemade Hamburger Helper – I have the basic recipe for this here on my website but my book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide goes into more detail on how to change it up with different varieties. No matter how you make it, this is a great way to stretch a single pound of hamburger into a large meal.
Taco Casserole – This is a recipe from my other Granny who marked it as “very good” in her recipe box. She also left a note on it that says she prepared the beef, beans, and onion in advance and then finished the rest of the dish up later. Yay for meal prep! Brown 1 pound of ground beef with 1 chopped onion until the beef is no longer pink. Mix in 1 1/2 cup Refried Beans and add 1/2 cup Taco Sauce. Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with slightly crushed tortilla chips (any kind/flavor). Add the beef mixture over the chips and then alternate layers of shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. Cover the entire top with additional crushed chips and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
Homemade Meatballs – Meatballs aren’t always the best way to stretch beef since they take quite a bit but you could make them into smaller sizes, use oatmeal for extra filling, and add them to a dish like Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and pasta to stretch them out as far as you can. This recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs is also very good as is this one for BBQ Meatballs.
Stretching a Buck Lasagna – This is one of my favorite recipes to make because you can literally add any amount of ground beef you happen to have on hand. If you have a small amount of cooked ground beef leftover from another meal, this is how to use it up!
Easy Chili – This is the easiest recipe for chili that we’ve ever made. It’s so good though, we even used to serve it in our coffee shop! Brown 1 pound of ground beef and 1 chopped onion until the beef is no longer pink. Add 1 quart (or about 4 cups) of stewed tomatoes and 1 can of diced green chilis. Also, add in 2 pints (or about 4 cups) of your favorite cooked beans. Finally, add 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Cook together in a stockpot or in the slow cooker until the mixture is warm. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
Ground Beef Jerky – Just about the cheapest version of Jerky that you can make! If you want to stretch your pound of ground beef into a snack or a take-along meal, this is the way to do it.
Need help keeping track of all your family’s favorite recipes? Try using my Recipe Binder Pages!
What are some delicious and yet frugal recipes that you make with ground beef?