Bargain Burgers

by Pat Cooper

My husband and I enjoy grilling hamburgers outdoors for our family. Frequently, there are friends visiting our two teenaged sons and they always know that they are invited for supper. In addition, we like to have our twelfth grade Sunday School class over for a cookout a few times during the year. As you might imagine, it became a necessity to obtain ground beef at an economical price!

We have a system for buying and freezing meat that may benefit others. My husband always checks with the butcher (if he is shopping after 8:00p.m.) to see if there is any ground beef that he needs to sell at a good price. At that time of the day, the butcher is needing to clean up the display case and do something with all the leftover ground beef that did not sell. We have often gotten ground chuck and even ground sirloin for 68 cents to 88 cents per pound! In addition to these specials, we always watch the paper for specials on good quality ground beef. Anytime it sells for under a dollar per pound, we buy at least 20 pounds.

Then the real fun of our system begins. We bring out the hamburger shaper set that Tupperware sells. One of us divides the patties into hamburger size balls and the other person shapes the patties. The house rule is that both of us have to help!

But we always enjoy the time to talk anyway. Next the patties are placed on some very clean Styrofoam meat trays that I keep for this purpose. We put all the patties into the deep freezer and write a note to put on the coffee pot to get the patties out the next morning. I put about 10-12 frozen patties into giant freezer bags and put back into the deep freeze.

To save money on ziplock bags and to keep safe from germs, I always take the patties I need out of the bag and immediately put the bag back into the freezer. I would not feel comfortable using a bag that has had meat in it. However, my thinking is that it never leaves the freezer, even when empty. I also run the meat trays through the dishwasher when finished to sterilize.

This saves us a lot of time and money and we are able to share our home and meals more often.

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