I didn’t grow up in a rich family. We got by and we were certainly better off than some. We were the definition of middle class. There were times when I was a kid that we didn’t have money for the grocery store so my Mom and Dad rummaged the cupboards and we had whatever was in the pantry.
A lot of families are really hurting in these tough financial times, I decided to share our PoorMan Pantry recipes from my childhood. I hope it helps those who need it most.
One of my boys favorite PoorMan pantry meals is what we fondly call the PoorMan BBQ Beef Dinner. Hamburger, tater-tots and some veggie. Usually frozen peas and corn.
Every store has their sales, including grocery stores. For about $10 you can get 2 or 3lbs of ground beef. A large bag of tater-tots can run about $5. And frozen peas and corn, are about $3 a bag. Last thing you’ll need is a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. For us that’s Masterpiece Original. We can generally find a large bottle on sale for around $4.
We divide the hamburger into sandwich bags and freeze it when we get home. 2lbs of hamburger we’ll divide into 3 bags for instance. For about $25 we can get 4 or more meals out of all this. And more with the tots and veggies.
For the BBQ Beef, we pull out one of the sandwich bags of frozen hamburger and brown it in a skillet. Depending on the quality of the beef, it might be necessary to drain the excess grease. Add about 1/4cup of BBQ Sauce and simmer for about 10minutes, stirring frequently.
To spice up the meal, we’ve added bacon-bits and/or diced onion to the beef. It all depends on how the garden has been doing (when we’ve had one anyway).
You can also stretch this for left-overs by creating your own homemade hamburger helper. Brown the beef as usual, add the BBQ, plus a few tablespoons of water. My Mom would add half a 1/4 cup of water, but it depends on how thick your favorite bbq sauce is. The thicker it is, the more water you want to add.
Before you begin browning the beef, cook up some noodles in water. My son prefers elbow noodles, but it doesn’t really matter. What ever your favorite version is or what you can find on sale. Pasta is the one thing that can make a large meal for mere pennies.
Once your noodles are cooked, drain them and add the cooked BBQ Beef. Mix together thoroughly. Here’s a good time to add some chopped onion and tomato from the garden if you have one.
It’s an inexpensive meal that actually tastes pretty good. After all you’re making it to your own tastes, how can it not be yummy!