Budget Family Meals-Quick Ground Beef Recipes

I have found an easy meatball recipe that your family will love and if you’re a busy mom looking for meals to serve a large family that’s affordable and won’t break the grocery budget, this is it. Ground beef is inexpensive and filling if I purchase it when the grocery store has it on sale and I try and make meatloaf or meatballs a few times a month and freeze until ready to use. Meatballs are so versatile; I serve them on pasta in a red pasta sauce or with gravy over mashed potatoes or even meatloaf sub sandwiches. I bake them in the oven, cool, and freeze in zip-lock bags.  I use the same mixture for meatloaf as for the meatballs, just in a different shape of course. I freeze the meatloaf uncooked. Onthe day I plan to serve for dinner, I thaw the loaf and bake fresh for dinner dressed with a little ketchup. Occasionally, I’ll make mini loaves to slice up for school lunches.

One affordable and budget friendly meal for your family is Spaghetti and Meatballs. Serve with garlic bread and a simle green salad. I can make this meal all within 30 minutes from getting off of work. The key is to have the meatballs already made up then as the meatballs are cooking in the oven, boil the pasta on the stove.  Having access to weekly dinner menus that are affordable and easy to prepare can make your grocery budget go a ong way.

Meatball/Meatloaf Recipe~ 1 batch


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teapoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix just enough to distribute ingredients throughout mixture.
  • Form into meatballs or divide into and form a meatloaf.
  • For meatballs, bake in 350° oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through for meatballs. Cool, label, and freeze.
  • For meatloaf, wrap, label and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw and bake 45-60 minutes or until cooked through.

Noel’s Note: Increase ground beef to 4 pounds for 4 meatloaves or a larger quantity of meatballs.


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