I have a large family.
My husband likes to eat.
I have 4 teenagers and 2 growing younger boys.
One way that I like to save money is when is by cooking roast. When I cook a roast, I normally put in two. I do it in the crockpot and I let it slow cook all day long.
I add 2 can of cream of mushroom with a little bit of water. I add my seasoning mix to it and I cube up some potatoes and an onion.
By the time it is ready, I cut up all the meat taking off the fat. I save about a quarter of the meat, potatoes and onions. I will put it in a baggie and put it in the freezer or I just put it in a container and stick it in the fridge.
I fix plates for everyone in this house. I do this for several reasons. 1) I ensure that everyone has some of everything. I do not “cook to order” and what I make everyone eats…I am careful with food allergies and I do keep in mind what my kids like/don’t like. 2) I can control the portion size because if I left it up to my kids to fix their plates, they would load up on starch and they would only have 2 green beans. Not an option. 3) It makes my life easier because there is no whining.
My children always know they can go for seconds (or thirds) in some cases.
When I am ready to use the leftovers, I use the roast for vegetable beef soup (add tomato juice, spices, canned/fresh/frozen veggies) or I use them for stir fry (add peppers, broccoli, water chestnuts and cook/fry rice).
So, by cooking 2 roasts (we buy our meat once a year but if you are watchful, you can catch good sales at the store. If you can afford it, stock up), you can have at least 2 meals, if not three (the chinese dinner you can skimp more on the meat and add more veggies).