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How About Some $13 Meat Loaf?

By JLP | September 19, 2007

We’re having meat loaf for dinner tonight – $13 meat loaf. How? Well, my wife and I have been trying to buy more organic stuff at the store. So far, we have concentrated on fruits and vegetables, milk, juice, and meat. So, yesterday, I picked up a packet of meat loaf seasoning that called for two pounds of ground beef. Laura’s Lean Ground Beef is $5.99 a pound at Kroger. Add the $1.69 seasoning packet and I got myself a $13 meat loaf. Yummy!

Back in the days when I didn’t care so much about what we ate, I would buy the 5 pound logs of beef for under $10. Meat loaf was A LOT cheaper back in those days!

I’m sure if I was dedicated, I could shop around and find better prices. I’m just not sure if it is worth it.

To be continued…

Topics: Budgeting | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “How About Some $13 Meat Loaf?”

  1. Chief Family Officer Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Add any combination of the following to decrease the amount of meat needed: bread or oats, grated carrot, finely chopped or grated onion, cheese, chopped frozen spinach that’s been thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid, mashed beans.

    Also, skip the seasoning packet and improvise with what you have on hand (salt, pepper, oregano, basil and thyme are probably already in your pantry).

  2. Chris Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Sounds kinda dry!

    My recipe: beef (if you want super lean, try buffalo meat, still around $6/lb), tomato paste, flour, eggs, finely crushed breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, sauteed onions, minced garlic, salt/pepper. Makes a fluffy, moist meatloaf.

    I like the idea of mashed beans to fill it out to require less meat, might try that.

  3. Kurt Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    There’s no reason meat loaf needs to be 100% meat. It may seem like stretching the meat with filler is “cheap” but you can use it to a) add a ton of flavors not otherwise there and b) reduce the health impact of eating 2 pounds of meat as a meal.

    That said, $13 for a couple people to eat a good meal is not terrible.

  4. Chris Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Oh! Here’s a chart if you are interested.

    I just don’t find the nutritional value of really lean beef to be worth the added cost. You can easily just eat a little bit less of the beef and have more rice/potato/vegetable.

  5. JLP Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 12:15 pm


    Actually, it was VERY good. I cooked in the slow cooker with carrots and potatoes.


    I agree that it doesn’t have to be all meat. I was just in a hurry and wasn’t really thinking about it when I fixed it last night. And this meal fed a family of five with plenty of leftovers so no, it wasn’t too bad – it just sounds bad to the $5 meat loaf I used to make.

  6. Wayne Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    You know more and more studies are coming out proving that organic food is no better for you than regular…maybe you could save a few dollars that way

  7. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Have you ever checked around to see if there is somewhere you could buy directly from the farmer? is a site where you can punch in your zipcode, a radius and choose a radio button for product (ie organic) and it will bring up anyone in your area. Then you can hop over to their website and see what they’ve got. It may be cheaper, or not :)

  8. Lazy Man Says:
    September 20th, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Costco has some good prices on beef, but it’s not organic. It’s still pretty low-fat for what you get.

  9. sam Says:
    September 20th, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    The meatloaf recipe that I use calls for breadcrumbs to stretch the meat further. I actually like it better that way. We don’t buy much burger meat in our household, but the last time I did I couldn’t believe how expensive it was. Burger meat used to be a lot cheaper than other cuts of meat, but not these days.

  10. Weekly Roundup, Jogging Edition on Consumerism Commentary: A Personal Finance Blog Says:
    September 21st, 2007 at 11:59 am

    […] How About Some $13 Meat Loaf? JLP is cooking dinner. He concluded it’s not worthwhile to shop around for better prices. […]

  11. H Lee D Says:
    September 22nd, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I don’t eat meat, so I can’t chime in on that part of things, but I’ve read that as far as organics are concerned, any fruit/veggie that you’re going to eat the outer layer of (apples, strawberries, etc.) it is judicious to buy organic. In the particular bit I read, strawberries that had been washed well seven times still had traces of pesticide on them.

  12. Amanda Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I think it’s worth paying a little more for good, lean beef… your heart will thank you!