Substitutes for burger?
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  1. #1
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    Question Substitutes for burger?

    So our family is going to be mixed up in this furlough. I am already pretty darned frugal, and am having trouble finding more ways as far as groceries and things of that nature. I do not cook with burger often as I find the costs to be going up and up and up. I was using ground turkey, but it too has gone up. Many of the meals that my family loves I have managed to cut the burger in half. I have been thinking though, and with the furloughs, and the FDA getting cuts with mean inspections...this will likely make meat costs go up even more. So...what can I use to sub in our fav dishes and not loose too much flavor? Most are either Mexican or Italian meals. I am guessing in the Mexican dishes I could sub in maybe black beans?

    Any ideas would be wonderful!!
    Thank you in advance!!

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    Are there certain days that your supermarkets mark down meat? I know if I go shopping on Mondays a lot of the meat is marked down "manager special" so that is when I buy meat. I've noticed ground beef has gone up in price too. Ground turkey here is $1.50 for a 1 lb roll. You could mix that with refried beans. For Italian I guess more pasta and less meat.

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    before i read the whole post, i thought you were asking for a buger substitute - for that, i would say portabellos.

    but for what you are asking.....in italian, sausage...it goes on sale often! keep your eyes peeled. i use turkey or regular....

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    Registered User alaska_tiger_36's Avatar
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    Maybe you could try mixing in some TVP. We bought a #10 can of beef tvp for less than $11 and it equates to 12# of hamburger. If you are mixing it with regular hamburger in an Italian or Mexican meal you might not notice a flavor or texture difference. The other thing we do is when there are roasts and such on sale for a good price we ask the butcher to grind them for us. A month or so ago we got some roasts for $2.99/# at the grocery store and asked the butcher to grind it (it's free) and the fat content was less than 5%. I've never tried it but I've heard of mixing in oatmeal (I think) to make meat go further too.

    My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time! I work for a government subcontractor and they are laying off 101 this week (layoff round 4 in 12 months) and another 235 will be laid off in the June/July time frame.

    Welcome to FV! The people here are awesome and will help with all kinds of ideas. If you are close to Athens or Evens/Augusta GA you might want to check into Bountiful Baskets. You get a basket of fruits and vegetables (50/50 mix) for $16.50. For 2 of us it lasts 2 weeks. You order can only order on Monday and Tuesday and never know what you are getting until you pick it up.

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    Registered User dinah's Avatar
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    ground pork is always cheaper here then ground beef and ground turkey.

    i think beans are the way to go: chickpeas, lentils, kidney, black - there are so many!

    there is something called veggie ground round which is a vegetarian substitute. i've heard tvp is good to.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Portabella burgers, mmmmm! So good. We were skeptical, but they're every bit as good as hamburgers and are cooked and served the same way.

    To stretch hamburger in sandwiches, you can make sloppy joes and add cooked rice or pasta to it or a can of barbecue beans, any flavor. If you use highly spiced flavorings such as barbecue sauce and/or lots of mustard, the rice or pasta will take on those flavors and taste the same as the meat. Then just put in buns and serve as usual. A can of corn is good in it too and stretches the meat. Actually most any veggie is good, like extra onion, sliced celery, whatever your family likes. Cook till it's soft or leave a little bit crunchy, depending on your family's preference.

    Adding twice as much veggies as any recipe calls for helps stretch meat and it's actually a healthier way to eat. You get the flavor and texture of the meat but less of the cost, fat, and cholesterol.

    We went through this a year ago last summer and it sucked. We didn't buy any groceries or drive off the place for the entire three weeks of the shut-down, but we weren't feeding kids and have a good stock of food on hand. We did have to postpone building our deck a year to help make up for the pay loss, but considering things other people were going through, we couldn't complain.

    Good luck. I hope your situation is settled soon.

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    Registered User Brat's Avatar
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    I have added oats to hamburger to make them go farther..I also have a hand grinder and have been buying some roasts that are cheaper per # and using that too..I also ground some chicken legs quaters and used it too..I can usually get them for $.59 a lb.

    My grinder was from a rummage sale and it is a hand one..but works good..I run dryed bread or crackers through it at the end of the grind to clean out the grinder and mix it up good with the meat..

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    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    Not being a fan of ground turkey I have been using lentils to cut the fat of the ground beef, try half and half to strech the meat. I mostly use them in tacos or any thing that has some sort of sauce in the recipe. Just rinse them really well to cut back on their strong flavor and to get rid of any bean sludge.
    As far as sausage, in Italian dishes try adding fennel seeds to give it the sausage taste without any actual sausage in the recipe. For example in goulash or lasagna.

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    I add beans, rice, and veggies for my Mexican recipes..I also use a lot of chicken in my Mexican food

    For my Italian food: for my lasagna I use cottage cheese instead of riccota.. and Mozzerella instead of Provlone or Romano...
    I am also adding more veggies.....onion, pepper, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, zucchini,and squash....
    I am going to try a white chicken/ spinach lasagna next month

    I have never had a portabella mushroom burger..

    I love a black bean burger they are yummy...

    meat is so expensive now..actually everything is..

    I looked at a 10 lb of chicken leg quarters yesterday 89 cents a lb last year 49 cents a lb....

  11. #10
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    Next time you are at the grocery store you can ask the meat department if they ever have managers specials on meat. If so when do they usually put the meat out. The grocery store I go to I make it a point to look at the end of the month at the meat department. Many times I can find meat at a reduced price. Just be sure to cook it immediately or package up to put in the freezer. It has saved me so much money in meat cost, I also make sure to only buy meat that I will use. Right now I have skinless boneless chicken thighs in the freezer. Only bought them because they were on manager's special. Otherwise I would never think about buying them. Planning on using some tomorrow to make a stir-fry.

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    Registered User leighcat's Avatar
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    I once substituted lentils for meat in a hamburger helper meal, back when I used to buy that stuff. It was surprisingly tasty! I like to substitute beans or rice for meat in some meals. What about making "meatballs" with beans and bulgur or rice in some meals? You can make a falafel type stuff and crumble it to sub for meat in Italian food also. Beans and mushrooms would be yummy in pasta. If my kids weren't so picky I would love to do some veggie subs in meals.

  13. #12
    Registered User leighcat's Avatar
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    I had another idea- what about canned white meat chicken or tuna? The canned chicken is yummy!

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