While Scott and I choose to make (some) frugal choices now, there was a time when watching our pennies was a necessity. I shopped with coupons and stretched each paycheck as much as possible while making a lot of ground beef meals. The goal was to pay off the credit cards. As a young couple, money was a concern. At the time, the only way to get a lower interest rate on a credit card was to open a new one when a better offer arrived in the mail. The introductory rate was exceptionally low and by continuing to pay the “minimum balance” we were accustomed to, we were able to apply what we were saving in interest directly to the principle. We surfed our credit card balance regularly to take advantage of the float and promotions and with each new card, we closed out and cut up the prior card. Before we knew it, our credit card debts were within reason and we were able to pay off our credit cards every month.
While our credit card strategy helped us dwindle the debt, the day-to-day spending was also a concern. The one place that I was able to feel like I was really winning was at the grocery store. Thanks to manufacturer and store coupons, rebates and promotions, I was able to stock up on prepackaged foods and household goods then watch the weekly sales for produce, meat and other perishables. Cereals were a big one for us because we could multi-purpose those products into recipes other than just breakfast. Desserts, meatloaf and more. Another staple was Hamburger Helper.
And it still is.
Why do we still buy it? Aside from the fact that it is an easy family dinner, only uses one pan and is affordable, we like the taste of their ground beef meals. There are a variety of flavors that utilize beef, but also have chicken and tuna options as well. We regularly find coupons for Hamburger Helper, but there is currently a rebate that really stands out: Free Ground Beef. It’s really easy to take advantage off. Visit your local grocer, purchase three Helper products (Hamburger, Chicken or Tuna) along with ground beef then send in the rebate form to receive a check for the purchase price of 1 lb of ground beef.
Of course, the economics of the product is only part of the benefit, There are a lot of flavor choices for easy preparation as well as several that can be a base for something else. While we enjoy the Four Cheese Lasagna by itself topped with a little garlic salt and Parmesan cheese, we purchased a hashbrown variety that we’ll add to some scrambled eggs and use to make breakfast burritos. The combinations are limited only by your imagination. Want to add some vegetables? Do. Like some fresh cheese mixed in? Grate it up. Prefer to bake it instead of making on the stove top? Go ahead.
Do you use Hamburger Helper as directed on the box or as a base to create a custom recipe?