BOGO POWER! Buy and cook proteins in bulk when they’re on sale, and make several meals from one purchase. Just a few little tweaks and additions, and you have several different meals made with one protein. Here’s what to do:

Buy what’s on sale that week and see the guides below to prepare the meals.

After everything has cooked and cooled, portion out for future meals and freeze in individual containers or freezer bags to quickly heat up meals later in the microwave. If freezing burgers, chicken, pork chops, etc. you can tightly wrap each portion in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer bag to avoid the formation of ice crystals.

Meal ideas:

  • BOGO pot roast: Put two roasts in the slow cooker with large slices of potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and two cups of beef broth. Once cooked, remove some of the broth to make a quick gravy. Reserve some meat and use it to make shredded beef barbecue (use your favorite recipe or add broth, chili sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, paprika and cayenne, and let it simmer). Save some cooked carrots, celery, and beef to make beef barley soup (all you’ll need to add is more broth, parsley, barley, and additional veggies if desired (mushrooms, green beans, and frozen spinach are cheap and tasty). Tweak your pot roast and you have an easy beef stew.  Leftover potatoes will develop a mealy texture if frozen, so for the next meal where roast beef is the star, try mashed potatoes or buttered noodles with parsley for a side dish.
  • BOGO chicken breasts: Chicken parmesan, barbecued chicken, grilled chicken salad, chicken soup, oven fried chicken, chicken and vegetable stir-fry.
  • BOGO ground beef:  Sloppy Joes; hamburger patties; meatballs; Salisbury steak; meatloaf; stuffed peppers; stuffed cabbage; chili; lasagna.
  • BOGO pork roast:  Slow cooker pork roast with gravy and potatoes; roast pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes; shredded barbecue pork; pork pot-sticker dumplings.
  • BOGO pork chops: Pan-fried pork chops (simply breaded with flour and seasonings, or with a honey/soy glaze), breaded and baked pork chops; grilled pork chops with a spicy barbecue glaze; pork and vegetable stir-fry.
  • BOGO steak:  Grilled steak and mashed potatoes; steak salad; Philly cheese-steak subs; steak and cheese Stromboli with onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers; stir-fry with broccoli garlic sauce served over rice.

Notes:

  • Two roasts will take longer to cook in a slow cooker, so prepare the ingredients and add them to the slow cooker (set to low and put on the lid) before you go to bed. Let most of the cooking happen while you are sleeping, and then check on it and finish the cooking process after you wake up the next day.
  • Never use the “keep warm” setting to cook food in a crock pot; it’s not hot enough to keep the food at the proper cooking temperature and can cause food-borne illness.
  • Any cheap/tough cut of beef or pork will become fall-apart tender if cooked on a low setting for a long period of time.
  • Slow cooker liners are inexpensive and save a lot of time – when you’re done cooking, toss the liner and there’s nothing to wash but the lid!

Bonus: Sometimes you don’t have to buy two items to get the BOGO savings. Many times, you just pay half price for one item during the sale. Ask a store manager for more details.