I only buy hamburger in family packs. It is not worth my time to cook one pound at a time. I don't enjoy washing dishes and that would mean that I have to clean 5 skillets. That is not for me. So, when family packs are on sale, I stock up! I buy 5 pounds and make the same recipe in bulk. We eat one that day and then I freeze the others for the future.
A pasta spoon is a great help when trying to break up the meat in the skillet. I use a 12 inch skillet for that much meat.
I only freeze in freezer-quality ziplock bags. I have an old milk carton that I cut the top off of and put the bag in there to fill it. Then I squeeze extra air out and lay it flat to freeze. That way it takes up minimal space in my freezer.
For Sloppy Joes, buy one can of sloppy joe mix per pound of meat. Brown the meat, drain the fat, and then add the sauce. That is it.
When the meat is cooled, you can transfer it to ziplocks and press them flat to freeze. Warning: Sloppy Joe and Spaghetti look the same when frozen, so label your bags before filling. Sharpies work great and don't smear. (One time, we had spaghetti sandwiches because I thought I was defrosting Sloppy Joe meat, but no!)
Slap the sloppy joe meat on a bun. Add some carrot sticks, grapes, side salad, cole slaw and/or chips and you've got a SUPER quick meal.
- For little ones, or people wanting less carbs, you can scoop out the majority of a bun and fill the "bowl" with the meat mixture. It makes it less sloppy for little hands....
- I have a college student who will be living off campus for the first time and will be cooking. I am packaging some of this meat in quart size bags for 2 sandwiches at a time. Maybe, he will fix a veggie to go with it?????
- For hints on filling your bags, see the spaghetti post.