How Oats Can Help You Save Money On Ground Beef

Ground beef is more expensive than ever. According to Beef2Live, the current national average of retail ground beef in the United States of America is $4.78/lb. If this trend continues, it's not looking like your grocery run will get cheaper soon. Still, there are always money-saving methods you can implement at the grocery store. You can buy sale items, sign up for rewards programs, clip coupons, make and stick to your list, and buy generic brands (per CNBC).

When it comes to ground beef, though, there is one method of making your beef stretch that is simultaneously economical and healthy: adding oats. Oats, apart from being affordable, also have a long shelf life. Healthline states that the average shelf life of steel-cut oats is 12 months or up to two years when stored in an air-tight container. There is nary an American who wouldn't want an ingredient in their pantry that helps save money, especially one that could last 2-years. We'll explain exactly how buying oats to extend the life of your ground beef can help you save on weekly grocery costs.

A matter of economy and health

There are many ways to make ingredients stretch. According to Vermont Creamery, making a grocery list, meal planning, pantry stocking, and stretching your proteins are all ways to make your food-buying trips count. When it comes to stretching proteins, substitution and smaller portions are the keys. This principle applies to adding oats to your ground beef. According to WebMD, adding a ½ to 1 cup of cooked oats to your smaller serving of browning meat will expand the overall size of the serving. Since oats tend to be rather bland on their own, they will absorb the flavors in the pan, making them all but disappear into the greater meal.

There are also health benefits to be considered. Healthfully states that "cutting beef with oats also makes for a lower-calorie dish with less saturated fat per serving." Steel-cut oats, as opposed to rolled oats, have a lower glycemic index, which helps stabilize blood sugars. There is also the plus, as WebMD reports, of added fiber, protein, and minerals, and excellent substitution for bread crumbs for those who eat gluten-free. Overall, a great substitute for your health and your wallet. Be sure to check out this tip on adding oats to your meatballs for more inspiration.