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Cheap College Meals: Sloppy Joe Recipe + Fries

sloppy joes

Sloppy joes were a big deal for me when I was younger. I loved those days when my grandmother would make sloppy joes because she made them sparingly. I feel like she made them probably once every 4 months. I can honestly remember being extremely excited whenever I smelled the ground beef combined with the Hunt's Manwich sloppy joe sauce. If you've never had the chance to try Hunt's Manwich sloppy joes, you are completely missing out. It smells like all types of hearty love and you can literally taste the food as the smell travels through the air. 

Since I've gotten older, I actually made sloppy joes a part of my monthly dinner regimen. I added it not only for the taste, but also because it is pretty affordable and easy to make. 

So let's get started on creating this childhood staple.





Here's a list of the things you will Need.

Pam cooking spray (or any other type of nonstick cooking spray)
Ore Ida Fries (or any other type of frozen fries)
salt

Ingredients for Sloppy Joes

1lb of Ground Beef or Ground Sirloin
Lawry's Seasoning Salt 
Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce in a can
Hamburger Buns

Items needed for cooking

frying pan
baking pan or cookie sheet 
aluminum foil
spoon

Serves between 6 - 8 people depending on how much each person is served.



RECIPES

How to make the Fries

- The first thing I focus on is baking the fries. I preheat the oven at 350 degrees. 

Sometimes I wait for the oven to heat up whereas other times I am impatient and I just toss whatever I am baking into the oven and subtract about 7 minutes from my original cooking time. However, waiting for it to heat up to 350 degrees is better to do. 

- While it's heating up, take your cookie sheet or baking pan and place a piece of aluminum foil over the entire pan. 

Make sure that the aluminum foil is shiny side up. 

- Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray. 

This prevents the fries from sticking to the pan, making it easier to move the fries when they're done cooking without breaking them. 

- Begin placing the fries on top of the aluminum foil. 

You do not have to do this in an organized manner. You can simply toss the fries on top of the aluminum foil. However, I will say to just make sure that you do not have a ton of fries overlapping each other because if you do, it will take longer for them to cook.

- Let the fries bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. 

- While the fries are cooking, you can focus on making your sloppy joes.



How to make Sloppy Joes with Hunt's Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce


- Place your frying pan on the stove. Turn it on at a medium setting and allow the pan to heat up for about a minute. 

- Begin placing your ground beef or sirloin in the pan. 

It's going to sizzle and make a bit of noise, which is normal. 

- Shake a bit of the seasoning salt on to the meat for just a bit more flavor. All you need is a little sprinkle..

You don't have to do this, but I advise that you do.




- Begin breaking up the ground beef as it cooks using the spoon. 

Remember that when you're making sloppy joes, you will not have big chunks of meat. 




- For me cutting up the meat is probably the worse part of making sloppy joes, so what I like to do is separate as much of the meat that I feel like separating during that moment for about 6 minutes.
  I know... I'm lazy.
Then I let it cook for a few more minutes (about 8 minutes). 




- After that time has passed, I begin chopping up the meat some more with the spoon, making sure that there is no red or pink meat showing. 

You want the meat to be brown and completely cooked. This will take about another 5 minutes.




- After you see that there is no brown, open the can of Manwich and pour it into the pan with the meat. It will look like the picture above. 

- Turn from medium heat to low heat and begin stirring in the sauce with the meat, making sure to cover all of it. Let this cook for about 5 more minutes and then turn off the stove.




- Around this time, the fries should be ready. You can take them out when they have a tint of slight brown on them or you can wait an extra couple of minutes if you want them to be golden brown. 




- Add a bit of salt to them while they're still hot.

- Now that the food is ready, you can take out your hamburger buns and place the sloppy joe meat sauce on top of the buns to make a sandwich.

Even though it is not listed as a recipe item, you can place cheese or whatever else you want on top of the sloppy joes to personalize it to your liking.




Annd you're done!!



Why is this college food worthy?


It's extremely easy to make. It usually takes me 30 minutes or less to make both the sloppy joes and the fries. On the Hunt's Manwich sloppy joe sauce can it says that it serves 6, but it can easily serve 8 if you use a pound of meat. 

As far as the cost goes...

Ground beef is usually around $6 for a pound roughly. I honestly can not even believe how high meat has gotten, but anyway....

Hunt's Manwich sauce - You can usually get this on sale at Rite Aid, CVS, Meijer, Walmart, or Kroger. They tend to have 10 for $10 sales in those stores or something similar.

Hamburger Buns - I paid $3.25 for the buns that I used because certain people in my family loved the way these particular buns tasted... Of course, I could have easily gotten these buns for about $2 cheaper with the Meijer's or Kroger's store brand.

Ore Ida Fries - I can almost always catch this on sale 2 for $5 and can feed about 6 people depending on how much everyone you're serving eats. 

Pam cooking spray - I usually see this on sale for about $2.20, but you can buy a store brand version for around a $1 or so.


In total, you're looking at about $6 (meat) + $1 (Manwich sauce) + $2.50 (fries) +  $2.50 (cooking spray) + Lawry's (which can be irrelevant if you just want to only use the sauce).... 

So you're looking at about $1.20 per person for 8 people, which I think is pretty good...


I would definitely recommend adding this to your weekly or monthly eating needs.



***Remember that when using raw meat, make sure that you clean the materials and area you used effectively to keep bacteria that causes salmonella and e coli from spreading. Wash your hands once you are finished with handling red meat.



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