Beef Dump Recipes

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Dump recipes are the easiest and fastest way to stock your freezer full of meals. I’ve been making them for about a decade and though the name may not sound that appealing, it speaks to how fast these really are to make. Most of my dump recipes can be cooked in the crock pot, saving even more time.

When I wrote about my Chicken Dump Recipes, the response from busy women (and men) everywhere was overwhelming! They loved the ease of the system, but the resounding feedback was: more recipes!

I have been working since then to create a book of Beef Dump Recipes for you. It contains 6 meal plans of 5 recipes each which include shopping lists for each plan and printable labels for each recipe.

Beef Dump Recipes. Assemble 10 meals in one hour that can go from the freezer to the crock pot and can be made gluten free.These beef dump recipes are easy to throw together and perfect for freezing. Freezer meals make a lovely gift for friends who are going through an illness or loss or adding to their family through birth or adoption.

By doubling these recipes, you are able to assemble ten meals in just one hour! (note that this does not include the time to brown the beef)

The key to successful beef dump meals is to have all your ingredients out before you start assembling. This will save you time and will also save you having to run out to the store to pick up a missing ingredient!

Steps to making Beef Dump Meals:

  1. Brown the beef. This can be done the day before and kept in the fridge until you are ready to use. You can also season with a bit of salt and pepper while browning if you like.
  2. Get out all ingredients.
  3. Label resealable freezer bags (you can use a permanent marker or print labels to stick on) with the name and cooking instructions.
  4.  Prop the bottom of the bags and fold over the top so that they will stay open.
  5. Add browned ground beef into each bag.
  6. Once the meat is in all of the bags, dump the ingredients for the recipe into the bag.
  7. When all the ingredients are in each bag, remove the excess air, seal the bags, lay flat, and freeze.

Beef Dump Recipes. Assemble 10 meals in one hour that can go from the freezer to the crock pot and can be made gluten free.Below is a sample meal plan which uses ground beef for all of the recipes. Don’t forget to brown the beef before you start assembling. You can find the shopping list, labels and other meal plans including those using other cuts of beef in the Beef Dump Recipes book.

Beef Hash

1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
500 grams frozen hash browns*
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. dry onion soup mix**
1 cup beef broth
dash pepper

*This amount is the equivalent of half a 1 kg bag, so if you are making two of these recipes at once, buy one large bag and split it between the two meals.

**I use an MSG-free, gluten-free dry onion soup mix.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Bake at 350° for one hour, topping with grated cheese the last 10 minutes if desired or in the crock pot on low for 2-4 hours, topping with cheese the last 20 minutes if desired.

Taco Soup

1 1/2 lb. browned ground beef
1 onion, diced
2x 14 oz. cans chili style beans
1x 12 oz. can kernel corn, drained
1x 14 oz. can tomato sauce
14 oz. salsa
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. taco seasoning*
*store bought taco seasoning can contain gluten, so I make my own.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in large pot on stovetop on medium heat until desired temperature or cook in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.

beef dump recipes

Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lb. browned ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chili sauce
14 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
dash pepper

*Be sure to use gluten free Worcestershire sauce if wanting this to be gluten free.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in pot on stovetop over medium until desired heat is achieved or cook in slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours. Serve on bun halves.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2x 14 oz. can tomato sauce
1x 5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. melted honey or sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in pot on stovetop over medium until desired heat is achieved or cook in crock pot on low for 2-4 hours. Serve over pasta or gluten free noodles.


1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
19 oz. can kidney beans with liquid
14 oz. can chili style beans with liquid
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
dash pepper
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (this is my secret ingredient!)

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in large pot over medium until desired temperature is reached or cook in crock pot on low for 3-5 hours.


  • If you plan the meals so that they have some common ingredients, it saves even more money.
  • All recipes can be made gluten free by following the notes indicated.
  • I heard from a reader who suggested using slow cooker liners. I had never heard of them, but it saves even more time because it eliminates the cleanup of the crock pot.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Chicken Dump Recipes for even more options!

Be sure to check out my Beef Dump Recipes book which includes 30 recipes divided into 5 plans plus one bonus recipe. Each plan comes with printable grocery lists and printable labels. Read the list of included recipes.

You can also purchase both the Beef Dump Recipes and Chicken Dump Recipes together for more meal options and savings!

Chicken and Beef Dump Recipes Bundle

If you are looking for more easy freezer meals, I invite you to follow my Freezer Meals board on Pinterest.

To get more easy recipes and family ideas and to be notified when the next dump recipes book is available, sign up for our email newsletters.

Simple String Busy Bag

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As always, my favourite activities are those that are easy and inexpensive to put together. This busy bag is both of those but it also creates open-ended play possibilities.

A busy bag that is easy to create and offers open ended play possibilities.Materials needed:

  • string
  • scissors
  • large piece of thin cardboard
  • large resealable bag

To create this string busy bag, cut a piece of cardboard into a circle (it doesn’t have to be exact). I placed a plate down on the cardboard and traced it and then cut out the shape. Using scissors, cut triangles along the outside of the circle at regular intervals. Again, this does not have to be exact.

You want to use cardboard that isn’t too thick. Often the cardboard that comes in packaging is the right thickness or you can use the side of a cereal box.

Place the cardboard cutout and some pieces of long string or yarn into a large resealable bag. Your busy bag is ready to be used!string weavingUsing the cardboard cutout, your child can create patterns or shapes with the string. They can also use the cardboard to create a bit of a weaving wheel.

We store all of our busy bags in one place so that I can easily grab a few on our way out the door to use in the vehicle or in a waiting room. It also gives our daughter a place that she knows she can go to get a quiet activity to do when she is bored or when I am working with her older siblings.

If you are looking for more busy bag ideas, you may be interested in following my Activity Bags board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Activity Bags on Pinterest.

3 Busy Bags with Popsicle Sticks

5 Busy Bags with Pipe Cleaners

7 Busy Bags for Learning Colours

7 Busy Bags with Paint Chips

Kindness for the Win!

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Last week, our son experienced a scary and disturbing incident where not only did four unknown older boys gang up and throw rocks at him, they also flung a racial slur at him as well that hurt far worse than rocks ever could.

You can read the full incident here. I wrote about it that night because I was so upset that I couldn’t sleep and I often process things better through writing.

The following day, I posted the article on my blog and people began to share it on their Facebook pages. It spread quickly, particularly locally and strangers sent messages of support and love.

Kindness for the Win (a story of love overcoming hatred)Mothers and fathers responded by saying that what happened inspired them to have an honest discussion with their kids about racism. For many, it was the first time they had spoken about this topic to their kids. Some of them read what I wrote to their kids directly and talked about how racism is never okay and even addressed what to do if you see it happening to someone. That meant so much to us.

I read many of the comments and private messages I received to my son and at one point, he said to me, “mom, if this had to happen to somebody, I’m glad it was to me because my mom’s a writer and now people are going to know that this isn’t ok”. It was a humbling moment for me to see just how beautiful my boy’s heart is.

The day of “the incident”, my son had also lost money from his pocket that he had been planning on spending at the bookstore and the chain on his bike had broken.

After reading about what happened to him, our community stepped up to show him that he is loved and that the hatred that he experienced that day is not shared by the majority of people.

One woman who read about his experience arranged with the bike shop to pay for his chain to be replaced.

Another anonymous woman who has never met our family (to my knowledge anyway!), gave him a beautiful card and a gift card to Starbucks and a gift card to the bookstore.

A friend of mine shared our story with one of the councillors for the County that we live in and he spoke to me over the phone and offered to help in any way he could. He also arranged to have me bring the kids in for a tour of the County government offices.

When we arrived, we were treated like royalty. He, along with our division councillor met with us in a boardroom (the kids loved the fancy chairs that could ride up and down and spin around!) and shook our kids’ hands and sat them down to chat. They explained that what happened to him is unacceptable and expressed how impressed they were at how he had handled it and gave their sincere apologies at what he had gone through. They reiterated that what was expressed that day is not how most people in our community feel. They presented him with gifts including gift cards to the bookstore, a book, a bluetooth speaker, and a handwritten card from the Mayor. They were incredibly gracious.

We were then taken on a tour of both the new and old Council Chambers and the kids got to sit in the chairs of the Mayor and councillors and have a debate about whether we should have apple pie or pumpkin pie for dessert before putting it to a vote. This of course made my homeschool momma heart soar with satisfaction as surely this counted as our homeschool field trip for the week!

kids touring Council ChambersI would like to say “thank you” to all those who have reached out to show my son that people care. Your words whether through private messages or public comments or emails or phone calls mean a lot to us.

Thank you to those who took something bad and used it for good by having a conversation about racism with your family.

Thank you to those who did something to demonstrate to our son that he is loved and that he is worth something. It touched our hearts.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

It’s hard to believe it’s only been one week since “the incident” happened. In some ways, we are forever changed, not just because we lost a bit of our innocence that day, but also because we’ve been so moved by the response.

Last Tuesday, our family and more specifically, our son, experienced hatred and saw a glimpse of evil. But love trumps all.

Strangers and friends banded together to show our son that he is loved and worthy of respect. Our community demonstrated that love is stronger and that one person at a time, hearts can be changed. Parents got the conversation started with their children. People showed generosity and grace. Love flooded in.

Kindness wins.

Tricks to Keep Your House Cool This Summer

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This week has been a scorcher where we live! Since we live in a climate that is cold most of the year, we don’t have air conditioning so for the few weeks a year when we get a heatwave, it’s pretty hot in here.

Don't have air conditioning? These tricks will help keep you and your house cool this summer.Image Copyright: anikasalsera / 123RF Stock Photo

Our kids have a hard time sleeping when it’s hot and they tend to get pretty grouchy during the daytime when they are overheated too.

Here are some tricks to help keep your house (and family) cool during those heat waves:

Keep the blinds and doors closed.

Sunshine may be good for many things, but keeping the house cool isn’t one of them! Keep the blinds drawn and the doors closed during the daylight hours when it’s hot outside. This will help keep the temperature of the house down.

Prepare your bed.

Use cotton sheets to create more breathability. Summer is not the time for flannel sheets! Another great trick is to put your pillow in a garbage bag and throw it in the freezer an hour or two before you head to bed. You of course will want to take it out of the garbage bag before you use it.

Use fans and ceiling fans.

In the hot summers, set your ceiling fans to counter-clockwise. Position house fans to create a cross breeze. There are many types of fans out there, floor fans (that can also be set on a table), the traditional pedestal fan, box fans, and those fancy new tower fans with remote controls. Any can help you create a cooler environment.

Great trick: You can set large pieces of ice (fill ice cream buckets with water and freeze) in a bowl in front of an oscillating fan to create a misting effect. Just point the fan towards the ice!

Even turning on the exhaust fan in your kitchen and bathrooms can help move hot air out of your house.

Maximize the cool night air.

In the evenings when things finally start to cool down, open your windows and get a good cross draft going (use fans to help you if you can). Cool your house down as much as you can at night and then in the daytime, keep the blinds drawn and keep the opening of the doors to a minimum to keep the hot air out.

Stay in the dark.

Incandescent lightbulbs give off heat, so keeping the lights out will help keep the house cool. Or switch out your light bulbs.


Drink plenty of water and be sure to get your kids to drink more water than usual too. Freezing water in popsicle container from the dollar store helps keep them cool and makes water more fun!

A trick to help your kids sleep.

Have your kids keep a spray bottle of water in their rooms. Misting their bare feet with water will help them sleep.

Put your slow cooker to work.

On hot days when you can’t turn your oven on, your crock pot becomes a necessity. I use mine year-round, but I use it even more during the summer months. It allows me to make supper (or lunch) without adding to the heat in the kitchen.

Some of our family’s favourite slow cooker recipes:

Tricks to Keep Your House Cool This SummerOther tricks:

  • delay running dishwashers until evening
  • hang bamboo shades outside some of your windows
  • give your kids a water misting fan
  • set up the sprinkled in the yard
  • take a cool bath or shower
  • spend time in the basement (if you have one)
  • turn off computers and TVs (they give off heat)
  • angle your blinds up
  • drink hot drinks like tea and eat soup or spicy food as it will help your body work to cool you off
  • be sure your home is well insulated
  • plant trees near the house to create shade

For other helpful tips, be sure to follow me on Pinterest or sign up for newsletter updates.