Today I can give you one tip that has helped.
Tonight's dinner was the third and final meal we were able to eat on ONE POUND of taco meat. How is that possible? (Or, you're asking HOW CAN YOU EAT LEFTOVERS TWICE?? - I don't know..we just don't mind!)
Well, sometimes I'm not so sure. But one thing I can tell you is that one can of 67 cent refried beans and a can of black beans (of which there is still a half a can of each left) makes ALL the difference.
Hannah and I had taco salads and Matt ate regular hard tacos. I got the bag of mixed greens for $1.50 per bag. That's a good filler. The refried beans and a little sour cream acts as dressing and the protein in the beans stretches the meat. You can also line taco shells with them as well. It's amazing how far it makes ground meat go. We had all the other toppings, cheese, sour cream, etc...and I made some home made corn muffins.
I figured out that total, the meal cost $12.50 for 3 dinners. That's $1.48 per person, per meal. Now THAT's impressive.
I think it's important to look for those fillers. Extra bread crumbs in meat loaf, rice in ANYTHING with ground meat. If you're looking to cut corners...add more of the cheap stuff and STOP thinking about having HUNKS of meat as part of your menu...Break it up...you can use less and it goes further.
It has also helped us to pre divide portions before we eat. One of us usually makes the plates all at once to make sure we all get enough :)
And, since I've stopped eating seconds for health reasons, our food lasts longer and my waistline is smaller.