Any kind of cheap meat cooked in sauce can be spun out a LOT, and then the sauce flavors a lot a veggies and sides. If you're don't have a problem with tofu, you can use textured soy protein to stretch out the meat portion of your stews (it comes dried, looks like corn flakes). I make a great chili with 2/3 cheap ground meat and 1/3 soy protein. You need to add more liquid and spices because the soy re-hydrates and absorbs everything. And finally, search the garage sales for a pressure cooker, they're magic. They turn any kind of tough old meat fork-tender, in about 30 minutes. I cook stews on the weekend, freeze them in small portions, and then pour them over my sides for a fast meal during the week.