Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another budget recipe from the TightWad

We are like mostly everyone else right now. Times are tough, money is tight, grocery shopping has now become a chore, and for me it is 2 day chore. I take time on Sunday to cut coupons and make my list. And then shopping is a bear, I have to write down all the prices, find the discounts, add things up, find the coupons and then check out.

Each week when I do go shopping, I make the list of the dinners for the week. Now being only the 4 us, some meals can be stretched out to 2 meals. I try to do this at least once a week. And generally it is some kind of pasta. Chuck made the Chicken Enchilada with Creamy Green Sauce for Mother's Day, that only last for 1 meal and italics maybe a lunch. bold MAYBE!

The pasta dishes are the ones that can make 2 meals. We can have bread with one to cover all bases. So, that way, I have one less meal to make for us.

With that said, here is my budget meal for this week.

Baked Spaghetti
1 large jar Traditional Ragu (the only reason I use this is because PJ won't eat anything else) BOGO at $1.60 a jar
1 16 oz box Angel Hair pasta. BOGO at .65 a box.
1 2 cup shredded Sargento 6 cheese Italian. 2/$4, so the package cost $2 but there is leftover, so about $1.00 worth from that.
35 pepperoni slices if desired. Package was 2/$6, I bought 1 at $3, with a .35 coupon that got doubled, so $2.30 for the pepperoni. Maybe about .50 for the pepperoni. PJ loves the stuff, he eats it all the time.
Diced onion, diced pepper, and chopped garlic
Salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning (if desired), sugar to reduce acidity (if desired)

Heat oven to 350

Saute onion and pepper until tender, add chopped garlic, do not burn. In medium size pot mix sauce and sauteed veggies. Add desired amount of salt and pepper and any Italian seasonings that you want. I have fresh Basil, oregano, and rosemary. I throw a pinch of sugar to reduce the acid in the sauce.
Simmer on low heat, until warm.

In large pot of boiling water, make pasta. Cook until almost done.

Drain pasta, return to same pot. Mix in about 1/2 pot sauce in pasta. Pour into 9x 13 pan. Spread out evenly in pan.

Pour remaining sauce over top and spread out. Sprinkle cheese and layout pepperoni.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Total cost for this meal, about $5 with onion, pepper, garlic and all seasonings. Now with our family, we all had one serving the first time. Chuck and Eric had a smaller serving and PJ and I split a small serving. We have enough for another meal with bread. Probably about .50/serving.

Can't make dinner cheaper than that. It isn't too bad either. If you don't like meat, take off the pepperoni, if you don't like pork, they have turkey pepperoni, use that as a substitute.

I have gotten to be a penny pincher in these tight times. Even it I was working a full time job, I would still be couponing and budgeting all the meals.


If you do not wish to get any of the recipes, please let me know. I will be glad to not bother you.

If you are more organic than I am, you can use your own sauce. I prefer that, but because of PJ not wanting it, I buy Ragu.
If you prefer whole grain, use the Healthy Harvest pasta or the Harvest Mill pasta. This is good for the people that cannot eat white flour.


Elaine said...

Seriously. For a jar sauce, Ragu is GOOD. And there are a number of varieties. Nothing wrong with buying a jarred sauce and doctoring it up with your fresh herbs.

I like your recipes. And remember, rice is often even more of a value than pasta! Also, making pizza crust from scratch is very inexpensive. Some yeast, some flour, a little sugar and salt, voila! Pizza crust! : ) Jiffy boxed pizza crust is also very reasonable.