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Cheap Spaghetti from Scratch

To go with my previous post about cooking from scratch to save money and eat healthier, I figured I’d share some of the recipes my family really enjoys that are inexpensive, healthy, and easy to make.  One of our favorites is spaghetti and meat sauce, with a small twist.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Whole wheat spaghetti noodles ($1)
1-5 ounce can tomato sauce ($0.40)
1-3 ounce can tomato paste ($0.25)
1 jar of grape jelly (to taste) ($2.50)
1 pound ground beef (optional) ($3.29)
Spaghetti Seasoning packet ($0.75) or the individual ingredients

Boil noodles.  Brown ground beef if you desire it.  Once beef is browned, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and enough water to form sauce. If you are unsure, add just a little water at a time until sauce is thick but still fluid.  Add 1-2 large spoonfuls of grape jelly to sweeten the sauce or leave as is for a saltier sauce (Olive Garden sweetens their spaghetti sauce with jelly, according to my husband’s research!)  Add seasoning, and simmer until well-mixed and warm.

Not including the jelly (because you don’t use the whole jar) this recipe will cost about $0.78 a person and will serve at least six servings.  However, if you have a husband who eats like mine, it will be a normal serving for me, one for our son, and that leaves two large “servings” for hubby.  It also reheats in the microwave wonderfully.

We often eat this with garlic toast (butter some bread, sprinkle garlic salt on top, and toast in the toaster oven or broiler until lightly browned) and corn or broccoli.  A simple dessert of chocolate pudding with frozen strawberries is a wonderful and cheap dessert!


3 Responses

  1. 3.29 for a pound of ground meat? Have you seen the “drain and rinse” method at http://healthy.hillbillyhousewife.com/groundbeef.htm . I use this with 99 cent frozen ground turkey when i am doing “ground meat’ recipes. If I am doing meatloaf, meatballs, or other non browned and crumbled form, i’ll use the more expensive and less fatty meat.

  2. @shrinking – yeah, unfortunately that’s the grocery store/Walmart price here for the 80/20 stuff! It’s expensive! I can get the 95/5 at our local butcher still for about $3.29. I just did an average based on what was here and what I remember it costing when I lived in NC.

    Turkey isn’t much cheaper – I wish I could find 99 cent a pound – I’d completely forget beef, lol. As it is, most of the time we actually only use 1/2 a pound in a recipe like this. So expensive!

    But I usually try to watch the grocery sales and stock up when each type of meat is a loss-leader!

  3. I’ve been working on making more foods from scratch. I hate buying food for “on the go.” My schedule right now does not make it easy for kiddo to snack all the time like he wants to. I recently found a vegan recipes page online. Their recipes are healthier and perfect for what I want for kiddo. Less corn syrup, more grains, even if I add meat to his diet here or there.
    I made these yesterday for a snack and dessert for today. Joe’s parents are diabetic so I put splenda into their cupcakes. I will serve them with fresh strawberries, apples, and cheeses, for dessert. MMmmmm
    Also spencer’s best friend has some major food allergies and I want both kiddos to eat the same foods when they hang out. His mom is baking vegan with meat thrown in to certain meals so I might as well start doing it with snacks.
    If I can get Joe into all this good cooking then we might actually loose weight.

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