• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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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!