Monday Night Dinner - The Cheap Cook Blog at - 115406

The Cheap Cook

Monday Night Dinner 
Jul. 27, 2009 11:12 am 
Updated: Jul. 30, 2009 3:21 am
Normally, I would have my menu all planned out for the week but I failed.  And, no extra money for groceries this week-we will be living from the pantry. So what's a girl to do when it's Monday afternoon and I need to have supper on the table by 5:30? Spend your lunch break looking up recipes on of course!

My recipe for tonight is Pizza Pasta by ATHIELEN.  I'm using this as a "start from" recipe so I can use what I already have on hand. My cost breakdown is:

  1. .99 -1 # box of whole wheat rotini pasta (Stites' Grocery)
  2. .99 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (Aldis)
  3. 0   1 green pepper (from garden)
  4. 0  1/2 onion (from garden)
  5. 0   fresh basil (from garden)
  6. .59 1 can mushrooms (Aldis)
  7. 1.00  1/2 bag of shredded italian cheese (on sale @ Krogers)
  8. .80 1/4 package of pepperoni (Walmart)
Total :$4.37 for dish, approximately $1.10/per person.

Notice I'm leaving out the ground beef-with the pepperoni and cheese, I don't think its needed.  I can use the ground beef for another meal. I'll add more veggies because they are cheaper and healthier.  I will mix the pasta, sauce, and veggies together-spread it into the casserole dish and put the pepperoni and cheese on the top.  It will look more like a pizza and I can get by with less of these more expensive ingredients.

Adding a tossed salad (from the garden) and the dressing (.29/bottle at Stites) and I'll round that up to $1.20 per person. 

Now, I know the garden isn't exactly free.  But when you figure the cost of seeds ($1.00/pack @ Walmart), the amount of food you get from each plant, and the fact that we haven't had to water too much this season--it's pretty darn close. The biggest expense is in your time. And even that can be reduced.  I will blog more on gardening later. Gardening, along with Aldis and the discount grocery, can be your best friend in cheap cooking.

Jul. 27, 2009 11:53 am
Aldi is a great shop for lots of things!! You should check out Josephine AKA Siptfire-Foodie's Blogs, she is into gardening!!
Jul. 27, 2009 3:03 pm
I wish there were an Aldi near me. Nice job making a frugal but nutritious and tasty meal.
Jul. 27, 2009 7:17 pm
Sounds good, I love my garden and its wonderful goodies, no Aldis here but Big Lots is a great way to save also.
Jul. 27, 2009 7:23 pm
What's Aldis? We don't have it on the west coast.
Jul. 27, 2009 9:07 pm
Like they say, Necessity is the Mother of Invention! nice job, Robin!! Patty
Jul. 28, 2009 5:43 am
Sounds like a good meal! I am so jealous of how cheap your ingredients 8 oz bag of cheese here costs $7.99!
Jul. 30, 2009 3:19 am
Avon- Aldi's is a great discount grocery store. You bag your own groceries, deposit a quarter for the cart(you get it back when you return the cart) and has most of your basics for cheaper prices. You do have to experiment to see what items you like but for the most part they are very good. I find you do have to be careful about the produce though.
Jul. 30, 2009 3:21 am
Barbara--I just had to see where you live that cheese was so expensive. Wow, no wonder! But I'll bet you get the best seafood!
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About Me
I'm not a chef, I'm a cook-and I believe there is a difference. My interest is in low-budget, healthy, family-friendly meals. I am convinced you can eat well and not break the bank. Personally, I am married with three kids. My oldest moved back home last year to finish school. She is 23 and loves to cook as well. We enjoy watching the Food Network together! My oldest son is 22 and lives on his own about 60 miles away. My youngest son is five and is just beginning to help me in the kitchen!
My favorite things to cook
Anything fresh from my garden.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas Eve is when we try new appetizer recipes. The whole evening is dedicated to snacking and family time!
My cooking tragedies
A meatloaf pie with 1/4 cup of pepper instead of 1/4 tsp. My family still won't let me live that down! But in my defense, I was only about 10-11 years old.
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