I cannot loudly enough sing the praises of keeping a loaded freezer and pantry! Recently I served my family of four a delicious dinner for less than $3.00– TOTAL. Here’s how I did it:
A few weeks ago, I found 1# rolls of ground sirloin marked down to .99, so I got the remaining two. I came home and made 32 meatballs for the freezer, using herbs and dried onion in the cupboard, for .99 per meal. A few weeks ago HyVee had Hunts spaghetti sauce on sale for .77 per can, or .40 per meal. About a month ago, I found 2# boxes of linguini on sale for .75 each (got a bunch), or .19 per meal. These items were stashed away in my freezer and pantry for what I just knew would eventually come together magically. Last week, BagNSave had bagged romaine salad for $1.50, or .75 per meal. Milk came to .62 for all of us. Add up the pennies-worth of herbs for the meatballs, and to perk up the sauce, and the discount salad dressing (and DH saves one of the two packets he gets with his take-out salads), and there you have a total of around $3.00. Of course, there was a very small portion left for part of my lunch the next day. Bonus! We didn’t have any Parmesan cheese in the house, but that would have added a few more cents per dish.
So WHY in the world would I spend $20 for dinner at Fazoli’s? Okay, there are occasions where eating out is the only option, and that could be a healthy alternative. And it’s good (almlost as good as mine). I understand that many folks spend upwards of $1,000 on food per month for a family the size of mine. It’s simply not necessary. I did not spend hours scouring the shelves for deals. I just stocked away what I found.
These kinds of meals are regular occurrences at my home. Whether it’s a roast, chicken casserole or soft tacos, most of our dinners cost very little when they are pulled from our freezer and pantry. I can’t imagine spending my grocery money any differently. I can do a LOT with that extra $17!