Dinner for Four for Less Than $3.00!

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!

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