Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eating a (Mostly) Balanced Diet on a Budget: Day Four--Spaghetti

I thought I should also add in this series that nobody in my family has any allergies or major intolerances to any food.  One son cannot have melons (specifically cantaloupe and  honey dew), but that is the only food issue.



Today's breakfast was scrambled eggs, toast and juice.  My kids are not huge fans of scrambled eggs but they will eat them when I make them.  They just don't eat a lot, so I don't use a lot of egg.  Sometimes I add cheese (which I love), but some of the kids don't like that either.  It seems the ones who don't like scrambled eggs like the cheesy ones but the ones who like the regular ones don't like the cheese.  Go figure.

Cost of breakfast:

$1 husband's sandwiches and chocolate milk
$.75 6 eggs
splash of milk, salt and pepper
$.24 four pieces of toast, cut in half
$.50 juice, apple or grape were the choices today
$2.49 Total=$.31/person


The school kids had the same lunches--sandwiches, fruit, snack, dessert.  The three of us at home had peanut butter and honey again and we split a couple of bananas.

Cost of Lunch:

$4=kids' lunches at school (four of them)
$.36 bread
$.50 worth of peanut butter and honey
$.48 bananas
$5.34 total=$.76/person


Spaghetti is a favorite around here.  Now I realize that everyone has their own way of doing spaghetti.  Obviously, this is mine.  I have tried it other ways and this is how I like it.  This time I tried ground turkey instead of ground beef to see if we liked it, since the ground turkey was a little cheaper and is touted to be healthier.  However, we didn't really like the flavor, so we will be sticking with beef and paying the extra $1-$2/lb.  We had a tossed salad as a side.  I also used leftover hot dog buns to make some garlic bread.  And we had the usual fruit salad.  I serve a fruit salad with every dinner meal (or canned fruit) because I know my kids will always eat the fruit and I figure that having some fruit when they won't touch anything else is better than eating nothing.  Also, the noodles are something I always have in my pantry.  When I run out, I buy a big box.  I think the box I have I bought for around $4 back in January.  We have spaghetti at least once every two weeks, sometimes once a week, so it lasts quite a while.  I always break the noodles in half when I add them to the water so it makes what seems to be more noodles and I end up using less, plus they are easier to eat being shorter.

Spaghetti by me:
1 pound ground beef/turkey
3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 pkg spaghetti seasoning (I get the cheap store brand, but you can do the brand name seasoning packets, like McCormick's.)
Brown ground meat, drain fat.  Add sauce, paste and seasoning.  Bring to boil then lower to simmer for a five or so minutes.
All this time you are cooking the spaghetti noodles.
I always combine the noodles and the sauce.  Growing up, my parents always served them separately.  I combine them and then I don't have leftover noodles with no sauce or leftover sauce with no noodles. 

For the hot dog bun garlic bread, just put a little butter and garlic salt on each open bun and toast in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes.  It's a great way to use up extra buns and not be wasteful.

Cost of dinner:

$1.98 ground turkey
$1.36 paste and sauce
$.86 seasoning packet
$.75 tossed salad
$.65 leftover hot dog buns
$.65 fruit salad (containing strawberries and bananas)
$6.25 total=$.78/person

Total meal cost for Wednesday: $14.08 or $1.76/person

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