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Fast Cheap and Easy Food

Posted by idawrites on October 14, 2008 in Family, Food, Frugal |

Sometimes, food just has to be convenient. Taco Bell has their Family Pack of 10 tacos or bean burritos, in any combination you prefer, for $7.90. Arby’s often runs their 5 for $5.95 deal, which means that each of us could get 1 roast beef sandwich and 1 order of curly fries for $11.90. Still not an unreasonable amount for dinner, I suppose. But the health cost of each of those options is high. It takes 5 minutes to drive to either restaurant, 5 minutes to drive back, and sometimes up to 10 minutes waiting to order/receive the food.

Last night, for the same amount of time, I put this together for dinner:

  • Angel Hair Pasta Primavera
  • Salad
  • Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

Angel Hair Pasta Primavera – $3.47

  • 1 pound ground beef – $1.49
  • Ragu Pasta Sauce – $.32 w/ coupons
  • Mushrooms – $.35
  • Black Olives – $.79
  • Vegetables – $FREE w/ coupons
  • Garlic – $.05
  • Angel Hair Pasta – $.17 w/ coupons
  • Can Hunt’s diced tomatoes w/ garlic, basil, and oregano – $.30 w/ coupons

Salad – $.58

  • ½ bag of Publix Salad – $.53 ($1.05 for the full bag w/ BOGO sale)
  • Salad Dressing – $.05 (Fraction of a bottle of Newman’s Own that cost $.50 w/ coupons)

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks – $1.50

  • Pillsbury Pizza Crust $.30 w/ coupons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – $.10
  • Garlic – $.10
  • Sargento Cheese (Parmesan & Romano blend) $1.00 w/ coupons

Total – $5.55

For less than the cost of one “value meal” at most fast food restaurants, and less than the time it took to drive to pick them up, I made a great meal for my family. By the way, I would probably pay FULL PRICE (gasp) for the Sargento Parmesan & Romano blend cheese again. The flavor was absolutely fabulous and you should definitely give their Artesian Blends a try. (They are NOT paying me to say this)

What About You?

Do you have a “standby” meal for when you’re too tired to spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Share some of your quick tips here. We’re always looking for new ideas!

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