What did I do on my recent sabbatical, you might wonder?
Well, for starters, I tried many things for the first time. Much like I did last year, as soon as the first chilly day of October hits and we realize, once again, that we'll be bound indoors for nearly the next six months, I get the itch to cook new things that will warm the house.
My first new venture this fall was to attempt to make, and then perfect, my own spaghetti sauce. You may confused as to what the title of this post and spaghetti sauce have in common, don't fret dear, I'm here to share.
I have been on a mission for the last four years to find ways to live fully yet frugally. This quest has led to coupon clipping, detergent-making, cloth diapering, clothesline hanging, plastic around every window in the winter and freezer meals galore.
It Pays To Save: SPAGHETTI NIGHT
A once weekly spaghetti night has saved not only a great deal of money, but also time in planning out meals. A Monday or Thursday spaghetti night works best for us, and here's how we make it work.
1. I make my own spaghetti sauce--in bulk! I buy whole-peeled and crushed tomatoes by the case on Amazon. I get free shipping and then an additional 35% discount by subscribing to the order every six months. I buy onions and garlic at the store, spend a day at home simmering, and Viola! I have a momentous amount a red sauce. I freeze portions into freezer bags, cool whip containers, or whatever I can find, and use when needed. It's always easy to add meat, too, if that's what we want that night.
It's a big pot!
Simma down now!
2. About once a month on a Monday morning I'll pack up the kids and head to Wal-Mart. I'm there for the day-old bakery bread. At .90 cents a loaf, this bread is awesome. Baguette-shaped and sliced, our family eats half a loaf with dinner in many varieties such as Parmesan garlic or crusted red pepper.
3. And, in case your intrigued, this is the pasta I subscribe to on Amazon. It whole grain, plus flax and Omega-3's. It's more expensive than the durum wheat or egg noodles that you buy at the grocery store, however, I can save 35% buy subscribing to the order. For me, I don't mind the extra cost because of the health benefits of whole grain.