2 meals, 4 people, $4.74

In my ‘real job’ I work a funny swing shift. So, when I am on day shift I like to make a few meals at a time so then I can just pop it in the oven when I get home and POOF homemade meal. This week I came up with goulash and lasagna. Usually I am a ‘back2basics’ type a person, however today is a bit of a frugal outlook on weeknight dinners. Below are the ingredients and how much I paid for everything.

  • 1.5lb beef at $2.50lb= $3.75 (we buy our beef a ½ a cow at a time)
  • ½ cup chopped onion (FREE from garden last year and froze for the winter)
  • 1 cup frozen corn at $.91 a bag= $.23
  • 1 quart chopped tomatoes at FREE FROM GARDEN= FREE
  • 3oz tomato paste at $.30 can= $.15
  • 1 pint basic tomato sauce at $.91 a can= $.41 after sale and *hot* coupon (FREE if canned from garden)
  • 8oz elbow noodles at $.99 a box= FREE after *hot* coupon
  • 8oz lasagna noodles at .99 a box= FREE after *hot* coupon
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese at $2.00 on sale= FREE after *hot* coupon+sale
  • Salt, pepper, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and garlic powder to taste in each dish
  • 1 tsp basil (dried from garden)
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 2 TBS brown sugar (1TBS in each)
  • All spices= best guess of $.20

This equals $4.74. Total kitchen/cooking time: 40 minutes.

Now– red sauce is not just red sauce in my house. I like to make a few different sauces so all pasta doesn’t taste the same. For the lasagna I like a basic and sweeter spaghetti sauce and for the goulash I like a more acidic chunkier sauce. The two recipes below are super easy and worth the preparation time for easy weeknight meals!

Brown hamburger with onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Lawry’s salt. Divide hamburger in half.

Pot #1: (goulash)

To hamburger add ½ quart canned tomatoes (with juice), 3 oz tomato paste, 1 TBS brown sugar, and ¼ tsp thyme. Bring to simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked corn and al dente elbow noodles. Mix well. Enjoy! I like to top my goulash with cheddar cheese and my husband likes to top his with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Pot #2: (lasagna)

To hamburger add ½ quart canned tomatoes (with juice and ran through food mill), 1 pint basic tomato sauce, 1 tsp basil, and 1 TBS brown sugar. Simmer for 15- 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. In medium oven safe dish layer sauce (to start for no sticking) /al dente noodles /sauce /cheese. Make at least 2 layers. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator till ready to cook. Heat oven to 350 degrees and cook till cheese is melty and delicious looking (everything is already cooked so just the cheese needs to be melted and warmed).


Why not? Great tips for free!

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