Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekly Dinner Challenge - Week 7

So I actually didn't end up doing a dinner challenge again this week, lame, I know! I am not feeling well right now and I am not sure if I am coming down with a bug or just over tired. At any rate, I have been trying to keep things simple and easy.

I decided to make one of my all time favorite dishes and comfort foods since I already had all of the supplies for this in my pantry/freezer, and would not have to go shopping for anything before hand. I also wanted to share with you how cheap yet healthy this dish can actually be!

So here we go with my Frugal Spaghetti!
I have played with this recipe a lot over the years, and it just in the recent months has transformed into a pretty "healthy" dish since I now use ground turkey and organic ingredients. I actually don't really have a recipe at all, I just tend to go for it and throw whatever I have in the pot along with a few base ingredients.

What you Need:
- 1 lb. Meat (ground beef or turkey or none if you want to make it even cheaper!)
- 2 Cans Organic Tomato Sauce - I buy in bulk at Costco, $.62/can
- 1 Can Organic Tomato Paste - Costco $.49/can
- 1 quarter fresh onion finely chopped - I got a large onion for $.25 at a fruit stand on their last day of the season!
- Italian Seasoning - Big container at Costco, reasonable price, has lasted over a year!
- 2 large cloves garlic finely chopped - or 2 tsp if you buy pre-chopped, garlic powder will work but the fresh garlic gives the sauce a great flavor that is totally worth it.
- Secret Ingredient: Worchestershire Sauce! 3-4 Tbsp.
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti - see below for a deal scenario to get this free at Fred Meyer this week!

I used to make my meat sauce with ground beef up until a couple of months ago. I got a coupon for a free package of Jenny-O ground turkey so I ended up trying it out and James said it was the best batch I had ever made. I ran with it and now I make every batch with ground turkey! I find the flavor to really soak into the turkey meat better than ground beef, especially when I have it in a crock pot all day! Turkey also has 68% less fat than beef!

Here is the problem, ground turkey is EXPENSIVE! Like $4.99 for 1.25 lbs at Albertsons, yikes! I don't buy it unless I find it very cheap and then I stock up on it big time! Back in September I found a few packages of this Italian seasoned ground turkey at Albertsons with manager's special tabs for $1.00 off. I was able to use a coupon and a doubler on top of the special price to get 3 packages for $3! I threw them all in the freezer and just pulled out my last package yesterday.

To Prepare:
Cook meat in a pot and add the onion at the end of cooking to keep the best flavor. Add tomato sauce and paste to the meat/onion mixture. Add worchestershire sauce and spices to your liking. Hold off on the fresh garlic for about an hour, let the sauce simmer, stirring occaisionally. I also sliced up a bit of fresh basil to add at the very end for even more Italian flavor. If you have the time, I highly recommend cooking the sauce in the crock pot for up to 6 hours, if you don't a pan on low heat for a minimum of 2-3 hours will work fine. The longer you cook the sauce, the better it will taste.

Serve over whole wheat spaghetti and sprinkle with a little parm and it is DELISH! The amount of sauce this cooks will easily serve 4 with leftovers. You can also freeze the left over sauce for a later date if you want.

Final Cost for this large dinner after coupons and free pasta? Around $4.50!!

Fred Meyer This Week: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta $10/10

Use $1.00/2 Printable from

Log in to your Upromise account and load the $1.00/2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest e-coupon to your Fred Meyer Rewards Card.

Final Price for 2: Virtually FREE! You will pay $1.00 out of pocket and the $1.00 e-coupon will go into your Upromise account.

Also, if you are interested in buying the new Disney movie UP go check out Frugal Chic Living's post on how you can get a rebate from Ronzoni when you buy the movie and the pasta! We bought a copy yesterday and watched it after our yummy Italian dinner!

What did you cook this week? Leave a Comment!!

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