Friday, September 18, 2009

Stop and Shop Bargain Meal week of 9/18-9/24

My family loves lasagna but it isn't often that I have all of the necessary ingredients all together at one time. Lasagna noodles are hard to find on sale, so I've never had the chance to really stockpile them. Once in a while I find ricotta cheese on sale and when I do, I buy several and freeze them. For me, it is usually better/easier/cheaper to make some form of Pasta Lasagna to get my baked pasta and ricotta cheese fix.

This week, ricotta cheese is 2.99 at Stop and Shop- which isn't a fantastic price exactly, but with .99 pasta sauce (Francesco Rinaldi- I like their "Sweet and Tasty Tomato" sauce) and .75 pasta (Prince pasta, all varieties- except baking and flavored) it can make an affordable meal. You can stretch the ricotta using my grated zucchini method that I alluded to here, and that would make the cost per meal a little cheaper. This recipe calls for meat and some additional cheese- I wouldn't make a special trip to buy additional ingredients but use whatever cheese and meat I might happen to have around the house- another reason why lasagna dishes tend to be pricey is because people end up buying 3 different kinds of cheese and different meats and everything else. Just baking some pasta with layers of sauce and ricotta, with maybe a little bit of grated parmesan sprinkled on top, is going to be very tasty with a nice little salad or side of vegetables.

And I'm glad we're getting into cooler weather again, because I don't need to feel bad about making "comfort food" all the time. This is the season for it!

Shaw's Bargain Meal Week of 9/18-9/24

I can tell it's almost fall, because squash (butternut, acorn, or buttercup) is on sale for .59/lb at Shaw's! Unfortunately, I am not able to cook squash as much as I would like to- although my family tolerates spaghetti squash and summer squash varieties, they are not a fan of winter squashes. I don't know why, because they all love pumpkin, and I can't really tell the difference between pumpkin and butternut squash when it's cooked up and mashed (actually, pumpkin is a squash, but don't tell my kids- or my husband. Maybe I should get some acorn squash and call it mini green pumpkins?)

With ground beef on sale for 1.88/lb, some stuffed squash would be delicious and frugal. Try this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe- it calls for zucchini but you could really use any vegetable or grain to stuff your squash.

Happy fall!