No picture yet, but I might take a picture of the salad tomorrow when the lighting is better. I thought I'd post what we (the kids and I) had for supper tonight, with a cost break down included. It's become a cliche, but times really are getting tough, and food is an easy way to cut back on expenses. It can't be said enough, but shop local if you can, buy from local producers where possible, and think about the cost of driving a distance to get a bargain. I'm all for shopping loss leader sales - that's usually the stuff listed on the front and/or back page of the flyer - but sometimes it doesn't all add up to a great deal. It IS possible to eat frugal, cheap even, and not give up on quality or resort to Mr. Noodles and Spaghetti O's (I don't think we can get those in Canada, but I know what they are).
Cost Breakdown for supper - 1 adult, 3 children (ages 9, 7, 4)
Total cost for the meal: $3.60
Lasagna with a meat sauce, and a cheese sauce
Green salad with homemade Italian dressing
homemade garlic toast, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese
The Lasagna (I made one to eat, 2 to freeze):
$1.99 for a box of noodles (NOT the oven ready kind - I use the regular kind)
$1.76 for sauce (that's 2 cans at $0.88 - yes, I used premade canned sauce, since it was on sale and cheaper then canned tomatoes)
$0.45 - 1/2 can of pureed tomatoes that I had lurking in the freezer
$0.20 for seasonings, herbs, dash of Worchestershire sauce
$4.00 for 2lbs ground beef
$0.99 for a 340gr bag of preshredded Mozzarella cheese I bought on sale, and then froze
$0.50 for 2 cups of milk for the cheese sauce
$0.05 for 1/4 cup of flour, for the cheese sauce
Total: $9.94 for three lasagnas
Now, the fun part is that we ate lasagna two nights in a row. So ...
Total per meal for lasagna: $1.67 per night
$0.50 for the lettuce, a head of iceburg (this was an extravagant purchase for me, as the lettuce was $2.00 per head!)
$0.42 for cucumber (about 1/6 of an English cucumber - also extravagant at $2.49 each)
$0.50 for dressing - oil, wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, parmesan cheese
Garlic Toast: cost approximately $0.50 - it was kind of going stale at this point anyway, so I soaked it in garlic butter, sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese, and stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes. It turned out great!
Grand Total for supper: $3.60
Total per person for one meal: $0.90 approximately.
Now, I do understand that my kids are young, but this would probably work out the same for two adults as well. I figure my two boys eat as much as one person, and me and my daughter would count as one. The next question might be - can I keep this up? And the answer is yup, for sure, this is how we eat all the time.
The cost of this could be cut back further by using less beef. I could have gotten away with one pound of ground beef, and used 1/2 cup of TVP as well (textured vegetable protein). That would have brought the cost of one lasagna down to $1.32.