Monday, September 29, 2008

Dinner tonight...

...was a hit, and was easy and cheap, so I thought I'd share!

It is HOT today and we didn't feel like doing much. But boiling a pot of water isn't too hard and doesn't heat up the house too much.

Last time I was at Trader Joe's, I spied (and picked up) some dried three cheese tortellini. Jeff boiled those up and we tossed in a jar of garlic basil pasta sauce. We had that with Private Selection organic baby spring mix, croutons, and dressing of our choice.

The tortellini were tempting even before we added the sauce! They fill the house with a delectable cheesy smell. The tortellini are $1.79 for a bag; a bag makes about 5 servings. The jar of sauce, with coupon, was $0.90 or so. So, main dish for all of us for $2.80-ish. Emma, who grumped when we told her what was for dinner and said she did not WANT pasta, ate a large-ish serving and asked for more. Bridey asked for seconds and thirds.

We've been really into the Private Selection organic baby spring mix lately. PS is a Kroger brand (around here that means Ralph's.) If you buy the small container it's a bit more expensive, but if you buy the large container it works out to about the same price per ounce as the regular bagged salads-- and they're not organic, or usually as fresh! Once I open it I stick a paper towel in the top to absorb condensation and change it every few days, which helps keep it un-wilted. A large (recyclable) bin will last us for about a week, sometimes more, depending how many days we have salad. Even the kids adore the baby spring mix (which is a tad less bitter than mature) if they get to choose their dressing. And let's face it, around here, salad is more likely to be eaten if it comes in pre-prepped.

So all in all, we ate about $0.60 worth of salad and "fixin's." Grand total: $3.40 for all of us. Not bad at all for a "convenience foods" meal!

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