Cheap Eats – 10/29/2017

Today’s menu is brought to you by poor planning.

I’ve been eating too healthily lately.  It’s been really bothering me, so I thought I’d do something about it by making a big lasagna.  I thought about making the slightly healthier butternut squash variety with the squash that’s been taking up room in my fridge for two weeks, but had some bolognese sauce in the freezer that I wanted to use up, so I decided to go full out on the meaty, cheesy version.  I thawed the sauce, made a garlicky bechamel, and only then realized that I had no lasagna noodles.  I momentarily thought about mixing everything up with the lone box of penne that I could find in my cupboards, but decided to try something new by slicing the squash up into thin strips and using that as my noodles.

It’s hard to say for sure how much everything cost in total, since I make large batches of bolognese at a time and freeze it, but my best guess right now says that it was about $10.00 for the sauce.  It was the last container in the freezer, so I’ll probably make another batch soon and I can correct my figures then if needed.  The bechamel had 4 tablespoons of butter ($.50), 3 garlic cloves ($.50), 2 jalapenos ($0, since I grew them myself), 4 tbsp flour (negligible cost, since I buy so much for bread), and about 2 cups of milk ($.50).  The squash was $2, but I only ended up using half.  I layered strips of squash, meat sauce, shredded cheddar and Parmesan (estimating $4 here), and bechamel a few times in the pan like any lasagna, then baked it for half an hour.  I won’t get to taste it till tomorrow, but it sure looked tasty!


While I was working on this, I also made a beef stew in the slow cooker.  a pound of beef ($6), a bag of mini potatoes ($2), 4 carrots ($1), 3 sweet potatoes ($1), a few shallots ($1) plus a little stock (homemade) and seasoning made for a delicious stew with very little work.


Finally, since I didn’t think the kitchen was hot enough, I also made a couple loaves of bread.

So we have stew for lunches, lasagna and salad ($4) for dinners, and bread for breakfasts this week.  Total cost- $31.5 for meals for 4 days for 2 people, and when I get home from work this week, I don’t need to do anything besides heat it up and portion it out.

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