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Pasta Aisle

Save Money on Groceries: Pasta, Rice, Sauces 
by Michelle Jones,

Tip # 1 - Meal Planning

In general, pasta and rice dishes are filling and inexpensive. Try to include them in your meal planning at lease once or twice a week, when possible.

Tip # 2 - Storage

Buy the larger packages of pastas (spaghetti, macaroni, rigatoni, penne, shells, etc...) and use only what you need for your recipe. Then store remaining pasta in airtight containers. They're also really pretty in decorative glass jars on the counter.

Tip # 3 - Stocking Up

Stock up during sales, pasta and rice can go on sale REALLY CHEAP!  (And it stores very well, I've never had any go bad.)

Tip # 4 - Variety

Just don't buy all of the same type of pasta or you'll find yourself a few months down the road wondering why you have 4 boxes of medium shells but no spaghetti! ;o)

Tip # 5 - Pasta

Buy store brand pastas when using with a good sauce, or a lot of ingredients, no one will notice the difference.  You can use them all the time, but some of the other brands do taste better.

Tip # 6 - Double Up

Make your own pasta sauce at home.  Cook up a double batch each time and freeze half in an airtight container to use later in the month.

Tip # 7 - Homemade

Don't waste your money on prepackaged gravies, make your own at home...

* * * BONUS RECIPE * * *

Homemade Brown Gravy
by Michelle Jones


Pan juices from cooked meat
1 beef bouillon cube, if desired
1 and 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. all-purpose flour


Remove cooked meat from pan and reserve a small amount of pan juices, skimming off extra fat. Add 1 c. of water to pan juices and bring to a low boil over med-high heat.  Add beef flavored bouillon cube, if desired.  Meanwhile, in a small cup or bowl, add 1/2 cup of water to about 1/4 c. flour and stir to dissolve.  Slowly stir moistened flour into heated mixture, stirring constantly until thickened over medium heat.

Enjoy! :o)

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Tip # 8 - Preservatives

Look for additional recipes (in cookbooks and online) for any other gravies or sauces you normally purchase ready-made, just think of all the preservatives you'll be doing without.  Not to mention the money you'll save!

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Readers' Tips...

"Freeze cooked brown rice.  Instant brown rice makes eating healthy easier, but costs much more per pound than bulk brown rice.  You can buy bulk brown rice, cook it for the hour it requires, cool it, then divide it into meal-size portions and freeze in plastic bags.  Then just open the bag and defrost in the microwave when you want to use the rice." - Melanie

"If you do once a month cooking or just cook larger quantities and freeze them there are a few items that don't freeze well. One of them is actually cooked pasta. You don't need much time to cook the stuff anyway, and this way they won't go mushy. A tip for cooked rice - it freezes really well BUT don't freeze it with gravy or anything like that. Just freeze it in individual portions (as needed) and either store it next to the dish it is intended to go with, or write it down, so that you know it is." - Viv

"Ramen Noodles - I just found out I am allergic to soy. My ears have been watering and filling up and I feel like throwing up after my meals. This has gone on for about eight years. So, now I have to read all labels on everything. Forget the ramen noodles. They all have it. So do most nuts and breads. I bought plain rice noodles at the oriental market very cheaply in a big bag and make my own noodles servings using fresh veggies (carrots, cabbage, radish) and peanuts (non soy ones) as flavoring. Even chopped up apple and pear, steamed chopped kale, black pepper, chopped pecans, a little lemon juice – anything really. Scramble a fresh egg and add it to the noodles – yum. Shop for peanut butter with no soy and use it for a little peanut sauce. Much healthier than the old salty chemical laden soy laden ramen packages that are full of MSG." - Susan from GA

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Copyright 2003-2013 © by Michelle Jones, Founder of All rights reserved.