Saving money with groceries is not only about coupons and sales, it is about knowing what to buy. Prepared foods, which include sauces, make our lives easier but making our own food is the cheapest way to go.
Preparing our own food can sometimes be a hassle.. It might save us money but it can involve a big investment in time and effort. Since time is money some of us make the decision that paying more at the register is a more thrifty decision and I can sympathize with this approach. But another approach that deserves attention is to simply find easier recipes.
Spaghetti has been on the cheap food list for generations.. The ingredients make for a cheap but satisfying and filling meal. A large variety of jarred and canned sauces has also provided us with flavors that appeal to our varied palates. But there is still no denying that preparing our own sauce would be more economical. Preparing our own sauce also affords us the benefit of knowing exactly what is on the ingredient list, or more importantly what is not.
Below is a simple and cheap recipe for making your own spaghetti sauce. It has minimal ingredients and requires very little effort. Best of all, the final outcome is cheaper than what you would spend for a store-bought sauce.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
2 Cans Tomato sauce
1 Tsp Salt
½ Brown onion, large
2 Tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1-1/2 Tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/8 Cup Red wine (Optional)
This recipe makes the equivalent amount of a standard jar (32 oz.) of prepared spaghetti sauce.
Finely dice the onion. Add everything to the pot and mix well. Simmer (medium low heat) 30-35 minutes and serve with pasta of your choice.
A notable ingredient that is common in store bought sauces but is missing here is sugar. Some spaghetti sauces have a lot of sugar. Sweetness is often needed to counter the tartness of the tomato sauce but the key way this recipe manages to avoid the use of sugar is by utilizing olive oil and onions.
Olive oil is a more flavorful oil with more health benefits than other types of oils. Its smooth flavor helps to counter the tartness of tomatoes. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered to be the best choice because of it’s low acidity and the fact that is free of additives but the recipe doesn’t specify what kind of olive oil to use, leaving the decision up to you.
The onions also help to counter the tartness of tomatoes. Believe it or not onions contain sugar and their inclusion in recipes often adds sweetness. You may opt to use onion powder if you wish but you may need to add some sugar if you go that route.
The addition of red wine is optional. Red wine adds more body to the flavor profile but it will increase the acidity and obviously adds alcohol.