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Are you a good sale shopper and great at working the grocery store coupons? Still look at your pile of food and see the same old combinations coming to your brain when it is time to fix something for the family to eat?
This is where a meal swap can help.
Find a good group of gals — keep it at 6 or less (just my suggestion). Figure out how often you want to meet and if you want to do a “theme” of the month like soups one month, noodle casseroles one month, appetizers, etc. Set general guidelines like a meal should be 4 servings or more, etc. Discuss food allergies. That way, no one is unhappy or surprised when they get their swap!
For our swap last weekend, I made Pizza Casserole. This is easy to make, very flavorful and, most of my ingredients were free!
Each dish needs:
-8oz noodles (cooked off)
-1 can/jar sauce
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 pound ground beef (cooked off)
-2 oz pepperoni, slices cut into quarters
-1 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese
-1 small can mushrooms
Cook the noodles and drain them
Stir the cooked off beef, milk, mushrooms and pepperoni into the sauce. Fold the pasta back in.
Layer pasta and mozzarella cheese in your baking dish, kind of like lasagna…topping off with the last of your mozzarella cheese and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan on.
There, now you are ready to either freeze or bake at 350 for 30 minutes!
This is something you can easily switch up for your family…to add or delete veggies…use Italian sausage instead of ground beef, etc.
Quick total for each casserole I made:
-All pasta free
-All sauce free
-All cheese free
-All milk free
-Pepperoni $2 a package…and 1/4 a package was used
-Ground beef was $.79 a pound…and half a pound was used
-Mushrooms $.33 a can
…..That makes each casserole $1.23 out of my pocket to make! Not a bad deal!!
This way, I made 5 different dinners for $1.23 for my family…yippee!
Sad to say, some people didn’t check carefully and I got back a few things I can’t eat — no worries. I like to have a few things on hand to deliver when someone I know needs a quick meal for a family emergency, etc.
Until next time, be creative with your meals!