One argument for eating healthy is that it is too expensive. For example, you can buy a box of mac and cheese for under a dollar, than with butter and milk it cost closer to $2.
I can do better and have done better. This meal is an example of that. I am new to writing recipes but am very familiar with the math, so if a miss something in writing it out please let me know. I am going to round up the prices to give you a “worst case scenario” for this recipe.
1 quart of broth – free (I make my own with veggies scarps)
1 can of diced tomatoes (59 cents at Fred Meyer or 78 cents at Costco for the organic)
1/2 an onion (onions are 39 cents a pound at Costco, so if an onion is a pound the cost for this recipe is about 20 cents)
2 minced cloves of garlic (I head of garlic is 33 cents a piece at Fred Meyer, if there is a dozen in a head The cost for this recipe is about 6 cents)
1/2 a bag or 1 cup of frozen veggies (These were 79 cents a bag at Fred Meyer the other day, for this recipe is 40 cents)
1 can or 2 cups cooked of beans (I used black beans today, which is 83 cents a pound but this could be made cheaper with a cheaper bean, i.e. lentils are 53 cents a pound. For this recipe, I paid about 40 cents.)
1/3 cup of alphabet pasta (I got mine in the Hispanic section at the grocery store for 33 cents a 7 ounce bag. The cost for this recipe is about 11 cents. This could be made even cheaper using rice. Rice is only 19 cents a pound, which would make the cost for this recipe would be 6 cents.)
For the last few ingredients I am going to roughly estimate 50 cents. These are harder to calculate.
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls cumin
healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
Warm oil in a pot and sweat onions and garlic. Add Add everything except pasta and bring to a boil. Add pasta, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 min or until pasta is tender. Now your ready to eat.
The total cost for this is $2.45. My kids think it is ok and my hubby had seconds. Plus, I have leftovers. When was the last time you had left overs with mac and cheese. If you use lentils, rice and the cheaper tomatoes your cost is $2.02. Eating right on a mac and chees budget!