Through the years I have collected recipes for ready made mixes. There is also a book that was put out by HB books. I don't know if it is still in print or if you can get it at a used book store or garage sale.
Some things like BBQ sauce might be cheaper to buy if you find it on a good sale. I got BBQ sauce for 50 cents a couple of weeks ago at QFC.
Rice Seasoning Mix
6 T onion flakes
6 T parsley flakes
4.5 tsp garlic powder
.75 tsp EACH of cumin and pepper
For each cup of long grain rice, add 1/3 cup seasoning mix and cook according to directions on rice.
Basic BBQ Sauce
8 ounces of tomato sauce
1/4 cup EACH of ketchup, vinegar, water
2 T brown sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T w sauce
Combine ingredients. Bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes. Store in sterilized jar for up to 2 weeks.
Personally, it is more cost effective to get it on sale. Any price that is less than a buck is probably cheaper.
White Sauce Mix
1 1/3 cups dry milk
Place 1.5 T and 1/2 cup of mix in saucepan.
Blend in 2cups water, or chicken broth.
Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Turn down heat and simmer
until thickened about 3-5 minutes. Makes 2 cups.
I have not tried this, but it is a low fat way to make a white sauce.
For cheese sauce: prepare white sauce and add 2tsp Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, 1
Cup shredded cheese. Whisk until cheese melts.
1pound plum tomatoes, diced, but not peeled
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, minced
1T lime juice
For HOT version: add 1 clove garlic, 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce, and 1T chopped jalapeño peppers.
NOTE: The cost effectivness of this would depend on if you can get plum tomatoes cheap enough. They are often in bags at Grocery Outlet. Lime and lemon juice is cheaper if you buy it in the bottle.
2T olive oil
1large onion, chopped
2large cloves garlic
1poumd ground beef
2 - 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
2 T Italian seasoning
in a Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour.
let cool. Makes 2quarts, refrigerate three days, or freeZenup to 3 months.
NOTE: I would precook my ground beef and defat it. Then, as soon as your onions and garlic were soft, you could dump everything else in and let it go. This also sounds like a good recipe that you could dump in a crock pot as soon as the vegetables were cooked.
This is about the same cost as Hunts Pasta Sauce if you get it for .78 a can.
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