This recipe comes in way under the $5 mark. Not only is it thrifty, but super easy and delicious. It's kind of nice to have a pasta dish that isn't covered in a heavy sauce. My girls learned to make this when they first started cooking.
Cook and drain one pound of pasta.
In the pasta pot empty one can of Italian style diced tomatoes. Rinse out the can with about a quarter cup of water and add that to the pan too. Add one crushed clove of garlic (or more if you like) and a rounded teaspoon of dried basil.
Bring to a bubble and remove from heat. Toss in the pasta and serve with grated parmesan.
Pasta - 69¢
Tomatoes - 50¢
Garlic bulb and dried parsley - 10¢ ???
Parmesan - 50¢
Total = $1.79
We had salad leftover from a previous meal that night to go along with it, but even if I had to make up a new one it wouldn't have cost much. You would still have room in a $5 meal budget for homemade french bread or bread sticks. A little browned sausage or cubed chicken is nice in this too.
Everything I used was purchased on sale which helps curb the cost quite a bit. There was more than enough here for four people or in our case a mom and her two ravenous teenage girls. In fact everyone had seconds.
Good, healthy food doesn't really have to cost a lot.
In some cases costs are approximated. Groceries prices vary depending on where you live. I don't include condiments, oils, herbs and spices when I figure the cost of a meal as it would be incredibly tedious to do so. Plus condiments are subjective as each person uses more or less.