Frugal Challenge Update and Making Your Own Sauce

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In an effort to cut back on sodium in prepared foods, I decided to try something I saw on Frugal Makes Cents
This is really so easy I don't know why I didn't try it before.  Basically I just dumped into my large crockpot:
3 cans of crushed tomatoes
Dash of red wine
tbl. spoon of sugar
1 package of turkey Italian sausage
Chopped mushrooms (using up oldies in the fridge)
1/2 c. diced onion
some garlic powder
some good shakes of Italian seasoning
Turned on the crockpot all day.

Until I had this:

Separated into 4 batches and froze. This will give me enough sauce for at least a month for our spaghetti and pizza dinners. I estimate that it cost me about $7 to make this. I could do it cheaper if I find the sausage marked down. I will keep my eye out to stock up.
Another great discovery and you may already know this. I love coffee but don't often indulge myself at Starbucks because I can practically buy a bag of good coffee (with coupons and a deal) for the price of a cup at Starbucks. So imagine my delight when I recvd an email from them letting me know that I could use my change for a Starbucks card. I save change for other things but you know how those machines in the market charge almost 10%? Well if you choose a SB card than you don't have to pay any of the fee. How cool is that? I think I will save a small change jar just for future SB cards. I haven't gone down yet to try it but I will let you know how it works. Here is the info they sent me.
Don't let loose change clutter up your life - turn it into a Starbucks Card
FOR FREE at participating Coinstar® locations! When you use Coinstar® to get a new Starbucks Card, there's NO FEE and you save yourself the hassle of sorting, counting and rolling your extra change.
 Find a Coinstar® 

No other major news to report. I am reworking our budget. This is one area of our finances I struggle with as my husband's paychecks fluctuate hugely depending on overtime worked and I find it hard to work this into a budget. Dave Ramsey has some good ideas so I am reading his book right now.

Linking to: The Saved Quarter
                   Coastal Charm
                   Rednesday with Sue Loves Cherries
                   The Thrifty Home
                    Life As Mom


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I love Dave Ramsey. We read Financial Peace the year it was published, we downsized and live in a much smaller house, we never buy new cars, and we are debt free!!! That guy is a genius!!! His worksheets are very helpful. My husband is paid on commission so we always budget at the low end, and try to save the rest.

Brenda Kula said...

I buy my coffee at Starbucks. But I buy the beans and have them grind them there. I eye all the wonderful exotic-sounding coffees people are ordering. (How on earth do those Starbucks employees remember all that stuff?) But I never buy a drink. It just seems so high! I just take my bag of ground coffee and go home and make it myself.

erin said...


So nice to meet you. Your blog is delightful. Yes, I almost feel guilty about posting photos of my garden and our beautiful weather in Southern California - seems like the worse the weather gets in the rest of the country - the nicer our weather gets.
Have a lovely day.

LV said...

This really looks tasty. I am sure I would enjoy it. I just do not cook much anymore.

Cindy Marquis said...

That sauce looks yummy! I'll have to give it a try. My special drink is Frozen Coke which I get a the gas station. I have to have one every day. I could probably buy a machine for the money I've spent on them over the years!

Julie Harward said...

Hi there, thanks for your visit. This looks really good and frugal is a great idea! Come say hi any time :D

Vintage Gal said...

This looks awsome ~ I love making my own sauce, at least you know what's in it :-)

Mimi Sue said...

Don't you just love that Italian turkey sausage? I made a bunch of marinara sauce from the tomatos we grew last summer. I spend a day or two simmering tomatos, onions, garlic, basil, and oregano and then filling zip-loc bags with the sauce. All winter long I can pull one out of the freezer, stick a couple of turkey sausage in it, and it's almost a free meal. Plus I love to preserve a little bit of summer for our cold winter here in Utah. Love to hear your thrifty tips. Mimi

Babbs said...

Keep us posted on the Starbucks card thing because that sounds great!! I'd much rather do that than pay the store 10 percent too!! I'm a HUGE Starbucks fan. :) Sorry, that is my once a week treat. Great job on the sauce, it looks amazing and how great will that be to just pull it out of the freezer and heat up? yay you!!!

~~Carol~~ said...

I'm going to try your recipe, because I haven't found a spaghetti sauce that I like since my Mom stopped making hers! The jars you buy in the store just aren't the same!
Happy REDnesday!

Melody said...

UM Saucey.......Know exactly what you mean about a budget. My CarGUy is on Flatrate. One week he can make 24hrs and the next 70! Works 8a to 8p some days, but only gets paid what the book says for the job...dealership mechanics are in thier own world.

Kerin said...

What brand of turkey sausage did you use??
I have tried a few different brands, but I have yet to find one that we just love.
I love being thrifty, and stretching our budget!
What a great feeling to be prepared and save money!!
Happy Wednesday :)

Janet said...

The recipe looks really yummy! I always use turkey Italian sausage, too, but will try your recipe! It's so nice to smell something yummy cooking in the crock pot all day!

Ann said...

I just made a spaghetti sauce very similar to your recipe yesterday. About an hour before we ate I added a box of penne pasta and voila!! Dinner was ready. I had never prepared sauce that way but I like it. One pot clean-up. No boiling water, browning meat. I love it when I can find another good recipe for my crock pot!!
Happy Rednesday.:o)
The Tattered Tassel

MorethanMom said...

I think the best part about making sauces in the crockpot is the amazing smell all over the house!
Great blog :)

CACHANILLA73 said...

Yummy post, thanks for sharing the recipe ;)/

The Saved Quarter said...

At the end of December, Coinstar did a deal where they gave you an extra gift certificate for getting gift cards to specific locations, including That was awesome! I hope they do that again. It's regularly free to cash in for any gift card, not just Starbucks.

I'm adding my change to my savings, though, to meet my Saved Quarter Challenge.

Judie said...

I have been cooking low sodium for years. When the store has a sale on their brand of "No added salt" canned vegetables, I really stock up! When I was working, I could throw the ingredients for my low sodium chili in the crock pot in the morning, and it would be ready to eat when I got home. If you are in a hurry, many of the chili mixes have reduced sodium. It is hard to find chili powder without added ingredients, but since we are only 85 miles from the border, I can usually get just plain ground chili with no additives. I always add a can of low sodium corn to my recipe, as well as low sodium black beans.

I love Starbucks, but it seriously gives me the jitters!

Precious said...

Yoru sauce looks so good! Thanks for the shout out. :-)

Lisa H. said...

I think I could actually make that. Thanks!


My daughter and I were just discussing whether or not she would make spaghetti sauce from scratch or not. I always use a jar or can and buy them on sale. But, she said it was really easy and cheap to make your own. Well, yours looks really good. I love the thought of having it cook in the crock pot all day. Thanks for sharing it.

Jenny said...

I've always embraced the cook once, eat several times philosophy.

My husband and I actually prefer 8 o'clock coffee beans to Starbucks. We've been trying beans for years and those are consistently smooth and good AND you can find coupons for it fairly often.

This was quite a fun and interesting stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter 'Q'.

Thank you for linking.


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