Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frugal Challenge Update and Making Your Own Spaghetti Sauce

In an effort to cut back on sodium in prepared foods and to make more frugal meals, you can't beat making your own spaghetti sauce. If you are wanting to save money on feeding a large family, you can't beat a big pasta dish.

Recipe For Making Homemade Spaghetti Sauce With Canned Tomatoes:

This is really so easy I don't know why I didn't try it before.  Basically I just dumped into my large crock pot:
Prep time: 20 minutes

3 cans of crushed tomatoes
Dash of red wine
TB. 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 crock pot all day. Approx. 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

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 as well as stocking up on canned tomato puree and sauce when it is on sale. Check out our page on frugal living here: Frugal Tips

This sauce is great for lasagna and pizza sauce.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Hi,

    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.

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

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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

  9. 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!!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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 :)

  13. 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!

  14. 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

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

  16. Yummy post, thanks for sharing the recipe ;)/

  17. 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 amazon.com. 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.

  18. 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!

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

  20. I think I could actually make that. Thanks!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.