Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Cooking from scratch is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. Having meatless meals each week is another way you can save money on your grocery bill. If you can combine the two, this is even better. Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is easy, cheap, filling, good for you and best of all delicious! There is no better comfort food and even kids like it. Here is my recipe that my whole family loves.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound of pasta - any shape will work, but we like the Penne pasta
2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups of milk
8 ounces of a sharp cheese - we used extra sharp cheddar tonight, but sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or a combination of these all taste great
Directions: Boil the pasta as directed on the package - this should take about 10 minutes. While the pasta is boiling, make your sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it is melted add the flour, pepper and mustard. Whisk these together until the sauce is smooth. Once it is smooth add the milk and continue to heat on medium until it is boiling. Be careful that it doesn't boil over or scald and stir frequently. Once it bubbles, add the cheese and stir until it is melted.
By this time the pasta should be finished. Drain the pasta and put it into an oven safe casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce over it and stir well. Bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes. While it is cooking you have plenty of time to throw together a salad or some other yummy vegetables to go with it. By my calculations this dish costs under $3 and will feed my family of 6 dinner, with enough leftovers for my husband to have for lunch later in the week. If you use a more expensive cheese this will increase the cost of the meal, but even if it costs $4 or $5, this is still a very inexpensive meal for the amount you get and the great taste.
Figuring the cost of a meal is a great way to keep your grocery budget in check. Dinner at home for a family can easily cost $10, or more if you aren't careful or have expensive taste. Balance these more expensive meals with inexpensive ones like macaroni and cheese and this will help to keep your grocery budget lower. Thinking about the costs of each meal will make you more aware of how you are spending your money, which is a great frugal tool to use. Enjoy your homemade Macaroni and Cheese - the taste and the price.