Mean Pea Salad:
Shown are ingredients for mean pea salad, a cool pasta salad with tuna, peas, pickles and cucumber.
To save money, we used store brand ingredients of everything except the cucumber (which is fresh produce) and pickles (because we like the flavor of the name brand).
|Vicki cut up half a cucumber and about an equal amount of dill pickle to provide the crunch in mean pea salad. The pickle also gives flavor.|
A 3/4 cup measuring cup holds about half each of mayonnaise and prepared mustard. The mustard also provides some "zip" to the taste of the final dish.
Before being added to the rest of the ingredients, Vicki mixes these two condiments together.
On the left are all of the ingredients for mean pea salad mixed together except for the condiments: cooked pasta (cooled), drained tuna, drained canned peas, cut up cucumber and cut up pickle.
You can see the cup with the blended mayo and mustard on the right, ready to be mixed in.
Cost of this meal:
|Tuna (2 cans)||$1.20|
|Pickle (about a cup) (estimated)||$0.60|
|Per serving (2)||$1.45|
|Per serving (4)||$0.725|
Note that costs will vary based on location and availability of items.
To round out the meal, you may wish to have crackers or a slice of bread.
Money saving tip: Store brand products are usually less expensive than name brand products but not always. Some stores display the per unit price (like per ounce) on the shelves so that you don't have to do the comparison yourself. However, if you need to do the math, it's not hard. For example, compare a 9 ounce ($0.99) and 16 ounce ($1.32) container of anything:
Since the 16 ounce container costs $1.32 and the calculated price at the 9-ounce cost is $1.76, the bigger container is a better per-ounce buy.
Of course, you don't want to buy based on price alone, but also based on the storage space you have in your truck and how likely you are to eat foods that use the product in the larger container. If it is a specialty item that you're likely to use only once a month or less, the smaller container might work better for you.
Watch for sales on canned meats or see if you can substitute a different variety. Instead of canned tuna, canned chicken will work, but you can easily substitute baked or broiled chicken left over from another meal.
You can save even more money by having your home support team grow produce, or buying it at a farmer's market. Also, watch for seasonal sales.
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