I grocery shop monthly, in case you didn't know that about me already. Yes, I do little dairy/produce filler trips occasionally, but, for the most part, I make one big trip a month.
This last month, those last few days found me pretty low on some things. We had no meat. Our cheese supply was low. I was down to the dregs of many things. I still wanted to set a decent plate in front of my husband. (And in front of me and my kids too!)
Spaghetti is such an easy, typical "Plan B" or "fall-back" plan meal. Almost everyone has the stuff on hand to mix up a pot of spaghetti.
How did I choose to make it a little special?
Well, for starter's I dug out the four lonely sticks of string cheese rolling around the back of my deli drawer and baked up a half batch of Kate's Stuffed Bread Sticks. They didn't take long and, already, my meal was a lot more special than it would have been with plain old garlic toast tossed on the plate. The leftover half-bag of frozen broccoli was steamed up and topped with a sprinkle of black pepper and parmesan. The spaghetti itself got a touch of extra sauce, a dollop of ricotta (there was really only enough left for a couple dollops!), and a sprinkling of parsley.
A meal fit for kings?
Still, it felt great to be able to put a plate on the table that I could be proud of without having to run out and spend money we hadn't budgeted.
How do you making a simple meal special while staying in budget? Do you find you enjoy how the process forces you to be a bit creative?