Friday, July 11, 2008

Frugal Food - Cost Analysis of a Lasagna

Yesterday I came across a great article about 20 Healthy Foods for a Dollar on Yahoo.

It was a good inspiration to figure out how much I spend when I cook. I really love making food, and eating out is too expensive for me right now. So after a trip to the Farmer's Market, I decided to figure out how much money I was saving by making my own Lasagna.


Ricotta Cheese - $1.00
Canned Tomatoes - $0.80
Garlic - $0.05
Sundried Tomatoes - $0.15
Orange Pepper - $1.18
Mozzarella Cheese - $2.00
Portabella Mushroom - $1.00
Zucchini - $0.81
Lasagna - $.30
One Egg - $0.20
Spices from my Cabinet

Total - $7.49

Cost per Serving - $1.49

It took me about five minutes to prep everything, which included making my own very basic tomato sauce out of canned tomatoes, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano. I just pureed it together in a blender. I mixed the ricotta with the egg and some basil, and then layered the vegetables, lasagna noodles, mozzarella, ricotta and sauce in two layers. Then I put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

I'm really pleased with how inexpensive this was. I always felt that is was cheaper to cook, but I've never sat down with a grocery receipt in my hand and really looked at it. The only thing I would change would be using red pepper instead of orange, which is all they had at the market. It would probably have lowered the cost by a few cents.
I think there are some things that I do make that are probably less cost effective, like when I make pesto with store bought basil, pine nuts, and really good parmesan cheese. It's definitely a lot more pricey for what I can do with it, unless I just use it as a pasta sauce.

I think it's a good idea to work out what you're really spending when you cook and to check to make sure that you are getting the best value for money when selecting ingredients. Could you substitute one kind of squash for a cheaper one? Is Watermelon a better value than Cantaloupe?

So what is the cost per serving for your favorite home recipe?

To get more from Distilled Rose, subscribe to my RSS Feed!


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Just popping in to say nice site.