The first night I made dinner in India, I made pasta with bottled sauce and fresh steamed green beans. Sounds pretty frugal right?
Wrong. We went shopping our first day and picked up a few basics to get us by. Including a $7 jar of pasta sauce. That’s right, $7. The prices weren’t listed on the shelves, as they are in the US, and I hadn’t yet figured out how to read the stamped Rupee price that is on everything, much less the labels on imported goods. We actually bought two jars of the pasta sauce – and returned one after looking at the receipt. In contrast, the green beans were about 8 cents.
The good news: I haven’t made that mistake again since. I make sure I know the price I’m paying for something ahead of time. Even if it’s overpriced, at least I know what I’m paying. The bad news: dry pasta and jarred sauce is still not a frugal meal. Picture above is packaged pasta (imported from Italy) for $2.44, and Ragu (imported from US) for $5.00. Obviously, $5 for a bottle of Ragu is NOT a good deal, but it is cheaper than the first jar I bought, and nearly twice as large besides.
I am planning to learn how to make my own spaghetti sauce and homemade pasta. But the point of pasta and Ragu, to me, is a quick, easy, inexpensive meal to have on hand.
Here’s another one:
This is Maggie eating breakfast this morning. Brand name cereal. Not on sale. Rip-off even in the States. Imported: $6. Sigh.