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Topic: The high price of.... spaghetti sauce?

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Subject: The high price of.... spaghetti sauce?
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Yup. This woman advocates making your own spaghetti sauce instead of buying jars of ready-made in order to save money. Kind of an interesting article, and is includes a price comparison.

What surprises me most is that she didn't even mention planting your own tomatoes and using them to make your own spaghetti sauce. Now THAT can save some serious money if you look at the cost of the canned tomatoes and paste she suggests using.

Date Posted: 3/21/2009 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2008
Posts: 313
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I have always made my own sauce.  nevr really found a jar I liked.  Guess thats the Italian in me.  I have also made it from garden tomatoes but it takes so much time, that sometimes paying for the canned tomatoes is worth it.  I have an aunt that plants a garden with way to many tomatoes.  she usually gives me all the extras and that makes a good sauce.  She always has over ripe tomatoes or wones that fall off the vine and the over ripe tomatoes make a really sweet sauce.

Date Posted: 3/21/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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I can't make spagetti sauce cheaper than the jars I get at Aldi for $1.  We like the way they taste better than the canned Hunt's or DelMonte brands.  

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I guess I've just never found store-bought spaghetti sauce to be all that expensive! I also noticed that the prices they quote are much more than what I can buy at the store.

When I have time, it's nice to make my own. Nothing like homemade, ya' know! But it's nice to have the store-bought available. :)

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,517
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I always start with a store-bought sauce and just add to it.  Ground beef, mushrooms, some spices.  I've always found it to be great!  Jars of spagehetti sauce are not that expensive.

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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I often make my own, b/c it means my husband will eat it.  I love pasta, he wants it maybe once a summer.   Very annoying.  He'll eat it more if I make the sauce, though.

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 2
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I don't start from Tomatos, but we use tomato sauce, paste, and chopped tomatos from cans and then just add meat and veggies and spices to it at our discresion.  Tastes good and is pretty cheap.

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,357
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I got Ragu Sauce - any flavor, 10 for $10 and the 11th one was free.  It may be cheaper to make your own sauce, but if you add in a cost of your time..........JMHO or maybe I really think my time is more expensive than what you think yours is.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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A jar of store brand spaghettis sauce around here costs only about a quarter more than a can of tomatoes.  There is no way it would be cost effective to make my own by buying the ingredients.  I do like homemade sauce, but the convenience and price savings of the jarred stuff leads me to choose it.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I usually buy spaghetti sauce on sale or the cheaper stuff like the hunts that's always around $1 or less somewhere or other and I add a can of diced tomatoes, usually the seasoned ones if I have them, and some mushrooms, ground beef ..basically whatever I feel like to give it more 'nutrition'!

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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The only time I would consider it a money saver is if you already have a garden with extra tomatoes, onions, peppers, and herbs. I'd still only consider that cheaper if you started your plants from seeds.  For the record, about every other year I make homemade spaghetti sauce and freeze or can it, but only when I have surplus garden produce that would otherwise go to waste. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2008
Posts: 190
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I agree with you. You don't save a dime making your own spaghetti sauce unless you are growing your own tomatoes.  That's why my Mom stopped making it years ago except when she had tomatoes in the garden.  Occasionally, you can pick up a real deal on canned tomatoes to make tomato sauce, but I find you still need to add some chopped romas to the sauce to get a fresh flavor.

Stephanie

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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My mom buys canning tomotoes from the local farmer's stand. She calls ahead to make sure they have them, and they are a LOT cheaper than any other tomatoes.  They are the bruised and battered ones, but for sauce it doesn't matter.

I like it when she makes sauce.  Her sauce is the basis for many many yummy recipes.  It may or may not be cheaper, but it's yummy!

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 131
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I do it both ways.

If I have a coupon and it's on sale I buy about 4 cans/jars of  premade sauce and spice it up a little.

We have our own garden so we can tomatoes every year. So, over the fall and winter I make homemade sauce. If I grow my own tomatoes it comes out cheaper than premade sauce.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2006
Posts: 568
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We mostly buy sauce on sale for $1/jar.  I never spend $2.75/jar as priced quoted in that article. 

The author doesn't include the cost of fuel for running the stove for 4 hours. It could add up...

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 54
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I usually start with canned spaghetti sauce and add this and that too. My mom starts with tommato sauce and paste and all the spices though. We started a garden this year and plan on adding tomatoes when it gets warmer. I thought about canning a bunch. That seems like it would get expensive and takes up sooo much room. We also bought a dehydrator a few weeks ago. So now the plan is to dehydrate them for storage and make paste and sauce as needed. Just add a certain amount of water. Great :)

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,371
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OK, I'm old maybe, but back in the day when spaghetti sauce first came out in the market, it sucked.  It was in cans and it just sucked.  Back then, making your own was still more cost effective, but not any longer.  The sauces available in the grocery stores now have become better tasting and less expensive then making your own, I think. 

Plus, when you add in the time factor for making your own.... bring the tomatoes in from the garden, scald and peel them, or run them through a tomato press, simmer them and the spices down until the sauce is thick enough, boil the jars and lids, and finally can the sauce.  Nope, there is no way spaghetti sauce is worth that kind of time lost to me now.

We buy the premade and add some veggies and some dried cayenne or habanero (those we still plant and dry).  You can't beat the convenience or the cost of premade sauce now.

 

Subject: matter of time and energy
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 839
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I've used the canned sauce when I'm tired and need to get a meal on the table in a hurry.  I warm a bit of chopped fresh garlic in some olive oil slightly,  add herbs and my favorite spices (cayenne and fennel), then heat the sauce.  It beats starving!

 

If i'm making a crock pot meal with sauce I just throw in the canned crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, seasonings, etc, and just let it cook while I'm doing something else.  This is pretty good because it has cooked a long time with the meatballs or other meats.

 

Here's instant blender sauce if there is no canned or jarred sauce in the kitchen:  Open that big can of crushed tomatoes  and put in blender.  Use a little pan on the stove or a glass custard cup in the micro to warm up olive oil, a couple of peeled and crushed garlic cloves, a bit of fennel, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.  Add favorite herbs.  Use only enough cooking to partially cook the garlic-----this is better if it doesn't brown. Scrape the oil and seasonings into your blender.  Now add about half a teaspoon of sugar or honey---this helps smooth out the flavors.  Now blend on high for two full minutes by the clock.  Of course you're already cooking your pasta, so put your sauce in a pan to heat up and cook a little bit.  The lengthy blending can do the work of traditional long cooking, and this is tastier than sauce from a jar.



Last Edited on: 4/10/09 4:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: cayenne
Date Posted: 4/10/2009 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 839
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We love cayenne and crushed red pepper but if you've never used this spice before, be sure to go slow!  Fresh cayenne from this year's crop can be an experience!   I'd suggest starting with a tiny bit the size of half a grain of rice to begin with, in  a large pot of sauce or food.  You can always add cayenne, but you can't subtract it!

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I learned my lesson with habaneros..boss brought some to work one day and said they were 'hot' so I was planning to make some 'cowboy beans' which is basically pinto or kidney beans with some dry mustard, onion, rotel, smoked sausage..anyhoo thought I'd use canned tomatoes then cut up a habanero.well didn't taste too hot so added another..I didn't realize(being very very very newish at cooking) that the longe ryou cook them t he hotter those suckers get...and by the time I nuked a bowl to eat at work t hat  night they were deadly...

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2008
Posts: 368
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I'd like to make my own sauce at home, but I don't have a recipe and my mom's sauce is too sweet.

I was buying generic Wal-Mart - $1.41, but switched to Hunt's canned for 98 cents.   My family seems to like it more. 

But am I able to make sauce at home for 98 cents a can or less?  

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I like the Hunts saue also..I usually add some diced tomatoes to it and ground beef