But, even if you don't have zuchinni, you can always fall back on a classic cheap meal. Clam spaghetti. It's perfect this time of year, because it tastes better with fresh parsley. It's one of those meals where you can tell that parsley really does have flavor, and it's not just meant to make the plate prettier.
I make this very simply. Clams, olive oil, garlic, wine, and parsley. Similar to this recipe, but let's get real. I use 2 cans of clams. Maybe one day, I'll be all about steaming my clams and turning them into spaghetti. But, if I'm lucky enough to have clams in the shell, we're just eating those suckers straight. They are a rare treat, and they aren't going to become spaghetti. Just sayin'.
½ pound spaghetti--approx $0.50
2 cans clams--minced is fine here--approx $2
2 tablespoons olive oi--$0.20
4 cloves garlic, minced--$0.10
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine (anything, so long as it's not pink)--I'm a fan of Trader Joes Two Buck Chuck, but just find a $3 wine, and you're good--$0.60
1 or 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, chopped--free, from your garden, right??
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated--I leave this off a lot of the time or just add a little. It's okay, but it doesn't add a whole lot to the flavor, and it's one more thing to buy
And that's it. It's a very simple meal.
Add half a loaf of bread (on sale $2.50)--$1.25--and some cut up peaches for dessert--on sale $0.88--and, you're all set.
Total cost for the meal--$5.53
And, if you, like me, are looking at an ad and needing major inspiration, check out 5dollardinners, with a $5 meal every night and a weekly gathering of folks with inspiration from their ads.