WFMW: Macaroni and Cheese
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Basic cooking skills sure do come in handy.

For example, if you can make a basic white sauce, you can make darn near anything! It makes a great substitution for Cream of Crud soup, which Mr R can't have anyway due to MSG. It's healthier, too! If you have no skillz, never fear. You can cheat with a microwave.

Mr R can't have food colors. Kids like macaroni and cheese, which is full of Yellow #5 and #6. I buy the organic variety - half price at Big Lots - but it still takes 3 boxes to make lunch for the kids, and at .80 - $1 each that adds up! What's a miserly Mama wise mistress of resources to do?

I figured out how to make it myself, cheaper and tastier, on the stovetop. It takes about the same amount of time as the box stuff, but you will dirty one extra measuring cup.

You will need: (Equivalent of three blue boxes of noodles and chemical powder.)
  • Three (7 oz.) packages of macaroni noodles or shells. $.75 (Look in the Latin foods section! Pasta is cheaper there. Two 7 oz. packages of noodles for $.50 vs. 1 16 oz. box for $1 of the store brand stuff. Plus, they have alphabet noodles for soup!)
  • 1 c. of milk (.20, if milk is $3/gallon)
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour ($.02)
  • 4 oz. cheese ($.95, if cheese is $3.80 per pound) Sharp cheese gives you more flavor, and therefore more bang for the buck.
Total cost (feeds 6-8 hungry children and their Mama) $1.92

Boil the noodles.
Quick Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
While the noodles are boiling, put 1 cup of milk in an microwaveable measuring cup (I use a 2 cup Pyrex). Add the flour, and microwave for 60 seconds, then stir. Repeat 2 more times.

When noodles are done, drain them. Return noodle pot to stove. Add milk mixture (pour through a sieve if it seems lumpy). Heat on low until mix thickens (it might be thick enough already, depending on how powerful your microwave is.) Do not boil!

Turn off stove. Add cheese. Stir until it's melty. Add noodles back to pot. Mix.


This would be slightly cheaper if you used powdered milk; you could double the powder for added calcium and protein. Add in leftover ham, chicken, or veggies so you don't have to clean out the fridge waste any food.

To make a ONE BOX version, use 1 package noodles, 1/3 c. milk, 2 Tbs. flour, and a handful of cheese until it tastes good to you. Total cost? Less than 50 cents.

Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday goodies!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/18/2008 08:29:00 AM | Permalink | |