Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs for Under $25 – under $2 per serving!

As creatives, the trope of the starving artist is an important truth we all must face. But as creatives, we’re smart enough to create strategies to help with that. The first, and I believe is most important, is how to eat healthy for as frugal as possible.

Every week, I’ll write a blog on making cheap meals for as low a price as possible. This week will be on Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs.

Spaghetti Sauce –

Ingredients –

  1. 1 pound of ground beef
  2. 1 cooking onion
  3. .5 pounds of cremini mushrooms
  4. 2 green peppers
  5. 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  6. 1 can of diced tomatoes
  7. 2 cups of V8 juice
  8. 1 heaping tablespoon of Flour
  9. 1 cup of water
  10. Olive Oil

Spices –

  1. Generous amounts of Garlic Plus (Club House spices)
  2. Generous amounts of pepper
  3. Marjoram
  4. Oregano
  5. Rosemary
  6. Thyme
  7. Basil


  1. Pour olive oil in Instapot
  2. Dice your cooking onion and put it into Instapot
  3. Set Instapot to Sauté for 10 minutes.
  4. Caramelize onions.
  5. Put 1 pound of ground beef into Instapot
  6. Put in generous amounts of pepper and Garlic Plus with beef as it browns.
  7. Once the beef is brown, usually just as the Sauté hits the 10-minute mark, open the Crushed Tomato can and put it into Instapot.
  8. Click Sauté for ten more minutes.
  9. Pour water to half the can’s volume, mix the excess tomato paste into the water and pour into Instapot.
  10. Break and crush cremini mushrooms into sauce and mix it in.
  11. Click Sauté for ten more minutes.
  12. Dice Green Peppers – 1. Cut out the core from the top and remove. 2. Cut off top and bottom. 3. Cut out all white parts. 4. Dice green parts.
  13. Put green Peppers into sauce and mix.
  14. Put in V8 juice to the 2/3 mark on the Instapot.
  15. Mix in spices – including more garlic plus into the sauce.
  16. Cover Instapot.
  17. Cancel Sauté.
  18. Click Pressure Cook for 30 minutes.
  19. Natural Release.
  20. Mix flour and Water in a mug, pour and mix into sauce to thicken.

Meat Balls –

  1. 2.5 pounds of ground beef.
  2. 150 grams of self-shredded Mozzarella
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 1 cup bread crumbs

Spices –

  1. Generous amounts of Garlic Plus (Club House spices)
  2. Generous amounts of pepper.
  3. Marjoram
  4. Oregano
  5. Thyme
  6. Rosemary
  7. Basil

Instructions –

  1. In a large mixing bowl
  2. Kneed ground beef into a ball
  3. Break egg
  4. Pour in bread crumbs and mix into the ground beef
  5. Pour in Garlic Plus and Pepper into bowl and mix
  6. Pour in other spices and mix
  7. Cut Mozzarella into small strips
  8. Preheat oven to 350
  9. Shred cheese into the meat and mix every two strips
  10. Get out a baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper
  11. Roll into ping pong sized balls – should make 30-35.
  12. Once the oven preheats, put meatballs into the oven.
  13. Set timer for 1 hour.

Storage –

Spaghetti Sauce – I use Ziplock containers – and each large container holds four dinners worth of sauce. The sauce fills 3.5 containers, which is 14 meals. Put two containers into the freezer.

When you finish a container, take one container from the freezer and put it into the fridge.

Meatballs – small ziplock sandwich bags – 8-9 meatballs per bag. Put bags into a large freezer bag and put them into the freezer.

Keep one bag of meatballs in the fridge.

For dinners – put two meatballs and two serving spoons of sauce in a small saucepan and heat up at medium heat for 5 minutes.

The sauce is enough to make 14 servings, and the meatballs are enough to make 15-17 servings – much less than $2/servings.

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