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Stretching Prepared Box Foods

Category Cheap Meals
One method of stretching boxed food mixes such as noodle dishes is to add more plain pasta and water. This is a guide about stretching prepared box foods.


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October 8, 20040 found this helpful

I stretch or "expand" a box of noodle-roni by adding a little extra water (and milk if needed) with my own "cheap" egg noodles or angel hair pasta. It saves me from having to buy two boxes to feed a family of 5 and I don't have to worry about leftovers because I can make just enough. This also works great to stretch a box of rice-a-roni if you add a little of your own "cheap" rice (and a little extra water). Then you won't have to buy the larger, more expensive family size.

By Marianne

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By Pat (Guest Post)
November 5, 20040 found this helpful
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If your only slighly more adventurous and you want to save even more money try this. Buy your pasta on sale; often you can get it for 50 cents per pound or less. The rice is cheap, too... and you can use a cheap dry chicken boullion.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup THIN spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces, about 1/6 of a 1 pound box of dried pasta
3/4 cup white enriched rice
1 1/2 cups water with appropriate chicken boullion
1/2 small chopped onion

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add spaghetti and rice and brown for about 4 minutes. Add broth or water, salt and pepper, and bring liquid to a full boil. Cover pot and REDUCE HEAT TO A SIMMER cook 18-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, serve and enjoy.


Experiment... add leftover veggies and/or meat to this. You'll never have to buy Rice-A-Roni again!

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By Crystal (Guest Post)
October 8, 20040 found this helpful

This is a WONDERFUL tip, I don't have a large family, but this is still a great idea!!! I will definitely use it! Thanks!!!!!

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December 26, 20040 found this helpful

You can also stretch a box of Hamburger, Tuna, or Chicken helper the same way....I add a couple of handfuls of similar pasta (I have several on hand)...and often stir in a pound of a frozen veggie, a can of veggies, or fresh. This makes a hearty meal for a family of five, including 3 teenagers.

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By Connie (Guest Post)
January 29, 20050 found this helpful

OMG....... you guys are great!! I never thought of that and I needed it when my kids where still at home...I had 3 kids and 2 adults and one box wasnt quite enough so I would make 2 boxes and part of it would go to waste.



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