Cooking On A Budget: Pasta with Sausage & Peppers

There are a lot of ups and downs to being self-employed. One of them is the income. Your income is solely dependent on how many clients and projects you have at any given time and the amount of money they're bringing in. Sometimes, you end up in slow periods which puts you on a tight budget. It's stressful and anxiety-inducing but having experienced two for myself, I can definitely say that they're manageable. It's all about micro-managing your budget. Food is the hardest thing to budget for me personally so I came up with a few recipes that are affordably priced for family-sized meals. 

One of the easiest Italian combos is sausage and peppers. You can find it in almost every restaurant in Chicago, we prepare it for every holiday meal or celebration in my family and it's a staple for when you don't have time to think of what to cook in my house. It's also a budget-friendly meal. I took it one step further for this recipe and turned it into a pasta. Using store bought sauce that you can find for as low as $1.50, two bell peppers, an onion, one package of sausage links and pasta, this meal comes out to about $7.75 total and feeds four people with plenty of leftovers. It cooks up quick and everyone will love it. I used whole wheat pasta to give it a little boost of nutrition.

1 lb. Whole Wheat Rotini
1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Small White Onion, halved then sliced
1 28-oz Jar Pasta Sauce
2 tbsp. Olive Oil

1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente.

2. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook 10-12 minutes until done. While cooking, break the sausage up even more as it cooks. Add peppers and onions, cooking another 8-10 minutes until softened. 

3. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Mix with sausage, peppers and onions. Pour in pasta sauce and mix well. Cook 2-3 minutes until the sauce is heated through. Serve.

There are three more budget-friendly recipes coming up this month so stay tuned every Monday in September and tell me in the comments below how you save money while grocery shopping.