Okay, today is probably the last day that Ragu is on sale for 99 cents at Kroger. Spaghetti is on sale for 50 cents per 12 ounces. This is about as good as it gets.
Back in 2008 or 2009 I was able to buy about 50 bottles of Ragu for 83 cents per bottle at the Maysville, Ky., Kroger store. I was also able to buy about 70 pounds of pasta at 50 cents per pound. I have not seen sub-dollar Ragu since 2009, so these prices are as good as they come and call for all-out buying.
In 2009 Maysville, Ragu was retailing for $1.33 on a week-to-week basis. So 83 cents was 50 cents less than the usual price. Today Ragu goes for a whopping $1.79 in Oxford, or even $1.99! So getting a jar of the stuff for 99 cents is a real bargain.
There are some cheaper sauces than Ragu. They taste really, really bad, and are a false economy since nobody will eat the pasta and it has to be thrown out. Some of the more expensive sauces are quite good, but Ragu is best in my book for economy and taste.
Twelve ounces of spaghetti usually goes for about $1.29. You can sometimes get it on sale for 79 cents, but 49 cents is about a low as it will go. I'd rather get a pound for that price, but 12 ounces is about all four of us eat in one meal anyway.
Now that our cabinets are overflowing with pasta and sauce, one of two things is going to happen.
First, we might have Armageddon in the form of economic collapse, nuclear war, a solar-flare-induced pulse which wipes out all electronics, or just massive riots by Obama's minions should their Food Stamp cards stop working one weekend; anything which might result in all the food being stripped off the supermarket shelves and not being replenished.
Should that happen we'll have two month's worth of pasta with sauce. Obviously, I have other food items purchased at deep discount which we can alternate with the spaghetti, including 14 boxes of Lucky Charms cereal I bought when it was marked down by about 70 percent. Lucky Charms has a one-year shelf life and will keep my daughter happy in the event of a total societal collapse. My dad used to say the cereal box was more nutritious than the cereal, so if a crisis actually strikes after we eat the cereal we can then eat the box, too!
Fortunately there is only about a one- to two-percent chance in any given year of a catastrophe so great that the food supply is disrupted. So what that means is that we'll probably just eat this spaghetti and sauce over the course of the next year. Since we have spaghetti at least once a week anyway, it's not like we're making a lifestyle change.
The only difference is that instead of paying $1.79 for our jar of sauce we will have paid 99 cents. Instead of paying $1.29 for our spaghetti we'll have paid 49 cents. Which means that over the course of 52 spaghetti dinners we'll spend $76.96 on pasta and sauce versus the $160.16 we would pay if we just pranced into the store and bought these items without regard to price.
The above cost analysis doesn't include the cost of ground beef, which should always be purchased from the old-meat rack. Lucy likes no meat. I like to use a half-pound of ground beef. Jinny and Ash want to use a pound-and-a-half of meat per jar of sauce, which is unhealthy, but sometimes I just can't stand the yammering.
Of course, when the jar of sauce costs 99 cents you can always just make two versions, one with two much meat and the other with meat used properly as flavoring. You lose the savings, but everyone gets what they want. Sometimes peace in the valley is worth it.