Friday Featured Giveaway: Ragu Mom’s the Word on Dinner Gift Card and Goodies

It’s time for another fun giveaway sponsored by Ragu’s Mom’s the Word on Dinner program!  I am a Mom’s the Word blogger and will from time to time over the next six months be bringing you yummy news and giveaways thanks to Ragu.

This month we’re talking about the dinner budget. You can listen in on the Mom’s the Word conversation on Facebook to hear what other moms have to say about how they provide a balanced meal while being able to balance the budget as well.  For my family that means leftovers at least once a week, dinner out only for special occasions, and take-out rarely and from economically friendly local favorites.

Tell me your best dinner budget tip for the chance to win a $75 AmEx card plus surprise goodies for a total prize pack valued at approximately $100!

To Enter to Win:

Simply comment below with your best tip for providing dinner on a budget and you’ll be entered to win a $75 American Express card from Ragu plus a surprise.  This contest ends Friday, September 30th at 11:59 p.m. ET and is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older.  This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program. Visit to join the conversation.

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Written by: Amy

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  • Julie Sharwtz

    Love anything about food and love to get awesome ideas and chats from your parties following on fb and twitter @waterbluffy

  • Julie Sharwtz

    OK my best tip on a budget hm I have a few one if buy jiffy cornbread boxes their cheap 2 boxes for a dollar. Brown some ground beef drain the grease. Pour the ground beef in a pan and top with any vegetable u love and cheese if u wish and some ragu so it isn’t dry then mix cornbread package and then pour cornbread batter on top put in the over bake and feed everyone will love it ….

  • I do all the bulk buying, coupon clipping, sales watching. I am really good at looking in the pantry and throwing something together (pasta, hot dog chili sauce and canned cheese is just 1 example) but I do have 1 more item to add. I go to the grocery store late at night or early in the morning to get the reduced fresh meats and seafoods that were in the coolers the day before. I get GREAT deals!

  • Kevin Bell

    Try to plan out meals for the week ahead. You typically have a rough idea of what the coming week will be like. There will be some days you’ll need a quick dinner and others where you can take the time to put more effort into the cooking or maybe make enough for leftovers the next day. It’s the dinners you have to prepare quickly or buy out that tends to be both budget busters and/or sacrifice healthy foods.

  • Sadie

    My tip – plan meals based on what is on sale at your grocery store. Add in season veggies that are on sale.

  • My best tip for providing dinner on a budget is to always schedule meals that use what you already have in your fridge and pantry. This way you make sure to use all food before it goes bad. After that, plan the menu around sales.

  • Jessica B

    I use simple recipes from websites that are kid-friendly and easy to make. I double the recipe so that there`s enough to have lunch or dinner the next day. And, depending upon my mood, I take any leftovers and create a completely different meal the next night. I found that using locally-grown fruits and veges are the best and very inexpensive to buy (and taste better, too). It`s worth taking the extra time to cook.

  • Mami2jcn

    Pasta dishes are pretty economical. Combine coupons with store sales and plan out your week’s meals ahead of time.

  • My best tip is to go for cheap proteins. Meat is expensive, so use eggs and beans for the main dish several times a week. The rest of the time, think of meat as a flavoring or ingredient, not so much a main course. A couple of chicken breasts diced up and put in a stir fry will stretch a lot farther than a couple of chicken breasts grilled and eaten whole.

  • We’ve been eating more vegetarian meals! Also, I add black beans to taco meat which gets otherwise would-not-be-eaten beans into my kids and extends a pound of ground beef!

  • rosa

    Watch out for meat and chicken specials. I usually plan meals ahead, and try to economize in utilities by selecting one day of the week to prepare few main dishes. I use vacuum feed storage and I make sure I put the date on it before placing it on the freezer. You take one package each day, (either, chicken, meat or fish) and the only thing you have to do is to warm it up, and you only have to add, salad, vegetables, rice, or pasta to make it a complete meal.

  • anne hill

    My tip for saving providing dinner on a budget is:
    if you have to eat meat, then buy it on sale and freeze it for another day. Just make sure you take care to properly wrap it & prevent freezer burn. I use saran wrap + aluminum foil, then put in a freezer ziploc bag. You can recycle the aluminum foil when done, and wash out the ziploc bags for reuse!

  • My best tip is to plan you entire weeks menu ahead of time and then you spend less at the grocery store when you stick to you list. You can also find ways to reuse leftovers throughout the week.

  • My tip is to plan your meals contingent on the grocery sales that week and use coupons to maximize your savings.

  • Planning is the key to dinner on a budget. Plan meals that leftovers can be used to create new meals. Also I make soup after I cook a whole chicken and freeze it. That’s a great money saver!

  • My best tip on a budget is using the crock pot and freezing left overs.

  • Use the slow cooker and make enough for two nights

    I usually add beans and veggies so the meat go further.
    Serve over rice one night and pasta the next. It seems like different meal and you save time and money by only cooking once.

  • Solducky

    My tip is to always have a back-up convenience type meal in the freezer for those nights you just don’t want to cook – frozen pizza is a lot cheaper than fast food for the whole family!

    soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  • Amanda

    my best tip would be to always save leftovers and make a different meal out of them. if we have turkey dinner, we will then use whats left for chicken salad the next day

  • Karla

    Spaghetti sauce and pasta is very cheap!

  • Tip: Plan ahead of time (make a meal menu AND grocery list) so that you don’t say “Oh, let’s order pizza tonight.” Works for us!! 🙂

    (My sister goes to the grocery store when she gets off work at 7am, and she finds AWESOME deals on steaks that need to be MOOOOOved – so that would be her tip.)

  • Melissa P. @Mel4Him

    My best dinner budget tip is to plan your weekly meals based off a few of your local grocery stores weekly sales and coupons. Purchase those items and your on your way to a weeks worth of great meals and savings.


  • Becky Cole

    I stock up on meat when it’s on sale because it’s close to its sell-by date. Then I just freeze it until I’m ready to use it.

  • shannon thompson

    i buy generic brands.. just in that you can save alot of money.. then when i prepare i make sure i dont over make so food gets wasted…


  • NJJ

    My best tip is to use roll-over meals Meals that require one meat that can be used 5 different ways. My fave roll over meals are meatballs!: Spaghetti one night, meatball subs the next, meatball pizza the next etc.

  • Deb Anderson

    Make two dinners from one! Pot roast one night? Use leftovers for beef stew or stroganoff the next.

  • My tip is 2 part. First off, I plan my meals for the week ahead to avoid waste and stretch each grocery item to its fullest.

    Then I try to make things using items that are local and in season if possible. Right now I can get bell peppers and squash at the local farm stands, so it will be healthy and save us money. Sounds like squash or stuffed peppers for dinner, right? 🙂
    andrea.kruse at gmail dot com

  • Wanda m

    Dinner on a budget for us is always making extra to freeze, plus a leftover.
    wbailey113 at hotmail. dot com

  • My neighbor and I scope out the ads once a month and have one day of batch cooking between the both of us. We have 12 between the both of us so we split the cost, share recipes and enjoy cooking together and splitting the meals.

  • amber

    We go to Wendys a lot, for the 99 cent menu, and to Little Caesars for the $5 pizzas (that actually taste really good!). Instead of going out for date nighton Friday nights I cook a special dinner instead.

  • Lori A.

    I try to keep within budget by shopping my pantry & refrigerator when I make meal plans. I try to center meals around what I already have so my shopping is minimal.
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  • Eugenie

    I check the supermarket ads every week and plan dinner based on what’s on sale. I also use coupons.

  • Howell

    I always cook more than enough for one meal and save the rest for later meals.

  • ewhatley

    Take the time to plan your menus for the week and create a shopping list. Stick to your list unless you find some really good bargains that you can work into the week’s menus and store away in the freezer for later.

  • Janet

    My best tip for providing dinner on a budget is to shop the sales at the supermarket, and if your store accepts coupons, use them to save even more money.

  • My best tip for providing dinner on a budget: Make sure to be aware and take advantage of store sales and build the weekly menu around those sale items. I’m also careful to make sure my fresh/perishable items will be used quickly or frozen so I’m not throwing away food. With the rising cost of food, any kind of food waste is like throwing away money.

  • our tip for dinner on a budget?
    buy meats and pasta’s when on sale … STOCK UP!
    Then, you have a decent supply for when you need it (and normally they are easier to make than other more complicated meals!)

  • I definitely like to meal plan based on that week’s grocery sales – this enables me to use coupons and save even more money! Thanks for the chance to win!

    pricousins at aol dot com

  • Donna B.

    I plan my meals around the weekly store sales, as well as what I have stocked in my pantry and freezer 🙂

  • Elisabeth

    The first step for me to making dinner on a budget is shopping wisely… I try to do this by buying what’s on sale and utilizing Publix’s B1G1 sales! 🙂

  • For dinner out, we LOVE or the entertainment book. For dinner at home, nothing is more convenient or budget friendly than spaghetti with butter and cheese (and ragu if we haven’t run out yet!)

  • Eating vegetarian meals and using coupons. Plus gardening and using our own fresh veggies. If we eat out we use our coupons and drink water.

  • Ysenia Ramirez

    Meal plans are the best for dinner on a budget. I plan ahead with the sales for the week and coupons to decide what I will be planning on making for the week ahead.

  • Becky

    Planning meals really helps me stick to a budget and using leftovers for a “new” meal the next day.

  • nan

    i buy items for the week based on whats on sale and then once i know what i have to work with i can prep an affordable healthy meal around it. lately we’ve been eating alot of stew, cause potatoes, carrots and onions have been cheap
    nannypanpan at

  • Tina M

    I looking at the circulars for local stores each week ,then making a meal plan!

  • Summer

    I think using coupons is the best way to eat, whether going out or going to the grocery store. I always make it an effort to have a coupon. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  • Mitch

    Leftovers creatively re-served are my tip for dinner on a budget. Never throw out food!
    Leftover cutlets served with Ragu on top for examle!

  • julie

    We save money on meals by doing two meatless nights per week. I also watch the sales and use coupons whenever possible. One of my biggest ways of saving is we have a huge garden. We grow a lot of veggies. Not only does it save $ but you know where its coming from!

  • Patricia

    Summer are great for me on being on a budget…especially when I can grown my onw veggies in the garden! I can then freeze my excess and use through out the year. I buy my produce in season. I also use coupons.

  • ♡♥♬ Psychonaut ♬♥♡ (@left_the_stars)

    plan the meals for the week ahead and stick to eat – also get creative with the leftovers

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  • I keep my meals simple as I have four kids all with different tastes, use coupons, leftovers are for lunches and I buy meat on sale and freeze!

  • Dahbou

    I don’t have a newspaper subscription so I go online to see the grocery stores’ weekly fliers and make my shopping list based on them. I also look online for coupons for items on my list and I print them. Using a store loyalty card always pays off, too, whether in points or even dollars off gas.

  • I try to save money by buying whats on sale and using coupons. I stock up on pasta, soup and other non-perishables when they a good deal on them.

  • HappyMomC

    I use sales, combined with money-saving coupons. If I don’t get items I get rain checks. I also make weekly menu plans and follow freezer cooking!

  • JoeyfromSC

    My best dinner budget tip is to plan meals ahead of time..even make casseroles, freeze them, then pull-out & bake to save time & money!

    Buy meats, produce, staples when they are on sale also & stock up…That can save alot of money!

    Thank you for the chance to win! I LOVE Ragu!



  • Autumn

    Best dinner on a budget is preparing for it beforehand. Use all the ingredients you have in your fridge first before going shopping for one or two items. Running to the store can get “COSTLY”.

  • Carla

    Best dinner on a budget is one that is created by what you already have on hand. I stock up on whole chicken when it’s on sale. Then I will cook the whole chicken one night and then use the left overs the next day to make a casserole like chicken divan or tacos with it.

  • Terri S.

    My best tip to providing dinner on a budget is to watch your supermarket circulars for sales and stock up on sale items plus use coupons whenever possible for extra savings. I bought lots of pasta in various shapes last week at half price and stocked my pantry. It makes a very economical & delicious meal topped with Ragu. 🙂

  • My best tip for dinner on a budget? Actually I have two. One is to plan meals for the week based around the local sales. Second is to be aware of how much is wasted. As a society, we throw so much food away! If we worked with what we had, we’d have to spend much less.

    As Tim Gunn would say “make it work!”

  • My best tip on a budget is to plan ahead and go by the sales papers and always use coupons.

  • Liz M.

    Apart from coupons and sales, I use a lot of items that are versatile and inexpensive, such as canned tomatoes and ground beef!

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