It's no fun walking into the grocery store with a limited budget…unless you know where to look. Whatever veggies and fruits are in season will definitely be cheaper than those that aren't. And if you're lucky, skinless, boneless chicken breasts will be on sale, along with a juicy T-bone or ribeye (it does occasionally happen).
But the place you can always go, the section that is perennially peddling penny-wise bargains, is the pasta aisle. From linguine to macaroni to manicotti to penne, pasta is as filling, versatile and inexpensive an ingredient as you're likely to find. And no matter if you're in the mood for good old Americana, spicy Asian fusion or molto Italiano, pasta is there for you, just waiting to be transformed into a fabulous meal you can afford.
Here are a few of our favorite dollar-stretching pasta dishes—and they're just as tasty when your wallet is full.
—By Stacey Norwood, Relish Multimedia Editor