I recently started a marinara fire storm around a jar of Rao’s Marinara sauce.  Marinara of all things! First let me say that there are of course a zillion things more important than a silly jar of marinara, but people were really really passionate about it….the price, the ingredients, the carb count, the location of the store that I bought it at….and then things turned a little sour…..and then salty towards me.  Wow people…RELAX.

I do recognize that people have big opinions around the money they spend on food and of course everyone has an opinion on taste, but one of the interesting sides to this debate OVER TOMATO SAUCE was the level of reactions that came forward.  The range went from concurring excitement to ambivalent disdain to being immediately dismissive because this scenario was less than their experience. People are funny, weird, and have their quirks…including me!

I find it interesting to watch people blurt out comments and advice without taking a moment to look at the whole situation.  I guess this is just another lesson in the inadequacies of social media not having the same level of connection from behind a keyboard and screen…..and a lesson that we are all different.


I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond (getting candles of all things). My particular BBB is HUGE and has an entire World Food Market section.  I frequent BBB often so I “bought in” and have a 20% EVERYTHING I ever buy online or in the store. I got my candles, and of course had to grab a few other items, and headed to the checkout counter.  You have to walk right through the food section to leave the store (a great marketing move for sure!). Right there in the center aisle is a display of jars of marinara sauce as the featured “Beyond!” sale item.  A 32oz jar of Rao’s marinara sauce for $7.99!!

My palms started to sweat a little and I was downright giddy. $7.99 plus my 20% off coupon made this jar of Rao’s marinara sauce ONLY $6.39. A HUGE bargain in my mind. I had hit the jackpot.  I quickly loaded up my cart with a case of 12 jars of this sauce (don’t tell Peter).

You have to understand that this Rao’s marinara sauce is my LIFESAVER in the kitchen.  I used it ALL.THE.TIME. Stuffed peppers, meat sauce, pizzas, over spaghetti squash and even a quick tomato soup. Sure I can make homemade sauce that tastes amazing, but time is money and this sauce is really really good with whole ingredients.  It’s the closest thing an Italian Grandma would make and I literally just have to twist open a jar and pour. Homemade sauce like this takes a full day of simmering down….plus the prep and the clean up AND the freezer space (we all know I’m out of freezer space) who has time for that except a grandma.  


Normally a 32 oz jar of Rao’s Marinara sauce at my local Ralph’s is $13.99….and that’s IF they have that size (usually they have the 24oz size at $9.99). So imagine my utter delight upon walking up to the holy grail of jarred marinara sauce {RAO’S MARINARA SAUCE} in the jumbo jar nonetheless on sale. AND I get another 20% off….I can’t take it.  I’m in the aisle doing a little dance and people are starting to look at me. I’m a crazy lady in a silly frenzy and I’m totally good with that. I grabbed my case of Rao’s Marinara sauce and my candles and head home is utter bliss.

Here’s where the marinara fire storm started, escalated and then simmered just like your Italian Grandma’s secret marinara recipe.  I was so excited in the store that I took a picture of the Rao’s marinara sale display. I needed to capture this momentous event on film and I wanted to share this with the world.  When I find a quality food deal I want others to partake in the same delight.

So I posted this picture with the caption ***J A C K P O T*** to share my excitement about the Rao’s Marinara Sauce. I had to share this deal on ALL social media including some private groups on Facebook that have hundreds of thousands of members.  


I had thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments….and let’s be clear here, the reaction and engagement caused just as much excitement for me. I love people.

Most of the reactions were positive and some were inquisitive and others were equally as excited as me.  People wanted to know what this sauce was…they’d never heard of it. Some people knew EXACTLY what I was sharing and were headed straight away to their nearest BBB.  What was so special about it and why was $7.99 for a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce a deal???


Then things turned a little sour about the Rao’s Marinara sauce, which then turned into a Marinara fire storm with comments like…”I get mine at different store way cheaper” like this was a competition….or “make your own, that’s a rip off” like I have a zillion hours to simmer sauce all day…..or “homemade has fewer carbs” like ½ gram of carbs per serving makes that much a of a difference to me. And then the comments slid into downright petty and personal “this post just reeks of elitism” and “she’s rich and loves to flaunt it” or “she’s clearly not in the ghetto like the rest of us” or how about this one “that sauce always smells gross to us, I bet her kitchen smells like poo”.  

I’m not going to argue about how I could make that sauce into a hearty meal for a family of 4 for less than you’d spend at McDonald’s.  Nor am I going to argue about the merits of not having to drive in traffic to my closest Walmart to get it for the same price. And…I’m also not going to argue around people’s taste buds because clearly one woman’s culinary mastery is another’s dog food.  And lastly….the amount of free time people have in their day and how they chose to spend that time (maybe to do something so luxurious as to prepare a meal for themselves and their family) is up to them. Who knew that my beloved Rao’s Marinara sauce would cause a MARINARA FIRE STORM?!?!?!?!


To be totally transparent I live in the bubble of Los Angeles that is very expensive.  Which is all the more reason to be in tune with my budget and the cost of living. I’m a pretty good cook and spend a lot of my free time in the kitchen.  So when I see what amounts to a good deal for me I want to share it.

People….it’s a $6.39 jar of my favorite Rao’s marinara sauce at my local store. To me that’s hitting the jackpot.


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1 Comment

  1. Linda November 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Kelly, I’m reading your blog for the first time and came across this post. Lordy, people are crazy and feel they can say anything online. I hope you let roll off your back. Amber you could have someone pre-read the comments and only pass along the ones needing a reply. Forget all the rest. Hang in there and thanks for your blog. Love it!
    PS if I found anything food related item that was normally 13 for 7, I’d be shouting to the rooftops!!