Eating Well For Less - and Other Kitchen Charms Money Management 

Bowling for dollars: soup on the menu is right on the money

My house smells delicious! The smell of soup is in the air!

I went to the farmer’s market to pick up some chicken on my “as-you-need-it” CSA with Tangletown Farm . The farm hadn’t processed any birds, so I ended up coming home with 3 pounds of chicken backs – perfect for soup!

Search for Soup Stones

Remember that children’s story about the man who made stone soup? Villagers added vegetables, broth and spices to his pot to make it even more delicious. You can pretend the refrigerator and pantry are your villagers – see what you have on hand that can be added.

We all know that the food budget is one of the first departments to be cut when in a budget pinch. But that doesn’t mean we have to starve. We can save money by modifying our recipes, or using leftovers and ingredients we already have in our pantry. Even canned soups can be healthy and satisfying. But there is nothing like the smell of homemade soup on a chilly fall day! “Bowl-ing” your meals a few times a week could put dollars in your bank.

I must use my Crockpot more often. What a timesaver! Today, I brought home my package of chicken backs and after cooking them I picked off about 2 cups of meat. The meat and broth became the base of my soup.

I had celery in the fridge, bought on sale for $1 per head, and a 3-lb. package of carrots at $1.89. I chopped a generous amount of each for the soup (maybe a cost of 70 cents), added chopped garlic (20 cents), some leftover golden potatoes (50 cents),  5 stalks of green chard (cost was zero – it was a generous gift from my friend Bern’s garden) and lots of spices. Done! Soup is ridiculously easy. A Crockpot full of soup cost about $4, and is enough for several meals this week.

Stretchy Soup Can Save

Take a look in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry and make a big pot of soup to replace or stretch your meals this month. The savings can go to your own Financial Freedom account – or leave room in your budget for that special treat. Oh. that reminds me – I made dessert today, too. I baked a pan of apple crisp, made from apples that were given to me by someone who had an over-zealous apple tree.  I already had the ingredients for the crisp, which probably added up to a few dollars (Let me know if you want an awesome crisp recipe so you can make your own).  That also is served in a bowl, my Bowling for Dollars meal is complete.

Oh, you say you just can’t eat that soup all week long? Then swap it! Soup swaps like these are popular across the United States – find one close by and share with others.  Here are some great recipes – but you really don’t need a recipe. Just throw everything in a pot with some liquid and add a little love – and you’ll spoon out some savings.


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