Food is so important to our well-being. As our world gets crazier it can effect many things, including the food we can afford to buy. One way that families can eat more frugally is to eat soups. A warm pot of soup, a little bread can go a long way to warm the body and soul. In fact, with the right soups, you might find yourself eating well. In hard times, good frugal food is important. And having some easy recipes in your back pocket makes it even better.
I try not to eat out for lunch. Not only does it put a dent in the pocket book, most of the times you are looking for something fast, which usually means unhealthy. Most of the time I take my lunch to work. I try to vary it up, but most of the time it is some sort of salad or a sandwich.
In an effort to get away from a sandwich and chips, I wanted something different, easy, but tasty. I started craving soups. Not girly soups (insert some pumpkin cream something or other soup here), but hearty soups.
Soups, Recipes, Oh My
The internet has tons of frugal an inexpensive recipes waiting to be found. This is true for soup recipes too.
I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this specific site, The Modern Proper, but I found a few soup recipes that looked hearty and easy to make. I bookmarked the site and picked the first of three soups I wanted to try. I put together my list and made a soup every Saturday for three weeks in a row. I took a bowl of soup every day for lunch and never got tired of eating the same soup Monday-Friday. I was the only one eating the soup, but my family all tried them and liked them.
One word before I share the soups I made. These soups are quick and easy to make. Although all have vegetables, some of the ingredients and flavors come from a can. These ingredients can all be made from scratch, which would save you more money. But I was looking for easy soups as well as frugal food that would save me money from eating out every day for lunch.
Green Chicken Enchilada Soup
The first soup I tried was the Green Chicken Enchilada Soup. I made this soup exactly from the recipe except for the beans. Instead of Great Northern White Beans, I used Pinto Beans. I’m used to Pinto Beans and felt it would go better with the Enchilada taste.
I will also say here that enchilada sauce is not all made the same. We use the Hatch brand. It is a little bit more expensive than say Old El Paso. But it is thicker and spicier, the way I like it.
One thing that I will change when I make this the next time, is leaving out the Zucchini. For some reason, I just didn’t like it in the soup.
You can get the recipe for this soup here – Green Chicken Enchilada Soup.
Green Chicken Chili Soup
The second soup I tried was the Green Chicken Chili Soup. You can see the trend here… Part of being frugal was that I cooked a big package of chicken the week before and froze it to use in this recipe. I also saved the chicken broth, which was so much more flavorful than trying to use something out of a can.
Again, I pretty much stayed true to the recipe except for the beans. This recipe called for white beans. I traded that out for pinto again. The recipe called for salsa verde. I purchased an expensive jar at the store. And like I mentioned above with the enchilada sauce, each brand and type of salsa verde will give the soup a different taste. But, of course, if you have a garden, you can easily source all of the ingredients for salsa verde from your own backyard.
I didn’t always snap a pic of the soup complete with all the fixings. Above, you can see cilantro, avocado, cheese and crunched up chips. If you want to see this recipe click here –> Green Chicken Chili Soup.
The last soup I tried was the Taco Soup. I started to get a little braver and stray away from the recipe just a little bit here. I followed the recipe, but instead of frozen corn, I used corn in a can. I also through in a 14.5oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and more taco seasoning than the recipe called for. And like the other soups, I switched out the black beans for pinto beans.
I didn’t add any fixings to this one when I ate it. It was hearty enough to eat just like it was. I also didn’t get any other pics other than the one when I was stirring the pot. To get this recipe, click here –> Taco Soup.
Eating Well When Things Go Boom
I liked all three of these and I would recommend them all. I would also recommend to make them your own and change up the ingredients if you don’t like something or don’t have something readily on hand.
Soups are so versatile that you can do so much with them. I also like that you can make a whole meal with just one pot. That is something to think about if you are having to conserve fuel or want to minimize clean-up in an emergency situation.
If you are looking for more recipes, check out The Bug-In Recipe Cookbook, a FREE, crowd-sourced book of recipes from others in the Preparedness Community.
If you have a favorite soup recipe, share it with me in the comments. I’m just not into Pumpkin Spice Cream Something Something…if you know what I mean.
5 thoughts on “Frugal Food, Soup and Eating Well”
Once you get past the very British-American idea of “Breakfast Foods” you can also find that with a low fire wood heater your Soup Pot from Dinner is ready in the AM for Breakfast. Just remember to add some extra water for the evaporation.
We do that all the time at Deer Camp. Keeping the food lidded and at a slow simmer is safe enough for my Deer Hunting Buddies.
Or as my Grandmother used to say “Leftovers” that’s for Breakfast or in the soup for lunch.
I grew up in Chicago eating soup for breakfast. I wasn’t a big fan of eggs so my mother made me homemade soups and chili. Walking that huge two block distance to my grade school (uphill both ways!) through the snow was a lot easier with that warm soup on board.
This fall I went to Budget 101 to the soup mixes section and made several jars of shelf stable soup mixes from her recipes for this winter. I’m going to check out your suggestions in this post. They sound good.
Is Budget 101 a website or YT channel?