Soup is one of my most favourite frugal meals, mostly because you can make a large quantity of something quite nutritious and healthy for a relatively low cost. Today for instance, I have made a vegetable soup, which factoring in all the ingredients I purchased along with what I already had in my pantry probably would have come to around $8AUD to make- and get this I have portioned out NINE servings.
Nine servings of my vegetable soup means this works out to be 89 cents per portion, probably one of the lowest cost meals I make out of my usual repertoire. Not only is this a cheap and nutritious meal, but it fills me up and keeps me full for quite some time so I’m not tempted to consume unhealthy or expensive snacks. I bulk out my vegetable soup with a handful of rice (bought in bulk) and a handful of gluten free pasta (unfortunately not that cheap) to give it a bit more body and fill me up for that bit longer.
I’ve always been a big advocate for taking a packed lunch to work because it really is just so much cheaper as opposed to paying an average of $10 (at least) for lunch on ONE day only. Whereas I made nine portions for less than the cost of $10. But I suppose factoring in water and gas costs and not just the cost of ingredients may bump up my $8 estimation slightly.
One thing I will say against my frugal soup is that it is very time consuming chopping up all the vegetables required, however I do feel as though the financial savings outweigh the extra preparation time especially as I make use of the cooking time by doing other chores whilst my soup is bubbling away.
For the reasons of frugality, nutrition and convenience I choose to make soup all year round. Soup has a tendency to be associated only with winter, however I like to make the most of the filling and cheap meal year round. I find my workplace conditioner is far too cold in summer, so often a nice warming soup at lunchtime is just what’s needed!!!
What are your favourite frugal soups? How much do they cost?