#MealsOnABudget – Post 3

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I’d like to open this #MealsOnABudget post with Today’s Lesson!

Today’s Lesson for Staying On Budget

SOUP!

Oh my goodness – a thousand times, “SOUP!”

And here’s why!

I find ‘lunch’ to be the trickiest meal of the day. Unless there are leftovers in the fridge, I’m at a loss. I typically can’t do a sandwich because I love toast for breakfast and I can’t do bread at breakfast and lunch or else I’ll explode from carb overload (at least this is what I’ve been led to believe). I find that organizing a salad is more time consuming than it’s worth so more often than not my lunch consists of cheese and crackers in some form or another. But not anymore (!) because I have discovered soup! Soup will now be my go-to, nutritious, on-budget lunch!

To recap, with our current grocery budget ($400 for the month divided into $300 for meals and $100 for snacks!), we have allotted $1.48 for lunch. Let me walk you through my soup that contains 8 different vegetables and find out where we fall within that amount!

2 carrots … $0.22

1 celery stalk … $0.14

1 onion … $0.22

3 potatoes … $0.51

1/3 medium turnip (about 1 cup) … $0.67

1/4 green pepper (1/2 cup) … $0.11

2/3 bag corn (12 oz) … $0.65

20 oz chopped frozen spinach … $1.98

2 tbsp butter … $0.22

(Plus another $0.10 worth of spices)

TOTAL … $4.82 for TWELVE (yep, 12!) servings of soup! That means that per bowl, this soup only costs 40cents and it’s full of vegetables and flavour! (This leaves basically $1 of your daily food budget unaccounted for! Spend it foolishly, my friends! Have a fun and fizzy drink with supper! Eat fresh strawberries for breakfast tomorrow! Knowing what we now do about meal planning, $1 can go a very long way!)

It took me about an hour and a half start-to-finish to chop, boil, separate and store this soup but I am happy to say that I will not have to spend any time dwelling over at least 12 lunches in the near future!

A few tips on freezing soup (taken from Jamie Oliver’s “Save with Jamie” cookbook!): Divide your soup into small portions so it cools more quickly and get it into the freezer as soon as possible! This helps you to lock in more nutrients so they’re there to be retrieved when you decide to eat the soup! And, like when freezing anything else, don’t fill your containers too high. You need to allow some room for expansion.

Hope these posts are helpful! Let me know if you have any tips/challenges for me! #MelHal

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