A pot of beans isn't anything worth mentioning, especially when I couldn't put my favorites in the pot; onions and garlic. We didn't even have any margarine to put in the bowl of beans. But, it was healthy! Add a slice of homemade wheat or rye bread, and we were fed. This hasn't been the first time we've had to be ultra thrifty in our meals. It's a budget-imposed fast so to speak.
So maybe you can imagine my joy and thankfulness when we got a little money and I could go buy some more basics!
I had some fresh clean beef from our rancher thawing in the refrigerator. Now that I could get some vegetables I was able to make a soup! Beef and Vegetable Barley Soup. Yum. This is comfort food. Nothing like clean unadulterated beef. Good stuff!
The magic of soup is that you can make it last while filling stomachs, especially hungry growing tummies. It's healthy, filling, and relatively cheap too. This batch of soup for example was made in a 3.5 quart soup pot. The beef was a trade for labor. With the cost to make this soup divided by the number of servings, it came out to about $0.47 per serving. Not bad for a family of five! Not bad at all when you consider the healthy nourishment we all get. Obviously eating out, fast food or otherwise can't begin to compete with this value.
Knowing what vegies I use the most of, and knowing which ones I can grow, would obviously reduce the cost even further! This is my goal for next year!
This was the second soup I made this week, Pasta and Bean Soup. It had no meat in it, so I added brown rice in order to make the protein that comes from the combination of beans and rice. I never was a lover of beans until I learned to make pintos to my liking. Then after trying this recipe (and modifying it for the protein) I fell in love with these little white navy beans! I love that it only takes about 2 hours to cook them compared to about 8 hours for pintos! I really liked the clean light flavor of these navy beans. I will be using them a lot more often! This soup was cheaper than the Beef and Barley above. With about the same number of servings it came out to be $0.40 per serving! It was delicious too!
These two soups fed us for a few dinners and a couple of lunches too. Approximately 32 servings came out to be $13.68 which averaged out to about $0.43 per meal, per person, for one whole week! I love my job!
I am really looking forward to growing those vegies I use the most of; tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots. If I could grow celery, I would. I haven't used potatoes much for years, but I'm coming back to them for the sake of filling my boys' tummies up. So, I shall be attempting to grow potatoes next year as well.
Can I get the cost of soup down to something like $0.10 per serving? Sounds like a delicious challenge!