Friday’s Frugal Five

Today is a big day for a lot of people, some are happy about it and some are not and that’s ok.  But the certainty is that we are all together in this big ole thing we call life and we can choose to try and make the best of it, relying on no one but ourselves to better our lives, be happy and genuinely just try to be kind to one another.  That’s all, just be kind to each other.   Just my 2¢

  •  I made a big pot of (knock off Panera) broccoli cheddar soup.  It was delicious and the cost came in well under the Panera cost for a cup of soup.  I coupled that with Katy’s bread recipe which still kept cost around $1 per serving.  I put the rest of the soup we didn’t eat in the freezer.  I love easy pull from the freezer meals.
  • I was gifted some pure maple syrup.  I “put it up” with what I already had on hand in smaller batches to prevent it spoiling.  I’ve read mixed information about the shelf life of pure maple syrup, so I just decided not to chance it and sealed it up in pint jars.

 

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  • Because of said soup in #1 I needed to go light the rest of the week with my diet.  It’s been 10 months since I quit the Prilosec (after a more than 20 year use of it) but too much of some things disrupt my digestive system.  So, veggies the rest of the week for me.  I stopped by two different stores and picked up a few veggies using 3 coupons that I had.  Here is what I bought and spent.  The mushrooms rang up wrong, $1.09 too high and I did take the time to ask the clerk to adjust the price which he did.  I’m going to do some experimental baking with almond flour and the enjoy life chocolate chips this weekend and all I can say it it better be damn good for the price I paid for both of them!  YIKES!

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The fisher nuts were marked down so I stocked up on 2 large bags as I do use them in meals and snack on them quite a bit.  I love walnuts!

Kroger – $22.00

Walmart – $67.04 (fully paid with gift card)

Natures Outlet – $ 41. ($20 paid with a gift certificate)

Monthly grocery budget is $300 and I’ve spent $118.00

  • I used a gift certificate at Natures Outlet, the health food store and bought only what was on my list which was aloe juice and slippery elm, both are used for medicinal purposes to continue to repair my digestive system.
  • The Z Man has been working his butt off the last two weeks or so stockpiling wood for next year.   He is putting that new chain saw to good use.  We burn about 10 – 12 loads of wood every winter.  Like I mentioned before, wood is 100% our source for heat.  That’s a lot of wood… sometimes I feel like the Z Man is a slave to the wood stove.  But, neither one of us could imagine a $400 – $500 electric bill and don’t want to.  NOPE, DON’T WANT TO!

Your turn, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,

Lori

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I was in the mood to make soup, but honestly that isn’t unusual for this time of year.  I had been wanting Panera broccoli cheddar soup since a friend mentioned it in her meal plan on Z Life What’s Cooking Facebook page.

But it wasn’t until I walked down to the garden that I realized it was my fate To Make Soup!

Ok, I honestly was just going to the garden to get some leftover greens for the chickens, and then I saw this.

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Well hello there Mr. Broccoli, lets put you in a pot!  (Yes, I actually still had broccoli in my garden in January, I know crazy right!)

This is perfect for my “new” weekly recipe, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe each week.  I’ve never made cheddar broccoli soup so I googled recipes and found several that I could tweak as my own for the ingredients I had on hand.

This is what I did…

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 Tbsp of olive oil (or bacon grease 😉 )
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced

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Saute veggies in butter and oil until soft then add:

  • 1 cup of flour to make a roux

Cook roux for 5 – 10 minutes then whisk in:

  • 4 cups of (warmed) milk
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • S&P to taste ( 1 tsp. of each)

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Cook and stir mixture about 5 minutes and then add:

  • 8 cups of small (even a little bit chopped) broccoli florets

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Cook and stir about 10 – 15 minutes until broccoli is softened, then add:

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  • 8 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Stir until cheese is melted.

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This makes a big pot of soup.  My 8 quart stock pot is almost full, shy of about 2 quarts.

But, I’m thinking this soup will freeze nicely and if I’m cooking I’m always making more than one meal.

The recipe could easily be cut in half if needed.

This soup is beyond delicious!  So Good!

Now I wont have to buy Panera soup when the craving hits, I’ll just go to the freezer.

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The last time I bought Panera was around $10 for a small cup of soup and a small salad.  This pot of soup (6 quarts) would cost about $23 (in my area of grocery costs).

That comes to about $1 per serving for a Panera size serving of this soup.   Have you ever got a bowl of soup at Panera (or anywhere besides home) for a $1 or less?

But, if you have broccoli in the garden or freezer and homemade chicken stock on the shelf or freezer, then the (immediate) cost of this soup would be minimal at best.

To go with it I made a fresh loaf of Katy’s, the author of The Non Consumer Advocate’s homemade bread AKA The Tightwad Gazette’s homemade bread recipe.

Just YUM!!!   No, really that’s all I could say, YUM!

Since I’ve never made this soup before, I’m counting this as my new recipe for the week, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe every week in 2017.

Go ahead, make some soup and bread…  You’ll love it!

Till next time,

Lori