This may sound like a weird title, but I try to take savings “to the next level” anytime I can. We try to shop at Aldi, cut coupons, and buy generic as a way to keep grocery expenses way down. However, I always try to save even more if possible. This is how chicken noodle soup comes into the equation.
I had been buying chunky chicken noodle soup, when it was on sale. I usually got it for about $1.50. I don’t like a lot of potatoes and carrots in my soups, so I usually took those out and added my own vegetables, usually an asparagus mix with broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and peas. One day I realized, “why not just buy condensed chicken noodle and add the same vegetables??” So instead of paying $1.50 per can, I pay $.50 or less per can, and add the vegetables I was going to add anyway, which include broccoli, green beans, peas, and (now that we have a garden) fresh greens, like Collards and Romaine lettuce. I sometimes add tomato paste to turn it into a tomato based soup (which adds extra lycopene), and I always add cayenne powder. My wife knows full well that I add cayenne to just about everything. I love the taste. I even put it on my fries (as in, I sprinkle pure cayenne pepper over the fries to coat them).
So if I eat 3 bowls a week, in the course of the year this simple trick saves me $156. $156 buys 39 gallons of gas at current rates. I suppose I could push the savings more by making my soup from scratch, with a boullion cube, chicken chunks, and pasta, and that is the next step!