In January I found a sale on Progresso Soup for 99 cents per can, down from it's normal $3.29 price at my local grocery store. It was a huge savings on something we usually buy as a last-minute lunch backup. And since I love soup, this sale was extra exciting to me. It's a veritable soup coup!
So, naturally I had to call my husband, Mr. Spendypants, about my glorious, souper duper find.
Yes, this is what passes as exciting in our marriage. Don't judge us.
Taking full advantage of our soup savings
We fell into this yummy life hack by accident. My husband and I are currently working opposite schedules, so it's hard to make a more complicated meal that is hot and on the table when both of us are home and hungry. January was so overbooked with work that we agreed to simplify suppertime. Instead of our typical, fancy multicourse dinner, we'd just split a can of soup and eat some homemade bread. To round out the meal, the person who got home first would make a vegetable side from whatever we already had in the fridge.
At the end of the week, we were shocked to find that we'd only spent $20 on food for two people.
We decided to make our bread and soup dinner a nightly habit for the rest of 2017 as a part of our ongoing budget challenge. You don't have to go to that extreme to realize advantages from a scaled-back version of our plan. And you can improve the nutritional profile by sticking with low-salt, vegetable-laden, and no-cream varieties of canned soup, or making homemade soup. Beyond the price, there are a lot of benefits to our limited menu.
1. It's flexible
My husband and I are committed to bread and soup dinners for a year, but I know our meal plan sounds a little hard-core and weird to anyone who isn't a big soup aficionado already. However, canned soup has a long shelf life, so it's great to have on hand for those particularly busy weeks when every minute counts. Consider stocking your pantry with two weeks' worth of these timesaving dinners to get you through rough patches in your schedule.
Also, if automating seven meals a week is going to cause whining at the dinner table, you could always start by automating just one meal a week, to give the family cook a break.
2. It's not boring
One of the reasons why this meal hack works so well for us is that it doesn't get boring. There are approximately