Thursday, December 13, 2012

Practically Free Chicken Noodle Soup

As a follow up on my post on Making The Most of my $.20/lb Chicken, I wanted to share how I made a nice pot of chicken noodle soup almost for free.

After we had finished cutting off chunks of chicken for different meals that we made, I put all of the bones (along with the bits of meat I couldn't quite cut off) into my stockpot and simmered them with onion skins and carrot peels for a few hours. By this time the last bits of meat had fallen off of the bone.

I strained the broth off and packaged it into a few re-used plastic food containers. I picked through the bones for the last little bits of meat. I packaged that into another container and put it all in the freezer to make soup later.

Last night I pulled the containers out of the freezer to thaw. Today I scooped the fat from the top of the containers and dumped the broth into my slow cooker. I added the chicken pieces.

During one grocery shopping trip, I got a coupon for a free 1 lb bag of baby carrots (I got organic ones since the coupon didn't have any restrictions printed on it). I used about 1/4 of the bag cut into coins.

The only ingredient (besides seasonings) that I paid for was the onion. I paid $.11 a pound at Aldi by stocking up when they were selling 3 lb bags for 3 for $1. I used about 1/2 an onion. I sauteed this in a little bit of vegetable oil before adding it to the slow cooker.

This cooked on low heat for several hours. When I make soup for dinner, I usually get everything going while I make my breakfast and let it cook all day.

For this soup, I added the pasta about 20 minutes before we were ready to eat. Any sooner and it would get way too soggy. I used bits of different kinds of pasta: broken spaghetti or fettucini noodles, or bits of pasta that weren't enough for a meal, but were too much to throw away.

At the same time that I added my pasta, I added seasonings. Tonight it was simply a bit of salt, garlic powder (free from a previous employer of Trucker's), a pinch of cayenne pepper and some Italian seasoning blend. Before serving, I ground some black pepper and it was done. It turned out pretty good. I added a bit too much cayenne pepper (I admit, I accidentally added more than a pinch), but it was okay since Trucker's had a bit of a cold. Sinus busting power soup!

I love that all told, this soup cost around $.25 including seasonings for 4 meal-sized servings of soup. It was a perfect meal with some garlic toast made from bread I got for free (job benefit of being a baker!)

What are your favorite practically free meals?

Shared with:

Homestead Barn Hop


  1. Wow, good work getting the chicken for so cheap!

    1. It is still possible to get affordable meat, even if it is harder than it used to be. The best deals I get are Catalina coupons at Meijer.


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