Money Saving: Don’t Waste Anything

Homemade Chicken and Veggie Soup

Our first “Money Saving Series” discussion is about “food waste”. I’ll admit that I waste a lot of food for no reason.

I’ll let fresh fruits and veggies go bad before eating them. Sometimes I’ll let fresh meat sit in the refrigerator so long (in hopes of cooking it) that it goes bad and I have no choice but to throw it out. I’ve let leftovers turn into mush, so bad that I had to throw out the container. Matter-of-fact I hate leftovers, but I’m slowly adjusting to eating them, and I’m learning to create new meals with them.

Now how does “Don’t Waste Anything” tie into saving money?

Well, the word ‘waste’ is defined as: use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose. Think about everything you’ve wasted money on…I’ve definitely wasted money on useless things that I don’t need, I’ve spent money carelessly, and some money I’ve wasted was spent with no intentional purpose of spending, but mostly I’ve wasted money on food.

According to US News Money, Americans throw away between $1,365 to $2,275 annually in food waste. I mean, we are literally throwing money out on the curb. I got sick to my stomach when I read the statistics. I could have used that money to pay bills or save.

The other day I overheard this guy talking about how everything his grandmother makes eventually turns into stew later in the week, and it made me think about my great grandmother. He was right! My grandmother used to do the same thing.

Think about it, our grandparents didn’t let anything go to waste. Everything was reused one way or the other, from scrap veggies and meat turned into soup, to grease, poured and reused over and over again. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen the huge blue Crisco can sitting on the stove, or had “Turkey Surprise” (What’s the surprise?….It’s no turkey in it.)

I had to sit back and think about how not to waste my food.

Freezing leftovers is an option, then I can rotate between a variety of meals, but mixing everything up into an inexpensive stew, chili, or soup works for me too. Do you ever make food and once the meal is done you throw away the vegetable scraps and leftover meat?  If you do, STOP. Save it, freeze it, and use it later  it to make a soup.

I made a big pot of Chicken and Veggies soup with half bags of frozen vegetables, which I surely would have thrown out because the bags say ‘use by Nov 1’, and chicken breast that I had sitting in the refrigerator (in hopes of making a chicken recipe I saw on Pinterest), as you can see, that didn’t happen.

In the new “Money Saving Series” I’ll be posting multiple ways to stretch your food, ( for example, stretching your taco meat).  I’ll also be sharing ways to reuse food, making new recipes with what you have, and more.

This week I want you to think about how much money you’ve wasted this past year. Then, I want you to think about steps you can take to reduce food waste. You can make soups, plan your meals around food you already have in the refrigerator, and EAT those leftovers.

Below is the recipe for my Chicken and Veggies soup. I’ve also included a list of inexpensive soup recipes created by other bloggers that you can throw together by using ingredients you (should) already have in your pantry.

A Cookie Named Desire

Ann’s Entitled Life

Architecture of A Mom

Atlanta’s Frugal Mom

GraceandGravy

Hot Eats and Cool Reads

I Eat Therefore I Cook

chicken-tortilla-soup-ietic

Just 2 Sisters

Lavende and Lemonade

Lori’s Culinary Creations

Meet Kristy

Military Wives Sharing

My Turn For Us

Penny Pincher Jenny

Pounds 4 Pennys

Robyn’s Online World

Stockpiling Moms

The Kitchen Is My Playground

Views From The Ville

My Chicken and Veggie Soup Recipe

Chicken and Veggie Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Good for the Soul, easy on the wallet.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • Chicken Broth or Chicken Bouillon {in water}
  • Raw Chicken Breast {or any chicken you have available}
  • Veggies any that you have frozen (I used half bags that were about to expire soon: broccoli, french green beans, corn, mixed veggie bag w/ carrots, peas, green beans, and corn)
  • Can of Rotel Tomatoes (or diced chile tomatoes)
  • Salt & Pepper (oregano, thyme, and any other season you like)
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken in the broth 20 minutes or more until done.
  2. Once chicken is done take out of the broth and chop it to chuck size pieces.
  3. Turn broth back on (make sure to skim and remove all chicken residue)
  4. Pour in the bags of veggies and the can of Rotel tomatoes.
  5. Pour chicken back into the pot.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and let cook on low/medium heat (30 minutes to 1 hour) until vegetables are done.
  7. Season as needed, I usually put a little salt and pepper in it. The Rotel tomatoes add a lot of flavor, and makes the soup a little spicy.
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2 Comments

  1. October 6, 2014 / 5:17 pm

    You’re welcome Tracey, your recipes look delicious!

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