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I`ll admit, I was very frugal as a student during university.
I paid tuition, which was $12K a year, rent, groceries, and all the lovely living expenses, plus I have a serious affection for Louis Vuitton and Burberry purses.
So one thing I learned to do was to eat hearty meals using very cheap ingredients.
One of my favorite meals during winter was a spicy tomato soup with basil and vegetables.
I don`t mind admitting I used to buy canned soup in bulk at Costco because it was convenient and cheap. When you have 6 exams stacked up in 3 days and you have no food in your fridge or pantry, canned soup and frozen vegetables become a shining light at the end of the tunnel.
Though canned soup is not so healthy, I try to balance it out with vegetables. I have something against canned mushrooms, I love fresh mushrooms and I would never touch canned mushrooms though I have no problems eating canned pineapples, corn and peas. For soups, I always use fresh mushrooms though it gets a bit pricey depending on which mushrooms you use.
For this soup, I used Campbell`s Reduced Sodium Tomato soup, a standard $0.69 soup you can find at Walmart or Costo. I then added some fresh chopped mushrooms ($0.99) and frozen corn ($0.30 as the bag was $2.99 and it lasts over 10 meals). A tablespoon of Heinz Spicy ketchup helped to add more kick to the soup and flavor ($0.10 - it was $4.99 a bottle but it lasted well over 50 meals). I also added some basil (price negligible) at the end.
You end up with a hearty meal that had a good amount of vegetables in it (about 3 servings at minimum) and it was pretty cheap to make ($2.08) It`s much healthier than eating Mr. Noodles, I would say.
What do you guys think?
*photo is mine*