We’ve really put ourselves on a food budget lately. A MAJOR food budget. I realized I had been paying close to $200/week for 2 adults. That’s ridiculously high, don’t you think? Especially since I’m in the midst of looking for a new full time job, I still have student loans, and Jeff and I are wanting to not only do some upgrades to the house, but also pay off the house, we realized that we needed to cut out some things. So, I’m on a new quest…. how can I make yummy clean meals, stick to as much organic as I can, and try not to spend more than $100 each week on food? It’s going to be tough, but I accept this challenge!
For this first budget meal, I went to my freezer, fridge and pantry for the main items and relied on a few items from this week’s order from Door-to-Door Organics. Technically, I didn’t even have to leave the house to get any of these items, so if you think about it, I didn’t even have to spend money on gas to go to the grocery store. Yay me! Granted, I guess I did go out and purchase most of these items already, but since it’s been awhile I don’t feel so bad. Because I’m the nerd who always keeps her receipts, I was able to figure out the prices of the previously purchased items from Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Overall I spent $19.93 for all of the items which equals out to be $4.98 per serving (Jeff and I both got 2 lunches each out of this!). I think that’s pretty good since I don’t even know where you could go and buy a bowl of soup these days for that little of a price that tastes as good as this Bacon, Black Bean and Pumpkin soup!
Here’s a breakdown by store and item (Please note that I didn’t count for the garlic cloves, cumin, salt and pepper because I always have them on hand and with there being such small amounts I don’t know how to price those out):
- 1 lb package of uncured bacon – $4.33
- Whole Foods:
- 1 box of organic black beans – $1.49
- 1 box of organic pumpkin puree – $2.00
- Trader Joe’s:
- 1 box of organic, cage-free chicken broth – $1.99
- 1/3 of a block of raw milk white cheddar cheese – $1.17
- 1/2 of a large yellow onion – $0.50
- Door-to-Door Organics:
- 1 red pepper: – $1.67
- 1 yellow pepper – $1.67
- 1 leek – $2.99
- 1 jalapeño – $0.79
- 1/3 pint of grape tomatoes – $1.33
Obviously, to make these even cheaper I would suggest not purchasing organic and/or if you can buy any of it from Aldi’s or from your local farmer’s market you’ll definitely save a few bucks. Overall, I’m still pretty proud of myself for my first budget meal!
Makes 4, 2-Cup Servings
- 1 lb package of uncured bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow/orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 leek, diced
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
- 4 cups organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 – 14.5 oz can/box organic black beans
- 1 – 14.5 oz can/box organic pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ground sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Optional garnishes: chopped tomatoes, shredded raw milk cheese, avocado slices and/or pumpkin seeds.
- Place bacon pieces in the bottom of a soup pot. Turn the burner to med-high heat, and cook the bacon pieces, turning every so often. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the pot.
- When bacon is done cooking, remove from pot to paper towels, but leave the bacon grease in the pot. Next, add the bell peppers, onion, leeks, jalapeño and garlic to the bacon grease and sauté over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften and become fragrant.
- Stir in the black beans, pumpkin, broth, 2/3 of the bacon pieces (leave the rest for garnish), cumin and salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve with crumbled bacon and any other garnish of choice.