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With a family of five, our grocery bill can get way up there, and money can be tight after paying all the bills, especially around the around the 1st and 15th. Along with that, I’m a stay-at-home mom, so living on one income means I have to work hard to make budget friendly meals. To help get that grocery bill lower, I’ve been planning meals for less than $20/meal.
Simple dinners like soup and salad is a great way to make a few ingredients go a long way. Not only does it go further, but my family always gets so excited when I make soup. Homemade soup is one meal I know that makes everyone happy.
While grocery shopping the other day at Walmart, I noticed several of my favorite Kraft products on rollback. With such great prices, I was able to plan an inexpensive, but delicious meal of Chicken Broccoli Cheese soup with a salad and a loaf of french bread for dinner last night.
Our meal consisted of a cheesy, delicious Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup full of broccoli, carrots, chicken, and mac n cheese as well as a salad topped with one of my faves, Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing.
This is one of my favorite soups. The shells and cheese just make it taste very much like a comfort food. It definitely brings everyone to the kitchen. While it was simmering on the stove, Nate and the kids all migrated to the kitchen to ask what smelled so good and when were we going to eat.
Here’s a look at how easy it is to make:
For our soup and salad night, here’s the cost break down:
- Salad – $1.38
- French bread (on the day old shelf) – $0.70
- 1 can of carrots – $0.68
- 8 oz Kraft Velveeta Shredded Cheese (2)- $4.00
- Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing – $1.98
- Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese – $1.98
- 32 oz Chicken Broth – $1.86
- Fresh Broccoli Crowns – $1.00
- 10 oz can of chicken – $2.00
Total cost for dinner – $15.58
Not only was it way less than $20 for the whole meal, there were enough leftovers for Nate’s lunch for a couple more days.
Yields 7-8 servings
5 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 1 can carrots
- 10 oz can chicken
- 1-2 broccoli crowns, chop just the tops
- 1 pkg Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese
- 16 oz Velveeta shredded cheese
- 4 cups water
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbs minced dried onion
- Chop broccoli.
- Pour off juice from carrots and smash the carrots with a potato masher.
- In a dutch oven on medium high, add garlic, minced onion, and butter. Saute until butter is completely melted.
- Add flour and stir constantly to prevent lumps. Make sure to keep stirring until it's completely combined with the butter. It will thicken and bubble. This makes a roux (like for gravy, etc.)
- Keep stirring and just as it starts to turn brown, turn the fire down to medium and add chicken broth, carrots, broccoli, 2 cups of water, salt, and garlic powder.
- Keep stirring until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
- Add 2 additional cups of water and Velveeta shells and cheese and stir.
- Add Velveeta shredded cheese 1 cup at a time while stirring to allow it to melt.
- Once all ingredients are added, stir occasionally and let cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from fire and serve.
What are your favorite budget friendly meals? Hopefully this one will inspire you to create your own. Enjoy!