What if I told you there is a way to eat lots of prepared Soup in a Budget Friendly way. Yes, you can enjoy the convenience of store bought soups; and plenty of it, without the cost!

My husband and I really love to have soup for lunch. He is a farmer and is able to enjoy lunch with the kid and I in the house most of the winter. I am celiac and don’t like the cost that comes with eating gluten free sandwiches every day (SO EXPENSIVE). So soup or leftovers it is!

However, because I don’t ALWAYS have a packaged soup or canned soup in the house, I make sure that when I do have one I want to use; it lasts as long as possible!

The Basic Principle of Budget Friendly Soup Stretching

You are taking something store bought and adding your own water and ingredients, to make the dish serve more people.

You will at LEAST DOUBLE the amount of water the packaged soup calls for, by adding the required value in broth.

Keep this one basic principle in mind so that you can stretch any type of soup or stew you want to. (You maybe wouldn’t want to do something like this with Tomato Soup for example, because that just would not work lol)

Every soup I have ever tried to make uses a type of broth as it’s base. There are chicken, broth, vegetable and speciality broths. This crucial ingredient sets the stage for the other flavours.

So: you can STRETCH ANY SOUP by adding more broth and the components that make up the soup. Well at least this non professionally trained cook thinks so! haha.

How can I make canned or packaged soup taste better?

Believe it or not: adding your own ingredients (aka stretching it) is the BEST way to do this. This allows you to add extra spices, broth, garlic, onions, vegetables…the list goes on and on.

Adding extra onion, garlic, and broth to a pre-packaged soup powder mix.

Is using canned soups really not budget friendly?

Any packaged food: can end up costing more than it’s homemade counterpart

There are 2 main reasons why I stretch many of my ready made soups or stews

  1. It is cheaper to use a single package of soup mix and water it down a bit than to use several packages for a single meal
  2. You can enjoy the taste of homemade elements with the convenience of the flavouring and speed of store bought.

Packaged and canned soups can be delicious (some of them), but you may not realize they are costing you. IN both sodium (typically they have CRAZY high amounts of salt in them) and in cost itself.

A $1.50-$3 can of soup may not seem like much. However eat a lot of them, or open several cans in order to feed your whole family for a meal and that cost will rise!

So yes, you can still enjoy the convenience of canned or packaged soups, but STRETCH them using ingredients you have on hand to decrease the amount of sodium per serving, fit more vegetables in, and save money.

Use the recipe as a guide below for whatever ready-made soup you are wanting to stretch!

If you want to stretch canned or packaged chicken noodle soup: add some extra chicken, veggies and noodles

Stretch a beef stew or beef barley soup by adding extra beef broth, leftover cooked hamburger or roast, and vegetables.

Stretch a potato or cream soup by adding extra broth, vegetables, sour cream, cheese, or mashed potatoes.


‘Stretched’ Creamy Potato Soup

For this particular example, I wanted to show how I stretched a single package of powdered potato soup into 10+ cups. I must say, it was much more delicious after I modified it than it was before hand!

‘Stretching your soup’ does NOT have to mean it tastes bad after 🙂 It just means your budget will thank you for making lots of soup for less money.

Packaged potato soup 'stretched' by adding extra water, broth and vegetables. Making it more servings to feed my family.
This is my extra ingredients and packaged soup mix before stirring it all together.

Looking for more ways to cut back on your grocery bill each month? I outline 2 OTHER really important tips for doing this in Grocery Budget Tips

In conclusion, the best way to stop spending so much money on soups is to start ‘stretching’ them to make them last longer and feed more people.

Do this by adding your own extra water, vegetables, meat and spices. You can capitalize on the flavours of your favourite canned soup and have the end result still taste similar. Without using more than one can for feeding your family.

Let me know what you do with your own ‘stretched soup’ creations! I would love to hear! Or if you have any other tips to make a soup more budget friendly!

Till next time,

Practical tips to help you get more bang for your buck, by 'stretching' store bought soups to feed more people without spending more money.

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