I cruised by the baby food section at the store the other day, interested to see what kind of money I was saving by making Ascher’s soup(recipe!) instead of buying prepared jars of food. It looked like a serving (1/2 cup) was 50 cents a jar, which doesn’t really sound too bad, at first. Let’s break this down though.
- 1 quart of homemade bone broth – $Free, because I’m making it from chicken carcasses that we’ve been using the meat from already.
- 2-4 cups of green veggies – $Free from generous relatives with over-productive gardens(frozen last summer)
- 2-4 cups of squash – $Free from our over-productive garden
- 2 average size sweet potatoes or yams – $0.76 (1.5 pounds)
- 2 chicken breasts – $2.00(about a pound)
- water to almost cover – $Free!
- salt, pepper, and a dash of other seasoning, if desired. $Free – pennies. I always have it on hand anyway.
- 1 stick of butter. – $0. 60
= $3.36 for this most recent batch of soup! 16 cups of soup being 32 half cup servings that’s 10 cents per serving!!
Now, I understand that some people may not have garden bounty on hand from last summer. I’d say you could probably buy your green veggies(frozen or fresh) for a dollar or two more and maybe another two dollars for the squash. Let’s assume they live someplace expensive and allow 4 whole dollars for the squash and green veggies.
Then, if you don’t usually buy whole chickens that would be an expense too. Around here you can get a whole chicken for $1/pound, a five pound chicken for $5, right? But, since we’re wise consumers we’re making a roast chicken first and using a lot of the meat for a family dinner or two, so let’s call your chicken carcass(very generously, since it will make multiple batches of broth!) $2.
So, this method brings our price for a batch of soup up to $9.36. Still only 29 cents per serving!
Alternately, if you bought a whole chicken and devoted the whole thing to baby soups you’d probably have 3-4 batches worth of meat for a $1/pound instead of $2/pound for just the breasts! PLUS! the carcass will make multiple batches of broth! If you only make four batches of broth from the carcass your cost for both the chicken and the broth for your soup is $1.25 per batch.
This method means our cost per batch is $6.61 and we’re spending 20 cents per serving.
And, bonus points, I’m not paying for a zillion tiny glass jars that(fun as they are!) may or may not be useful, but I’ll hate to throw away. We have a collection of little reusable plastic containers that hold a half cup each, which lets us measure Ascher’s intake, roughly, and just pop the lid on and put in the fridge if he doesn’t want it all.
Awesome! I don’t know about you, but I love confirming that I’m saving money and doing something healthy at the same time!