How to make frugal winter soups

It feels like winter kicked in a little late this year for much of the country, but now the cold weather has definitely arrived. It’s time to hunker down on the weekends and wait until spring, and what better way to warm up than cooking something delicious in the kitchen?

Soup is one of the best parts of winter cuisine. It’s also one of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck when you’re cooking. Soup can be cooked in large quantities if you’re entertaining or have a lot of mouths to feed, and you can freeze it for an easy lunch or dinner when you just don’t have the time later on. No need to worry about getting bored with the same old recipes this winter.

For inspiration, check out a few of these frugal soup ideas and twists on your favorites:

Tomato Soup

Whether you’re working with a can of Campbell’s or making it from scratch, tomato soup is a classic winter treat. Blogger Budget Savvy Diva suggests a recipe that puts a twist on the typical pairing: homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons. The recipe calls for ingredients you probably already have in the house, and it’s cheap to boot. Another blogger, Moms Need to Know, came up with an easy tomato soup recipe that you can make in the crockpot. This recipe has only eight ingredients and takes no time at all to prepare.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Another cold weather favorite is chicken noodle soup. Blogger Thinking Outside the Pot suggests a homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup that is very budget-friendly. For a different take, Back to the Book Nutrition has a Homemade Chicken Noodle Broth recipe that is allergy-free, uses fresh ingredients and is still easy and inexpensive to make.

Looking for something a little more filling? Try chicken noodle casserole, like the recipe from Life in the Lofthouse.

Lentil Soup

If you haven’t yet discovered lentils as a cooking ingredient that is delicious, nutritious and frugal, you’re missing out. Frugal Living Mom has a lentil and sausage soup recipe that costs $1 or less per serving. For a vegetarian option, try the lentil and black bean soup slow cooker recipe at Pennies and Pancakes, which has the entire meal cost estimated at a little over $5.

Beef Stew

This popular soup comes with many variations, and given the call for red meat it can get pricey quickly. To avoid going over your grocery budget, take a few tips from some money-savvy bloggers. Budget Bytes uses rosemary and garlic to keep the cost of beef stew low without compromising on flavor. If you’re looking for something a little different and maybe more kid-friendly, The Kitchen Magpie blog suggests a beef and tomato macaroni soup cooked in the crock pot.


If the above recipes don’t have quite the spicy kick you’re looking for, then I suggest cooking up some chili. Blogs Frugal Foodie Mama and Stacy Makes Cents offer up chili recipes true to Cincinnati style, with multiple ways to make it: plain, with pasta, with cheese, with beans and more. For something with a southern-style kick, try the Spicy Southern Chili recipes from $5 Dollar Dinners, served in a bread bowl.

Use Pinterest to search for frugal takes on your favorite soups, or try one of the recipes I suggested above. Many of these bloggers specialize in frugal dinners and break down the cost ingredient by ingredient. Of course, always search for coupons before you head to the grocery store to save even more on your meals. And no matter what type of soup you’re making, you can always make it a heartier meal by serving it over an inexpensive grain like egg noodles or rice. Stay warm this winter!

More from U.S. News

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How to Make Frugal Winter Soups originally appeared on

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