Let’s admit it, food prices go up and down. The price of convenience can hurt families budgets. This is why families should ask them selves several questions.
What am I good at?
How can this skill benefit me?
Will this improve my families budget?
Do I/can I make time for this?
If you answered yes to all of these questions and need to improve your families budget, this is the best time to do it! The other day, I was grocery shopping. I was walking through the produce aisle and noticed a small stand full of mixes. I picked up a McCormick Potato Soup mix and read the back. The recipe looked easy. So I decide to add potatoes to my shopping list. When I got home, I put away the groceries and prepped my ingredients for the soup….
This recipe called for Milk, Butter, and Potatoes. The type of milk and butter is not important. This is entirely up to you. I drink whole milk and already had I can’t believe it’s not butter in the fridge. After peeling the potatoes with a sharp knife. I diced them into 1/2 inch potato cubes. The size of your potatoes is up to you. Remember, the bigger they are, the longer it will take for them to get tender.
Bring Milk, Butter, and Mix to a boil
Do not put potatoes into the pot first. You need to raise the temp of the milk. If you throw the potatoes into the pot it will take longer for the soup to cook. Trust me, I did this and this is why I am telling you not to do it. If you are feeling ambitious, feel free to add other seasonings to the mixture. If you are a beginner, stick to the recipe.
Add Everything Else
Add Two Diced Potatoes and Stir constantly for 25-30 minutes. If you don’t stir constantly the milk will burn at the bottom of the pot. When you serve the soup, your family will see brown scraps in their soup. Don’t worry it is edible, but it doesn’t taste good. Also, feel free to use a microwave, stove, or cellphone timer. It doesn’t matter which one you use. By the way, I was in a cooking mood that evening. The skillet behind the soup has nothing to do with the recipe. For those of you that are curious, that is hamburger helper.
Check Potatoes for Tenderness
No one knows your family better than you. If the potatoes taste ready to you, it is ok to cut off the heat before the time limit. The time is given as a guide for cooks to use for a general completion time. When it comes to potato soup, I like mushy cubes. If they are to firm, they are not ready. There are two ways you can check for tenderness. One, pick up a cube of potato in your mixing spoon and press it with a fork. If it is difficult to press down on, the potato it is not ready. Two, taste test. Chew on the potato. If it doesn’t taste ready, let it cook longer. I am usually a taster. If I am multi-tasking, I’ll do the press method.
Save for Later
Only you know how much your family needs. This soup packet makes four servings. A serving of soup is 1/2 cup. Each container is one cup. If your running short on measuring cups, you can use these storage bowls. They have measurements on them. I used these bowls to measure the milk I needed to make this soup. If your making this soup ahead of time, you can store the soup and heat it for your family later. The soup makes a great lunch for kids. You can let them add things to their soup like cheese, bacon, and chives. You can also serve the soup as a side. If you want to have a special dinner with you and your significant other, you can make a salad, add the soup, and have an entre as your main attraction. Your food groups are covered and you don’t have to do all of this in one sitting.
These mixes aren’t difficult to make and often come with suggestions for other uses. Plus, you know it’s fresh and the packets are full of dry ingredients. Overall, I want you to know that there are options out there that are more cost friendly for a budget conscious family. Don’t be afraid to make something that isn’t prepackaged. If you’re a new cook, I always suggest using recipes like this first. Once you are confident in the kitchen, you can move on to recipes found on-line and in cookbooks.