Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lemon Chicken soup & grocery savings

February 5, 2013

Both of the kids packed their lunches today. Yay for using up leftovers and saving $4. I on the other hand, had a lunch date with a bunch of friends. I asked the waitress what the soup of the day was and she said "lemon chicken rice". Normally, the words "lemon" and "soup" in the same sentence just don't do it for me. However, I found myself saying oh, I'll order that. Am I glad I did! I think I inhaled that soup. I liked it so much that I decided to make it for dinner tonight. 

And now for my favorite part of the week: grocery savings. I shopped today instead of Wednesday because the restaurant we ate at was just a couple blocks from the commissary. It just made sense to knock it out today. My pre-challenge weekly average for groceries was $175. Today I spent $14.91 on toiletries/cleaners. I spent $67.58 on food (including a tray of sushi per my daughter's request). I spent $2.85 on impulse items. I grabbed three packs of ramen (my daughter loves those) and I got three fruit cups. Still not too bad a week for impulses. I spent $10.16 on gossip magazines. After adding in their surcharges and taking out my coupons, I spent $91.17 out of pocket today, which is a savings of $83.83. The kids packed some lunches this week and saved $8. My pre-challenge weekly average of restaurant spending was $80. Today was the only day out and I spent $11.75, which is a savings of $68.25. This brings my savings for this week to $160.08! My grand total of savings is $1,863.77 in 104 days!! Wohoo! I sooooo can't wait until next week and I want to hit that $2,000 mark!

A side note about restaurant dining. Want a quick way to save some money (and be healthier)? Do NOT order soda. I would guess most restaurants charge around $2 for a soda. To put it into perspective, that would equal out to paying $24 for a 12 pack. Would you ever pay that price?! Now, don't get me wrong. Every once in awhile, I just feel like a soda when we are out. I get one. But 95% of the time I simply have water. 

Ok, so on to dinner. How do I recreate the delicious soup I had for lunch? Well, I remember reading on the blog "Two peas and their pod" a few weeks ago about a lemon soup. I checked it out again today to get an idea of what to do. Recipes are guides. I then altered it to fit my own pot of soup. I cooked some onion, celery,carrots, and spinach in chicken broth. After a few minutes, I added in some orzo pasta. I chopped up a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (I love how juicy and flavorful they are). I added the chicken to the pot. Next, I added the juice of two lemons. Oh no! It was too much so I just added some more chicken broth. I kept the seasonings simple with just bay leaf, salt, and pepper. I was expecting the kids to ask what the green stuff was in the soup. They love "seawood" in Japanese soups but they are not too big on cooked spinach. So I chopped the spinach up small and hoped they would think it was just seaweed. Ha. What do you know....My daughter loved the soup. She said it is now her favorite soup. My son said it was good. It was a really bright dish. I think it would go great during the summer. And wash it down with lemonade of course!

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