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1 Trick to Stretch a Meal (and look super fancy)

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1 Trick to Make Your Meal Go a Little Further

The easiest way to stretch a meal (and look super fancy)

This is the number one hack to make your meal and food stretch a bit

Groceries and food make up a large chunk of our expenditures. We also love having people over and love to entertain. We also don’t love having to spend a lot of money (which we don’t have) on a lot of chicken, meat or fish to feed all the people who we love having coming to our house. So its a bit of a conundrum. We need to stretch our meal and food budget a bit to make it work. We also are a growing family so I am constantly looking for cheap recipes to feed a large family.

stretch a meal

(If you are having a crowd, here are some hacks to making a feast on a budget.)

If you ever are making a meal and need to make it stretch for more people….
If you ever are strapped for money and are trying to make your main dishes go a little bit further…
If you ever need to turn a regular supper into something a bit more fancy..

this is the easiest way to do it!

Turn a regular supper into a two course extravaganza with one of the cheapest foods out there:

Make a soup to Stretch your Meal!

Adding a soup to a beginning of a meal has a few advantages:

1. It makes you seem more “fancy” and put-together because two courses is fancier than one. Think about it: if you go to someone’s house and they serve supper with two courses you automatically assume that they put a lot of thought and effort into it. Its a great hosting trick that is really super easy to implement.

2. People fill up on soup when it served first. A soup is nourishing and filling and after eating a bowl (or two!) of soup, they will eat less of the main dish. This is great of you are trying to get away with serving less of the main dish.


The easiest soup in the world is the extremely versatile cream of whatever vegetable you have soup.

This is the recipe (or lack thereof- like I said, its the easiest soup in the world!) This can be added to the “A Dime Saved Cookbook”!

Cream of Cheap Vegetable Soup

This soup is one of the easiest cheap recipes to feed a large family.

Take onions and sweat them. Take an in-season vegetable. Zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, potato, parsnip, mushroom, and butternut squash all work really well. Whatever is in-season at the time! Chop and add to pot. Cover with water. Cook. Blend with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adding a soup, especially an easy and cheap one, is really the easiest way to stretch a meal. Serving it as a first automatically turns your meal into a 2-course affair and stomachs will be filled with the soup (cheap and healthy!) before serving the more pricey main course. Since an in-season vegetable is cheaper than most (all?) chicken, fish or meat dishes you can stretch the main course further because you can serve less. An added bonus is that a vegetable soup is really healthy!

1 trick to save money on food. stretch a meal

You can do this every night!

I know families who do this every night for supper. A cheap soup fills bellies without having to ration food. If you are constantly looking for cheap recipes to feed a large family, then this idea should help you. If you want you can also add a grain to make it a little more hearty- think rice, barley etc. You can always check out Budget Bytes for tons of great cheap recipes to feed a large family

Soup also freezes really easily so leftovers can be reused for a lunch or another night. I try to always have a soup in the freezer to pull out when needed. There is nothing like a hot soup to warm you and make your house smell good. The added bonus is that it is so ridiculously cheap so you do not need to break the bank.

The month of January is a common time for people to really start thinking about their finances and their health. I love being able to do both! Save money by using healthy food to feed my family. I especially like when there is very little effort on my part- its not so much that I’m lazy (although maybe I am) but I don’t have endless amounts of time to cook lunch and supper that is both frugal and healthy.

You can also serve it while waiting for other food to heat up or cook. It takes the edge off your hunger and will make you less likely to order take-out or go out to eat, both of which are very common budget busters!

Do you have any cheap recipes to feed a large family?

A Dime Saved

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have my MBA and I have been studying Personal Finance on my own for as long as I can remember. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

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