Stretching Meals using my pantry only on a food stamp budget isn’t as hard as you think. I tend to shop in bulk to ensure we have plenty of food to last us. Especially during the pandemic, the best way to avoid going to the store consistently throughout the month. Shopping in bulk for our family of 9 has made it so easy to avoid crowds.
My favorite way to stretch meals is to cook in bulk as well. Make sure I cook enough to last us a few days. One of my favorite dishes to cook is Sopa de Pollo. It makes it so easy to make especially on cold rainy days. It’s one of the meals that is full of flavor, reminds me of Puerto Rico, and is kid-friendly.
Why Stretching Meals Works for Us
The number one staple that’s in my pantry is chicken bouillon. I use this for everything and I always get a huge container so I never run out. I also love canned goods in this post.
Another staple in my pantry is Goya products. I grew up on this brand and they always have everything every you need. For any dish, you want to create for a low cost. I make sure to stock up on Goya products every month. This is so I can make sure that I can switch it up with my Hispanic heritage.
Stretching Meals with Meats
If I could buy a whole cow, chickens, and other meats with food stamps. I would most definitely do this every year rather than buying them from the grocery store. I love going to the farmer’s market when I can to buy produce. In a pinch, the grocery stores always work out.
If I’m REALLY in a pinch with certain ingredients then I will go to the bodega. I try to avoid bodegas because the prices are way higher than the grocery stores.
You can use pretty much anything for Sopa de Pollo. The main staples are sazon, sofrito, chicken bouillon, ham concentrate, tomato sauce, adobo, and vinegar. You can add anything to this to make it your own. I love adding mixed beans, potatoes, corn on the cob or frozen corn, olives, and any type of pasta.
Toppings or Add ons
To go with the soup, I either make fried plantains or Bacalaitos Codfish Fritters to soak up the sauce. This also adds an extra flavor to the soup. My favorite is the fried plantains and it’s a favorite with the kids. Sometimes I can make the fritters on the side because they are so simple to make and very affordable.
You can also serve this with white rice to absorb even more of the sauce. This will make it a filling meal if you choose not to use pasta. This meal lasts us for a few days and it tastes so good the next day after it. Stretching meals is so easy when you have all the ingredients in the pantry.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact measurements for the recipe. You can check out my Youtube channel for an idea of how much I used. So you can replicate it for your family. Stretching meals doesn’t have to be so difficult. It’s just knowing what will blend together. Watch it below!