Poor Man’s Stoup – $5 Dinner Challenge

Janice shares her favorite “Poor Man’s Stoup” recipe with us tonight!  What a fantastic and filling meal!

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Poor Man’s Stoup

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 60 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef or chuck (sausage or chicken works well too) ($1.50)
  • Carrots (from the garden)
  • Celery ($.20)
  • Onions (from the garden)
  • Beef stock (2 cans)/also works with chicken stock ($1.00 bought on sale for $.50 a can)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of rice ($.25)
  • Bay leaf, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper, terragon, sage ($.25)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom/chicken ($1.00-unfortunately not on sale) (or make your own cream of mushroom soup!)
  • Dollop of sour cream ($.15)
  • Parmesan (if desired) ($.10)


  • Brown hamburger in a stock pot. Drain, rinse and return to pot.
  • Add grated carrots, chopped onions, and chopped celery and let them sweat out until tender.
  • Add beef stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add rice (not cooked); 1 bay leaf, couple shakes of thyme, parsley, terragon, sage and salt and pepper, then turn down heat to simmer and let it cook until dinner time.
  • 10 min. before you eat, add the cream of mushroom/chicken, and the sour cream and parmesan. Give it just enough time to heat through, about 3-5 minutes.

Cost $4.45

Hint: You might have to occasionally add a little water here and there if it looks like it’s getting too thick.
Hint: This makes a TON of soup. We usually eat half, then I store the other half in the freezer for a day I don’t want to cook! Easy cheesy!

Enjoy this great one pot supper!!

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  1. says

    Might I suggest you make your own chicken and beef broth? You don’t get all that salt, and it’s so much tastier. I buy a 10-pound bag of chicken leg quarters, boil them for an hour in plenty of water, save the chicken in freezer bags holding anywhere from 1 1/2 to 4 cups of diced chicken, and put the broth in freezer bags in amounts of one to two cups. The same would work with beef bones.

  2. Wendy V says

    I make a soup much like this but I use stewed tomatoes, not cream of soup and I’ll use canned vegetables (and their juices for full flavor and vitamins). I’ll also use small pasta (like alphabet or other tiny pasta on sale) instead of rice. I usually buy my vegies at Aldi’s or Big Lots or wherever I can get two or more for $1, so the cost is minimal. I’ll use Mrs. Dash’s seasonings (the spicy is great) or Bell’s Seasoning. I’ve never actually broken down the cost, but it really isn’t much and it makes a lot of servings (usually fills my 3 qt crock pot). But, the idea is the same and it is a wonderful and filling fall dinner with some good bread for dunking!!

  3. Mary says

    If you have a Dollar General or Family Dollar Store around,their cream of ? soup is between .50 to .60 cents a can and work great in casseroles , stews or soups. I don’t buy name brand unless I get a great deal. I’m trying this tonight but adding potatoes too. Sounds good.

  4. Jennifer says

    Hi Erin – Did you see my question through your “contact me” on your website? Regarding Fred Meyer vs. Kroeger?
    Thanks so much! Jennifer in Boise Idaho

  5. says

    Great recipe! I didn’t have beef broth on hand, but I left out the onions and added one can French onion soup + one can water instead, and it worked very well.

  6. says

    Just tried this last night. Made some drop biscuits with it. MrB eyed it cautiously (“Whats that green stuff?) LOL. Was DELISH!!! Wouldn’t have been the same without the mushroom soup, especially since I didn’t have all the spices.
    Was super cheap too, since my folks gave me some ground beef they got from a butcher and using WIC. was perfect for our very tight budget but soooo tasty. can’t wait to eat it today!


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