Noodle Soup and Tomatoes

There are many ways to save money. Two good methods are to cook healthy food at home and grow a small vegetable garden. I am going to give you a recipe and directions to grow a vegetable. That way you can save money over time to save up for a goal or help loosen up your budget.

 For a low budget meal, you use what you have in the house. Usually I have chicken ramen noodles, carrots, frozen or canned tomatoes, frozen peas, chicken bouillon, and leftover baked or grilled chicken. Generally, the first thing I do is get everything out and ready to cook, by cutting three or four carrots thinly, thawing out or opening the tomatoes, and cutting the chicken into small cubes or shredding it. Next, put two cups of water and the carrots in a pan and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling put the ramen noodles in the water. After the noodles are cooked add the packet of seasoning and one chicken bouillon cube cooking for about five more minutes. Add a tomato or two, two handfuls of peas, and the chicken to the pan and cook for about three more minutes. Now it is ready to eat. You can also experiment with the recipe a little, but it may not turn out the way you think, that it why it’s an experiment.

Another way I mentioned to help cut costs is growing a few of your own vegetables like tomatoes. There are two ways you can go about starting your own vegetable garden. One is to start with seeds and the other is to go to the store and by a young plant. The easiest way is to by one at the store, but you must be careful picking out your tomato plant. You don’t want the stem or leaves broken if possible, otherwise take one with only one or two broken leaves and you don’t want the leaves to be yellow, that means they have been sunburned and won’t live long. When buying the tomato plant, you will need to buy a large pot with a matching saucer, potting soil for growing vegetables, fertilizer for vegetables, a trellis, straw, and a small watering can. Now if you don’t have a place for doing dirty work, you can put trash bags on your table or a tarp if you have one. Once you have that done, put everything you bought on the table and start filling the pot with the soil. Stop about seven inches from the top and make a hole in the middle of the dirt. Pull your tomato plant out of its pot. Stick the plant in the hole and hold it with one hand and pull dirt around the roots, but not around the stem. Next take an old newspaper or sheet of paper and cut a strip about three inches wide to wrap around the stem of the tomato plant. Fold it over if needed so you don’t break any of the leaves off. Hold the paper in place and add enough dirt to hold the paper in place but leave most of it sticking out of the ground. This prevents certain types of bugs from killing your plant. Next make sure the dirt is packed down well, push your trellis into the dirt, and water your plant. When the plant is about six inches tall, spread the straw on top of the dirt. The tomato plant will need lots of sun, but if you see the leaves starting to turn yellow it is getting too much. Water the plant when it has been dry a day or two, but do not over water it to compensate for the dry period or the roots will rot. If you give the tomatoes too much water after they turn red, they will burst and be inedible, so be careful. If the tomatoes start developing white spots that means they got too much sun and aren’t good to eat. If you follow these directions you will have delicious tomatoes to eat, can, or freeze. Have fun growing tomatoes.

The recipe and the directions for growing tomatoes will help you save money. Have fun experimenting with the recipe and enjoy your fresh tomatoes. Let me know how the experiments go, and how your tomato plants are doing.