Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

What to do with tomato soup

I went to the food bank a couple of days ago.  I hadn’t intended to go but a neighbor asked me to go with her and give her what I didn’t need.  She had been off work sick for a few days which meant her paycheck was a lot less and really needed the food for her family.

I gave her everything except this one item.  A box of Annie’s organic sugar free, salt free, tomato soup.  What do you think I will do with a small box of tomato soup other than have a soup and sandwich meal?

Food and kitchen 2016 186

Make homemade ketchup of course! Here’s a recipe I came up with that is diabetic friendly using a few ingredients.

Food and kitchen 2016 187

Homemade ketchup, sugar free and salt free

  • 1 can (or box) tomato soup
  • 10 dates chopped into medium chunks
  • 1/3 C cider vinegar
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t mustard powder
  • 1/4 t pepper

Put all ingredients into a pot over medium heat.  Just as soon as the liquid starts to boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until it becomes thick.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain through a wire mesh strainer to remove the bits of dates and put into a container.  I used a plastic container to store mine.

Food and kitchen 2016 191

Ok, this is not completely sugar free but the sweetness of dates is far better than high fructose corn syrup found in store bought ketchup don’t you think?  If you are not on a restricted diet like me you could use regular soup to make your ketchup.


15 comments on “What to do with tomato soup

  1. morgen
    May 29, 2016

    I recently picked up about 2 gallons of stewed canned tomatoes at an extreme sale price of about 3 dollars. I’ve been following your innovation and using them as a base to create a large batch of tomato sauce for pasta and pizza. The tomatoes have always been the most expensive part so the option to put up a bit of sauce with little expense was very exciting! I had to add a bit of vinegar because of the extra sugar the company used in the preserving process but it mellowed out fine.

    • Anita
      May 30, 2016

      Thank you. It feels nice when someone tells me about their frugal endeavors. I get excited too. I keep what they did in my head just in case I happen upon the same type bargain in my area.

  2. Jackie
    May 27, 2016

    Very cool idea! Anita, may I ask how you feel you are doing eating very little processed food to manage your diabetes? My husband is diabetic and l read him your post about your thoughts on the subject. He was very encouraged! Said it made sense to him! Me too! If I am being too nosy just ignore me! Lol! Hope your packing is going well! I am excited for your move and relieved that you will feel safer! Have a good weekend!

    • Anita
      May 27, 2016

      I’m doing fairly well and feel better than I have in a long time. I stopped being stressed and just started being sensible. I eat like its the 1940s all over again. I repeat a phrase to myself everytime I’m tempted to eat processed food…. If its made in a lab, it will take a lab to digest it. My goal is to get off all medications. My doctor says its possible and she’s willing to help me do it if I really want to. When I finally get moved I plan to do more posts about my 1940s style diet if anyone is interested.

      • Donna
        May 28, 2016

        Yes please on the eating style. My husband is diabetic and on Metformin which has been causing diarhea. Turns out that is a side effect in lots of people. Who knew right! His A1c is not in control so stressed because of that.

        • Anita
          May 28, 2016

          I’m writing a series of posts describing my life changes and why I made them. What I’ve done is really not complicated. I use common sense. Ok, I can’t give medical advice but I can tell my own story. I have the side effects too but not as often these days. What was his latest A1C? Mine started at 11.9

          • Donna
            May 28, 2016

            A year ago it was 6.2 and then they lowered his Metformin. A year later (minus the diarrhea) it is 8.6. Dr. wanted him to increase Metformin but because of the problems he didn’t want to so she put him on Invokana. 5 days later he had a riproaring kidney infection so off the Invokana. She has not told him to increase the Metformin – yet. He had 2 surgeries after the 6.2 reading and wasn’t able to walk for quite a while so his weight went up. I attribute that to the higher A1c. He is just frustrated. We have been trying to stay away from processed foods and his readings (daily) are better. Seems like everything has sugar in it.

            • Anita
              May 30, 2016

              You are so right about the sugar in everything. Even when it doesn’t say sugar there are 56 (at last count) different chemical names for sugar. How is a diabetic supposed to remember all of them when making food choices? I understand the frustration. I have it too even if I don’t write about it. Presently I’m not gaining weight but I’m not loosing either. I’ve been rough drafting some posts about my diabetes food choices in between packing to move and finishing quilts. I hope the posts help encourage you both.

      • Amy Wilson
        June 2, 2016

        I am VERY interested. My health has been declining, and I want to start eating better. Even though my lab tests are “normal” in the diabetic realm, I consider myself pre-diabetic.

        • Anita
          June 2, 2016

          I’m working on a series of posts during my breaks from the packing and paperwork and other appointments.

  3. Randal Oulton
    May 27, 2016

    So a 17 oz / 1/2 litre container of tomato soup then? And is that condensed tomato soup, or was it with the water left in, “heat and serve” kind? Couldn’t quite tell from the packaging….

    • Anita
      May 27, 2016

      It is 17 oz or 481 gr size box. About the same as a can of soup. It is not condensed. It is heat and eat kind. You can do the same recipe with a 6 oz container of tomato paste and 2 cups water. While I was looking at the box I re-read the ingredients list and there is a small amount of added sugar. My mistake. The box is misleading. It has 12 grams sugar per box.

      • Randal Oulton
        May 27, 2016

        /me nods. That could be sugar naturally in the tomato concentrate they used? When the new nutrition labels kick in, we’ll know better. (liquid oz are typically converted to ml instead of g; it’s weird they are giving g on the box, like saying someone drank 1/2 lb of root beer lol.) Thanks for info!

        • Anita
          May 27, 2016

          ROF LOL, I got a kick out of that one Randal. You’re right, its strange they used gr instead of ml. The seal of approval on the front, on closer inspection, says “Rabbit of Approval” and on the sides, where the opening flaps are located, have bunny tails so it appears one is sticking a finger under the rabbits bottoms to open it. The seal rabbit is named Bernie and was the owner’s pet Dutch rabbit according to the back of the box. Gotta give ’em credit for being creative with the package.

  4. nancy lotzer
    May 26, 2016

    Cool idea!

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