Cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Tonight's frugal supper is a classic. Some thrifty meals never go out of style and this easy to fix soup and sandwich staple is one of them.
Our local Fred Meyer grocery store usually has chicken noodle, cream of mushroom, and classic tomato soup on sale. Even not on sale, those three are the least expensive. So, those are the three canned soups I use the most. Tonight it was classic or cream of tomato.
I mix the condensed soup with about two-thirds of a soup can of 2% milk. You could save a bit by using water instead of milk. And, you could make a bit more by using a whole can of milk (or water) instead of just a part of a can. But, we like our cream of tomato soup rich and creamy.
I'm a microwave fan. Empty the soup into a microwave safe container. Add the water or milk. Whisk it with a wire balloon whisk, and nuke it until it's hot. I usually use a 4-cup measuring cup to heat soup in the microwave, because I like the convenience of the handle and the pour spout.
There's no need to complicate a grilled cheese sandwich. Use whatever bread and cheese you have on hand. Cook it however is convenient. Varying the kind of bread and cheese adds interest and can keep this classic from getting ho-hum. But, most any bread and cheese will work.
I usually use bread that's in the freezer or that has been sitting around a couple of days. Tonight, it happened to be homemade white bread with caraway seeds.
The cheese tonight was mild cheddar. I watch for cheese to be on sale and get whatever real cheese is the cheapest per pound. Not only does this save money, but it seems to guarantee that I have a variety. As for imitation cheese food products, well, we occasionally get the slices if we're out of cheese, they are on sale, and no other cheese is.
I use my electric frying pan when I make grilled cheese sandwiches. I've found the simplest way is to spray the frying pan with cooking spray. Add the sandwiches; spray the tops, and then grill. When one side is browned, flip them and brown the other side. I prefer buttering both the outsides of both the top and bottom slices of bread before grilling them, but I don't always take the time to do it that way.
Besides the cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, we had mugs of cold milk. Additionally, Bob had some BBQ sauce and I had Inferno Sauce that we used for dipping, much like you might use ketchup.
Cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese is true frugal foods classic. And, one that my family enjoys.