Fast, easy dinner for under $5

I developed this dinner while living in Tillamook on the pitiful wages that budding journalists make — even more pitiful than what seasoned journalists make.

(During this first job out of college, I had a source at a food bank ask me if I needed an emergency food box. I quickly brushed her off, but spent the drive home wondering if I did in fact qualify. Turns out I was over the limit, but not by much.)

So anyway, we had no money and I literally took the cheapest things I could think of: beans, pureed tomatoes and close-date Italian sausage and threw it in a pot.

It's fast, easy and costs a few bucks, so I think it's great.

But I was surprised to discover that it is also my husband's favorite dinner, which makes it doubly awesome. Give it a try!

Spicy bean sausage soup

- Stick a pot on the stove.
- Fry up spicy Italian sausage (look in the discount bin in your grocer's meat section to save even more money).
- Pour in three cans of your favorite beans (I like to mix white, black and kidney) and a can of diced or pureed tomatoes.
- Heat until bubbling.

Done. Serve with bread, salad, whatever.

The wonderful thing about this soup is that all the spices are already in the sausage, so you don't have to worry about it. Yum!


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