You Are Free to Live, Not to Live Free – Economical White Bean Chicken Chili and Cornbread

Hard earned money going towards a spice I’ll probably never use again? No way!

If you read my last mushy blog, you will know that I just started a new job in Houston, TX for an engineering co-op. I am still a college student (part time) taking online classes, but am working 40-50 hours a week. I have my own apartment that came fully furnished and the rent is subsidized, so I don’t pay full price. On top of that, I am making pretty good money! $20 an hour? Heck yea! I am getting so rich for this 8 month co-op.

So I thought.

Did you know taxes are a real thing? I thought it was some imaginary concept that was created by liberals to impose on right wingers. I never thought they were that big of a deal when my paycheck only amounted to $150 and $14 went out to taxes. I felt like I was giving to charity in a way. My first week here at Daikin, I worked 35 hours, so my paycheck came to $700. Not to bad. Then taxes knocked me back to $582. $66 to federal tax, $43 to social security, and $10 to Medicare. It’s not like they don’t tax everything else I buy. I don’t even have insurance in Texas! Thank God they don’t tax groceries. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the taxes are just built into the price we are paying for the groceries since they are so expensive.

I am starting to see why people gripe about taxes, and I see why people who don’t work, or work low end jobs, are so easily advocates for taxes. There needs to be a better system for this whole “paying for your public goods and services” requirement.

Rant over.

In honor of trying to keep my health in check while still keeping on a budget (yes I had to create a REAL budget (not the cute budget with only 3 parameters)), here is my $ chicken chili recipe with cornbread. Feeds ~5 people.

White Bean Chicken Chili ~ $5.75

  • 1 big frozen chicken breast – $.90
  • 2 cans of white navy beans – $2.00
  • TBS chicken bouillon – $.25
  • 4 oz cream cheese (I used low fat) – $1.00
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or I used 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt – $.30-.60
  • cup of water (thin to your like, I like mine thick)
  • Season with salt, pepper, and tsp cumin – $.10
  • optional: Add a sautéed dice green bell pepper, can of green chilis, or cilantro – $1.00


Bake your chicken breast at 380 for 15-18 minutes. I pre-slice mine so it bakes faster. While it is baking, in a large pot add all the ingredients, and mix until incorporated over a medium heat. Once the chicken is done baking, shred it and add it to your soup. Serve with cornbread.

Corn Bread – $1.54

  • One box of Jiffy – $.50
  • 1 egg – $.12
  • TBS flour – $.02
  • two dollops of sour cream or plain greek yogurt – $.60
  • milk as directed by box – $.30

Mix all together and add to a greased and floured pan. Bake at 385 for 12-15 min on high rack so bottom doesn’t burn.

So for $7.29 you have a meal that feeds 5 people, or yourself for quite awhile. So on a night you feel like eating out instead, try this cheap, easy, and quick meal. You’ll be glad you did! You might even find you have money (and calories) left over for dessert. 😉




Author: Courtney Simpson

I am a Purdue University Mechatronics Major, currently in my Senior year. HOORAY! I am also proudly a Brooke Owens Fellow. I am a woman in aerospace and I have a family of 80 women just as passionate as I am about all things in the sky. I have worked closely with other Engineering students on some really amazing projects, and have big ideas I hope to implement some day in the tech world! If I'm not at school being an engineer, I am either at the gym lifting heavy objects, or I'm in my art room or kitchen letting my creativity run loose. My passions are not so technical. They're deep and sporadic in nature. Welcome to not so technical blog where we put science into life, and emotion into living!

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