Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Lately I’ve had money on my mind, specifically our grocery budget. It seems like I’m spending a lot more than usual while buying the same amount of food. I haven’t changed the items I’m buying (no different brands or anything) and it doesn’t seem like we have more food than usual every week. I can’t figure out what’s going on. It could be a general increase in the price of food that I haven’t noticed, but I’m not sure that that would account for the amount my spending has increased.

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of ways to stretch our meat, specifically chicken as it’s the cheapest meat I buy. I’ve got it so that one chicken gives us 3 meals minimum in addition to broth.

I used to roast whole chickens and then use the leftover meat for salads or stir fries. That’s much less economical than butchering the chicken and using the parts separately. This is how I do it:

I cut the breasts out and use them for a crock pot meal like Santa Fe Chicken. This gives me three meals out of just the breasts in comparison to one if I just bake them and serve with veggies. I can then cut the thighs off with the drumsticks and make Filipino Chicken (which I will share a recipe for soon) for two meals, or make a different crock pot meal. This week I’m trying out a new recipe for chicken curry I found in a magazine. That should give me at least two more meals. You can then roast what’s left for crispy wings which make a good lunch served with a salad or rice or what-have-you.

That’s a total of 6 meals from one chicken, 7 if you get one with giblets because you can make a liver and onions dish for lunch (if you can stomach it). That doesn’t even include all of the meals you can make with the broth from the bones.

So that’s my chicken routine. I had to get really comfortable with cutting raw chicken. I used to hate it, but I made myself be okay with it on account of the money I was saving. My city-girl discomfort is not worth breaking the grocery budget.

Here is a helpful video:

How do you stretch your groceries?

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