Saturday, June 23, 2007

The 10 meal chicken -or- using everything but the squawk

Part of the daily challenge for us is to eat healthy (one of us being a diabetic and one of us fighting high cholesterol) and still stay within a reasonable budget.

One of the ways that we try to do this is by shopping smart. We almost never buy any kind of meat that isn't on sale (we refer to this as buying "used meat" -- you know the kind, its within a day of the last sale date so the store marks it down by 50% so they don’t have to throw it out).

We recently were able to acquire a very large whole chicken on that kind of special. We paid about $6.00 for the chicken, and this is how we used it:

Day 1 – its to our advantage that we know how to cut up a chicken ourselves because its usually even less expensive to buy a whole chicken than one that has been cut up (after all you have to pay for the labor of the meat cutter if they do it)

On the first day we cut the chicken up into frying size pieces. That leaves 10 pieces of chicken: 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 thighs and 4 breast pieces.

I oven fried those pieces for meal #1.

The backs and all of the giblets and extra skin go into a bag in the freezer for making into soup on a cool day. That will be meals #2 and #3.

Day 2 – the lunch meal for both of us was a piece of chicken with macaroni salad. Meal #4 from Ms. Chicken

Day 3 – lunch meal for DH was a piece of chicken with veggies and fresh fruit, making meal #5.

Day 4 – lunch meal for DH was chicken and macaroni salad, meal #6.

Day 5 – We picked all of the meat off the remaining breast pieces and made 2 pans of enchiladas. We ate half of the first pan that night for meal #7.

The second pan of enchiladas went into the freezer and will be meals #8 and #9.

Day 6 – Finished off the last of the first pan of enchiladas for meal #10.

By my figuring, that means each of those meals cost about $0.60 for the protein source.

I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to get a chicken that cheaply since the rising price of corn to the chicken ranchers will likely raise the price of chicken (and a lot of other groceries – like cereal, milk, beef and corn on the cob!) . But we’ll keep on searching out those used meat bargains!

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