Stretching Your Food Budget

October 7, 2010

I had a dilemma. I needed to make a single whole chicken feed my family of five for two days. We had been going through some thin times and I had been as creative as I could while trying to stretch every dollar to it's limit. Well, as it turned out, we had more than enough for 2 dinners, we had enough leftovers for lunch on the third day!




Here's how I did it:

I rinsed the chicken under cold running water and placed it in a small roasting pan that I sprayed with cooking spray. I poured 1/4 of a cup of cold water over the chicken and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I put in in the oven at 350 degrees F and roasted it just until the juices ran clear.

After letting the chicken rest for a little while, I cut off both legs, both thighs, and both breasts. Then I put 1/4 of the bag of noodles into boiling salted water, cooked them until tender. Drained them and served them with the chicken after tossing them with a little butter and salt and pepper. I also served them with a can of peas I had in my cabinet. (This made 6 servings).


I saved the chicken carcass with the wings intact and left them in the juices in the roasting pan and stored them in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I put the chicken carcass along with the cooking juices in a Dutch oven on the stove top and added 4 cups of water. I boiled the chicken for 15 minutes to make a good broth and then removed the chicken from the water. I let the chicken cool enough to handle and removed all of the meat from the bones and put it back in the dutch oven. I chopped the celery, onion and carrots and added them to the water. I brought the chicken mixture back to boil and reduced the heat, allowing the mixture to simmer until the vegetables were fork-tender. Then I stirred the remaining egg noodles into the broth and continued to cook until done. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. (This made 10 generous servings).


Servings: 16
Time:15 Minutes Preparation Time
2 Hours Cooking Time

By Tammy from Berea, Kentucky

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My husband and I went grocery shopping for meals for the week. He bought a roast for $15 and a big pack of hamburger for almost $15. I complained that it was too much money in our food budget for two packs of meat. Well, as it turns out it was not.

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Trying to make budget meals exciting can be a challenge these days. I use a three prong approach:

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January 30, 2005

We have always been on a food budget and 2 of our 5 kids were boys who had hollow legs, especially when they started playing football. I always buy dry beans to soak for chili, burritos, soup or whatever.


I get twice as much for more than half the price. I also to find farmers who sell them at bulk amounts. Then I can store them for quite awhile. I put them in seal a meal type bags and vacuum seal them.

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