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Like most of you, I have noticed the huge jump in prices at the grocery store. I have a trick to save money on chicken that I will share.
If you buy chicken in the regular meat case, it contains (usually) the meat, but it is covered with the skin and bones. Usually we remove the skin and the bones we don't eat. So, the price per pound, includes what we don't eat. But, if you go over to the frozen food section, you can buy a bulk bag of skinless chicken breasts (no bones) for as low as a dollar a pound when on sale. I have several 8 lb bags in my freezer that I bought for $8 each. I paid only for what we eat, the meat. When it is this price, I stock up.
I was at one of the local warehouse stores and saw Perdue whole chickens at a very good price. Since chicken is a real favorite here, I bought as many as I could afford. Then, instead of freezing them whole, I invested a little time into cutting them up. Cutting a whole chicken up is not hard, not once you get the hang of it. Here is how I do it:
To cut the back from the breasts: Look at the inside of the chicken. You will see the ribs, and that some ribs come from the back, and some from the front. Insert your knife between front and back ribs and cut here. I then pull the back away from the breast, breaking the remaining joint. Insert the knife into the joint, and cut the back away. The back has two parts, which are easy to see. One part has the ribs, the other part doesn't. Cut the rib piece away from the other all the way to the spine. Then break the spine at that point, and cut between the joints.
This is how I package the chicken up, and where real thriftiness comes in:
This freezes very well, and is just wonderful to have on hand for a large variety of dishes. One super easy meal is to thaw a quart of stock, add a cup or two of frozen veggies, herbs of choice, some leftover chicken meat, and some noodles. This is the best chicken noodle soup ever, and is very fast and easy.
Now I have quarts of stock, a large bag of wings, a bag of livers, and chicken cut up, de-skinned, and ready to go for many meals. On top of all of this, I made several dozen biscuits for my dogs. This is how:
Doing things this way, I pay a lot less than for already cut up chicken. I cut the chicken the way I like, and I get more pieces that way.
There are many videos online to help you learn how to cut a chicken up if my instructions aren't clear. Just type "how to cut up a whole chicken" into your search engine.
By Copasetic 1 from North Royalton, OH
I buy frozen boneless chicken breasts in bulk and get a lot of uses out of them. I thaw some chicken breasts half way and cut them into nuggets which I fry and store in freezer for later use.
I grind some in my food processor for meals on my menu require ground meat, which saves me money. Ground chicken costs a little more at my market.
I separate the rest of the chicken breasts in dinner portions and store all in the freezer. I'm set for the month.
Buy whole chickens when they go on sale and stock up on them. The chickens can be cut up for pieces, roasted whole, eaten and then the carcasses used for stock, or you can grind your own fresh chicken meat, and make cooked chicken for casseroles, all for much less than when you buy already cut up or processed chicken!
Tips for saving money on chicken as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Post your ideas here.
Our family eats a lot of chicken. I was buying chicken breast only when it went on sale for 2.00 or less. Cooking it in large batches and freezing it for future 'fast food'.
Buy whole chicken and clean and cutup. Buy several of them to get a pack of prime parts like the breast at only 69 cents a lb. instead of $2.00 a pound.
When whole chickens are on sale, I usually buy three of them, and I am cooking just for myself. I roast two of them at the same time, seasoned differently in the same pan. Only one pan to clean, eating one during the next few days.