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Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week- Country Mouse City Spouse

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week

Country Mouse City Spouse

We all have recipes that we love and call for chicken.  I know I love chicken and how versatile and almost effortless it is to get a recipe together and eaten using it.  But the cost of all meat is on the rise, and I’m really not going to go vegetarian just to save money.  Let me correct myself- City Spouse is NOT going to go vegetarian.  I just accept that we are a carnivorous household and more on.  So I’ve just learned how to save money on chicken without too much time or effort.

So chicken is a staple ingredient in our dinner plans most weeks.  Not because chicken is our favorite (actually, prime rib or any kind of steak would be on City Spouse’s plate most days if we could afford it) but because I have found a way to make our favorite chicken based recipes the cheapest way possible.

I was perusing our recipe binder one day and attempting to meal plan within my budget for the week (which is not much on an off-payday week) and realized just how many recipes call for boneless, skinless chicken breast.

I grew up around both chickens and livestock, so when I did some contemplation on this, I kind of scratched my head.  Why do we place so much emphasis on just the chicken breast?  I know that it’s the white meat, supposedly better flavored, less fat, blah blah blah.  I get all that.  Really I do.  However, doesn’t it seem wasteful to just eat the breasts of a chicken when there is so much more meat there??

Once I realized that other parts of the chicken (according to today’s boneless, skinless fad) are considered “waste” I also realized that the grocery store and chicken farmers are still selling these unfavorable parts of the chickens, but way cheaper!!

Next time you go to the store, look at the differences in price on the thighs, wings or even a whole fryer chicken per pound.  You could easily save over $3 PER MEAL by using a different part of the chicken.  But, it’s still chicken.

Now, how do I take these other parts of the chicken and substitute it into my meals?

Simple.

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week

Take as much of the chicken that you can comfortably fit into your crockpot.  Cover only halfway with water.  Season if you so desire, but I prefer to only add just a dash of sea salt so that the flavor of the dish goes into the chicken when I cook it rather than a pre-seasoned chicken.  (You can use it for a wider array of dishes this way too.)

Cook the meat on LOW for 8 hours.

Turn off the crockpot and let it sit to cool down as long as you can.  Some days I have longer than others, but most of the time I can let it sit a good 4 hours before I have to deal with it.

Your cooked chicken (I used thighs that were on sale for $0.88/lb) should look similar to this…

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week- Country Mouse City Spouse

I then put all of this is a giant covered bowl in the refrigerator overnight to cool completely to the bone before my next step.

The next day, I get another bowl and just start ripping the meat off of the bones, carefully getting all the bone, cartilage, and fat that I can.  I can keep the bones to make a bone broth or chicken broth later, but I only do that if I don’t have a freezer bag full already.

*By the way, the water in the crockpot turned to broth also, so make sure to save it for use in any recipe using both chicken meat and broth that you may have.  It also freezes well in either freezer bags or other freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.*

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week- Country Mouse City Spouse

Now you can either fully shred it or just coarsely chop it and divide it up for your recipes as needed.  You could also freeze it if you want to keep it for later use.  I would recommend planning to do this when you find a super sale on fryer chickens or any marked down meat.

I just use this meat (heated through) in so many of my recipes and casseroles.  It works wonderfully in skillet chicken alfredo and many, many other dishes.

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week- Country Mouse City Spouse

I had the entire weeks worth of chicken at the ready in just an hour of actual hands on work.  It’s actually harder to find the best price on chicken than it is to prepare it!!

I hope you find great deals on chicken and save yourself tons of cash using my method.

Let me know how it goes!!

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week

Master Saving Money on Chicken in Just a Few Hours a Week- Country Mouse City Spouse


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