If you’re like me, its a constant struggle to keep the grocery bill under control! This past Spring I did a grocery shopping makeover and it has helped so much! But like it or not, food is expensive (especially when you try to eat healthy!). So, I wanted to give some practical helps for using meat in a frugal way, because meat is a rather expensive part of the grocery bill for most people 🙁
Buy less desirable cuts!
This one can be a bit of a stretch at first for some of you, if you’re used to having prime cuts of meat. But just because its not prime rib doesn’t mean it can’t taste delicious. Ground beef is anywhere from $1.50/lb-$3.00/lb where we shop, and our family loves the versatile ways you can use it.
But for the sake of this article, the meat we are going to focus on is chicken quarters. Yep, that doesn’t sound overly enticing, does it? Trust me on this, though you’ll be pleasantly suprised and so will your wallet 🙂
First Step: Let’s buy those chicken quarters!
Where I live, our local store often has sales on chicken leg quarter for anywhere from $2.90-$4.90/10 pound bag! Yes, that’s alot of chicken for under $5! So, if you have the chance, load up, and toss them in your freezer.
Second Step: Let’s cook that chicken!
Of course, you can use the more expensive option here and fry these, but I honestly don’t do that. I put them all in a slow-cooker, instant pot or countertop roaster and cook them all at once. A bonus is that it makes delicious, nutritious chicken broth at the same time with no extra work on your part.
Third Step: Prepare the meals.
Now, the first meal can be simply cooked chicken with a side, like mashed or fried potatoes, corn, salad ect…
2nd meal: 1 cup (more or less) of cooked shredded chicken, 2 cups brown rice (uncooked), 1/2-1 cup salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, 4 ounces cream cheese, leftover chicken broth (anywhere from 2-4 cups).
Toss everything together in an instant pot (make sure you have at least 4 cups of liquid) and turn it on the rice setting. Supper in under 30 minutes!
3rd meal: Chicken dressing. I hope you saved some chicken broth! Oh, btw, if you want you can take all the chicken skin and bones you just got from your cooked chicken, put it in a crockpot or instant pot, add water and cook until you have more delicious broth! Make that chicken pay! 1 pan of cornbread or leftover cornbread or bread crumbs. Crumble it up, add enough broth to make a soupy mixture, 2-3 eggs, seasonings, 1-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken, 1 chopped onion, celery chopped and salt and pepper.
Mix it all together and place in a greased cake pan or 2 iron skillets. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden.
A few more options are chicken soup, chicken and black bean chili, chicken pot pie, chicken-n-dumplings & BBQ chicken! You can easily pull together 3 or more meals from just 1 bag of chicken quarters and save yourself time and money! You might find that you enjoy the richer taste of the dark meat too!
I hope you enjoy these ideas and that they help out your wallet next time you go grocery shopping!
What do you do to stretch your meat further?