Happy Friday everyone! It is the morning of our company Christmas party and I am likely running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Which actually reminded me of a post I had been creating and never got to posting. So, since it is a busy morning I thought I would dust it off the draft section and share with you all.
As you are already WELL aware, I love to save some money. It seems like groceries and continue to get more and more expensive! It is really hard to stick to a reasonable budget and get fresh and healthy food for a family. I took note of this awhile ago and made some slight adjustments in the way that I plan our food.
For one, our garden was a big help! Having frozen garden vegetables in the freezer all winter long saves a bundle! I don't have to buy corn, carrots, peas, tomatoes or beans! I also have frozen raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and plums that I picked, washed and got ready for the freezer. I also have jam and pickles galore! We are making the garden even bigger next year to accommodate more! I want to get a years worth of potatoes, some peppers and beets!
This year we had the opportunity to buy some local chickens that my brother helped raise. They were a little more expensive then the conventional grocery store whole chicken. And I can see why, they are HUGE!! You can get so much more meat out of it then from the $10 whole chicken from a grocery store. So I decided to cook one up one Sunday and see how far I could stretch this bird!
Sunday night I cooked the chicken, carved it and had the traditional meal with potatoes, corn and gravy! It's always a labor of love but a meal we all really enjoy!
Ryan had some chicken for his sandwiches the next couple of days too but I was still left with lots of meat and bones!
The bones I put in a crock pot with water, onion, carrots and bay leaf. I put my crock pot on low for 12-14 hours and it makes a BEAUTIFUL STOCK! So easy and cheap! OH and my favorite stock trick, keep the skin of the onion on and throw it in the crock pot too. It makes a nice golden color.
Night two, I wanted to use up some of the gravy. I always remember when mom would roast some meat, day two leftovers always had French fries! So, that's what I planned. Homemade French fries and then one of Ryan's new sides, roasted broccoli.
On night three I decided to show together a little chicken pot pit. A puff pastry out of the freezer. I never use a bottom shell. But on the bottom of the pie plate I put chicken, carrots, corn, potatoes and then the leftover gravy that I had thickened with flour! Roll the puff pastry on top and cook it for about 30 -40 minutes in a 350 degree oven! Super easy and such a comforting food on a cold night. I served it with garden salad.
Finally, I was out of meat. Between 3 supper and multiple lunches. "But Lindsay, you said 4 meals from one chicken?"
Remember that lovely stock? I stored it in the freezer and when the time came, took it out to make some soup! One of my favorite's is tomato! It's super easy and I usually have all the ingredients. 1 onion chopped and sautéed. Add 4 cups of broth and 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice. I also add 1-2 tsp of oregano and salt (because stock has no salt in it). Puree it with emulsifying blender!
So let's do some math.
One chicken cost me around $18. With that $18 chicken I was able to get 4 suppers and 3 lunches. So that's 7 meals! That works out to $2.57 a meal. Add in other ingredients we are still looking likely looking at no more then $5.00 a meal.
So while $18 per bird seemed a lot more expensive when purchasing this source of protein, when you break it down it is actually a great way to save some money by stretching out the meat available!
What is your favorite way to save money on your grocery bill?