Thursday, January 6, 2011

Money Saving Tip #1 - cooking a whole chicken

I'm not big on New Years resolutions, but my husband and I decided that this year we are going to really focus on trying to get completely out of debt. We are taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church to help us get motivated. We KNOW the principles, but we really think that the class we help keep us accountable. Not just accountable to ourselves, but to a group as well. At the same time we hope to meet other couples that are going through the same thing we are.

So, I took most of November and December off of couponing, and just let it slack, but I'm back in full swing. I took all day Monday and clipped about six weeks worth of coupons and re-organized my big binder.

I thought along the way of me trying to save a penny here and there that I would share some of my successes. Here is my money saving tip #1.

I take a whole chicken (about $3-$4 at Aldi) and cook it. I usually get 3 meals out of it and the best chicken stock you will ever have.

So here goes.

I take the chicken after it's thawed, rinse it and put it in a large stock pot with onion, celery, carrots, salt, pepper and garlic. I don't bother peeling the onion or garlic because I drain that out at the end and it adds flavor. Cover it with water and boil it until the chicken is falling off the bone.

After it is done, I pull out the chicken and drain the broth into a big pot, using a strainer to remove all the vegetables, so I'm just left with the broth.  I separate the broth into containers and place it in the fridge.  It needs to cool so the fat can come to the top.  Once the fat is floating on the top you just skim it off and can freeze it for use later to make some of the best chicken soup you will ever have.
While my broth is cooling I cut up my chicken and pull it from the bone.  Make sure not to get any bones in your meat.  It should be coming off the bone pretty easily.
I chop up my chicken and freeze it in labeled bags.  I usually freeze about two cups of chicken at a time because I have a large family and usually double my recipes for chicken pot pie and chicken and dumplings etc...if you have a smaller family you could freeze it in one cup portions and your meals will stretch farther.
I was able to get three meals worth of chicken and some awesome broth for about $4.  It costs some time and patience now, but in the long run it will save me time and money on dinners to be able to just thaw out the cooked chicken and throw it in a easy meal.


  1. i would totally do this if it weren't for the whole meat of the bone thing and not know what to do w/ the chicken. i'm impressed with your little house on the prarieness (there is NO sarcasm there at all - i really am impressed!)what did you do with all the bones?

  2. I just threw away the bones. The meat on the bone thing doesn't bother me, but I can't touch the scales on a fish. Grosses me OUT. I have several meals to use with the chicken....chicken pot pie, chicken n dumplings, chicken and rice soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken salad etc...


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