A few weeks ago, I noticed a sale at the local grocery store... boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.77 a pound. Usually a good sale is $1.99/lb.
This article isn't about capitalizing on that 10% difference between the sale prices. It is about the sale price of chicken in general. For years now I've seen that $1.99/lb. price. Who knew that chicken had an immunity to inflation?
Beef, on the other hand, has lost its battle to inflation. It's gotten so pricey that I resorted to mixing ground turkey and beef. By the way, that was a winning experiment... no one could tell the difference, it was healthier, and it saved money.
Chicken seems to be a big win. Most health advocates seem to agree it is a healthier alternative to beef. I rarely see the healthier food priced at a discount.
At the $1.77 sale, I bought a lot of chicken.... maybe 10 pounds. I separated a large amount of it an put it in individual bags in our chest freezer.
The question became what to do with the rest of the chicken? I had a good 3-4 pounds. I thought getting a recipe book, but I'm not much of a recipe kind of person. Instead I took out my slow cooker. I added a little water and the chicken and left it on low for a few hours.
I came back to something that looked like boiled chicken. If there's anything that lacks taste more than boiled chicken, it is called "water."
As I hoped, the chicken shredded very easily in a bowl. I now had shredded chicken to eat throughout the week. I added it to nachos to make them more of a lunch. I had it in a sandwich with cheese and guacamole. I had it in a burrito with salsa, pinto beans, and rice (super cheap meal!). Can you tell that I'm currently on a Mexican food kick?
I also added it to our dog's food and he ate right away for the first time in a long time.
My sense of taste is not very strong, so this may not be for everyone. However, I've found that when it is combined with other ingredients, it isn't like eating boiled chicken by itself.
I may just be over-excited about all the different uses I found for it, but it feels like it will become a staple in our house. Cheap staples are important, because they can curb the "I'll just grab a meal while I'm out" urges. Saving $5 here and there really adds up.
Next time I buy chicken, I'm thinking of shredding more of it to start and using my FoodSaver (Review) to freeze it for awhile. I use this FoodSaver Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer with mason jars so that I don't have to pay for special bags over and over again.
I'll just pull them out of the freezer, thaw them in the fridge (or in warm water), and enjoy the shredded chicken.
Do you have any budget food hacks? Let me know in the comments.
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