There have been a lot of financial changes in our household within the last month.
My husband quit his electrician apprenticeship in order to be home with us more and focus on finishing his seminary degree. Praise God, I had been praying for a way for him to be home with us more and not suffer dramatically in our financial well-being. Turns out, he’s making just slightly less than he had been making for 50 hours a week at work doing electrician work as he is now making working 3 days a week at our church doing general maintenance work/job shadowing our pastors. If that’s not the hand of God providing, I don’t know what is.
That said I’ve been reevaluating our finances and the management there of. There are certain static bills that are due to increase as we approach the winter season such as electric bill, and our internet service promotional rate is finished in October. So, I’m looking for ways to save money in the kitchen without sacrificing our family’s nutrition.
That led me to my refrigerator as I was meal planning. I noticed something odd. I took a look at the sticker on my package of boneless skinless chicken breasts and compared it to that of my whole roaster chicken, and I almost fell over. The roaster was $7, the package of breast meat was $9.
I had always treated whole roasted birds as a holiday treat; something my family couldn’t really afford to do year round, but that was a way to celebrate the big holidays with family. Boy was I mistaken.
If you really think about it, the price difference makes sense, I’d just never thought about it before: you’re paying for the convenience of someone else de-boning and cutting your chicken, and in the case of a package of breasts or thighs, you’re paying for multiple birds because, obviously, a chicken only has so many of each part.
With that new found realization fresh on my mind, I set out to make a roast chicken for dinner.
Can I just say, it tastes so much better than a single cut of meat. You have the benefit of slow roasting and the fat, bones, and skin give the meat SO much more flavor, it’s difficult to understand why I spent so many years buying anything other than whole birds.
I can get about 3 different meals out of a whole bird, and there are always left overs. Example, night one we have roast chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. Next day, we can do chicken salad for lunch, and chicken chili for dinner. Day 3, we do left over chicken salad and for dinner, add rice to the chili for a slight difference and eat it with tortilla chips as taco salad, or on flour tortillas with avocado for a Mexican twist. With a package of chicken breasts or even thighs, we may get one full meal and some left overs, but two full meals would be pushing it.
There was an intimidation factor in roasting a whole bird, and in making sure I cut it properly, but now that I’ve done it, I can’t see ever choosing to do chicken dinner another way.