I am the self-proclaimed queen of budget meals. I feed my family of six on a very tight weekly food budget without skimping on the nutrition! My number one secret to keeping dinners budget friendly? Chicken breast. I know what you must be thinking, “This chick is nuts! Chicken breast is expensive!”
The truth is you’re right, I am a little nuts but chicken breast doesn’t have to be expensive. If you buy bone-in chicken breast you can often find it on sale for $1/lb., compare this to the average $3/lb. for boneless chicken breast. Stock up when you find these sales and you are well on your way to cooking budget friendly meals every night of the week. When I pick up a $5 family pack of bone-in chicken breast I see enough meat for 2 meals, tons of chicken stock, and bonus chicken tenders. That’s a pretty incredible deal. With a few simple steps you too can get in on the money saving madness.
Preparing and Dredging the Chicken
The first step is butchering. If you’re buying bone-in, it has to be done. Fortunately it is simple. One straight cut right in between the meat and the breast bone staying close to the bone as you can. Done! Throw the bones into a large stock pot along with a few gallons of water, a tablespoon of pepper corns, and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a simmer and leave it alone for a few hours. Allow to cool, remove the bones and voila! You have a couple gallons of free chicken stock, and a house that smells amazing! With $2 being the average cost per quart of chicken stock you just saved some serious cash while lowering the cost of every meal you use it in. On the side of the chicken breast that was nestled against the bone you will find a thin strip of meat that easily separates from the rest. This is a chicken tender, usually priced at over $3/lb. You just got it for 1/3 of that price. Place your chicken tenders in a resealable bag in the freezer until you have saved up enough for a full chicken tender dinner.
Use those now boneless chicken breasts you are left with to make my Italian Orange Chicken. Chicken breast is lightly coated in flour and pan fried until golden brown. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Basil is combined with orange slices and chicken stock creating an amazing flavorful pan sauce that will give the chicken an incredibly fresh flavor and aroma. Pair this dish with affordable and nutrient packed sweet potatoes, and you have an amazing budget friendly meal that tastes like a million bucks!
Sweet Potatoes and Litehouse Italian Blend
Here are a few more ways you can save money at the grocery store making every meal budget friendly. Read your weekly grocery store ads. It is important to find where the good deals are every week. Stock up on meats, produce, and dairy when the gettin’ is good. With very little effort these items can be frozen for later use, saving you even more money on groceries over the next few weeks! Plan weekly menus. Plan your menu meals around the deals you find in your weekly grocery store ads. Using sale priced proteins and produce will greatly reduce the cost of every meal you make. This also leaves room in the budget for planning one special meal every week like a big Sunday Family Dinner. Who doesn’t love that? Switch to dried herbs. Fresh herbs are great, but they are expensive and half of the bunch you pay so much money for usually goes to waste. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs gives meals the flavor of fresh herbs while giving your wallet the savings of using dried. Implementing these money saving tips takes no talent at all, very little effort, and has a huge pay off in the end. I use these tricks and tips to feed my own family every week and encourage you to do the same. We can all use a little extra cash in our pockets at the end of the day.
Italian Orange Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Ready to Eat