Frugal Meal

Chicken Soup

Let me start by saying this bluntly: I am not a good cook. I’m passable in the kitchen, but by no means do I enjoy it or really want to be doing it. HOWEVER, I’m making the effort and I sent my husband to get a WHOLE CHICKEN while it was on sale! I managed to make three meals out of it. I know, I know. It’s amazing. I deserve a cape, right? Not really, I see a lot of people do this, but I’m going to share with you the way I did it.

I know some of you out there are like me, so I hope this will help you out in some way!

First, I saw that Perdue Oven Stuffer Chickens were on sale at the store. They were .89 lb. I told him to get a good sized one for the family. I’ve got two little ones, ages 2 and 4. They don’t eat a huge amount and I was counting on them not really eating it at all. Picky eaters and all. So he came home with one that was 5.87 lbs. so it cost us $5.22 for the chicken.

I told him to bring home: carrots, onions, garlic and celery. Plus some rolls. He did. What did it all cost? Not a whole lot, honestly. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Celery (a very large clump of it): $1.99
  • 1 lb. Organic Carrots: $1.29
  • 2 small onions: $.69
  • 1 Garlic Head: $.76
  • 6 Rolls: normally $3.00, on sale for $1.50 so that’s $.25 per roll

FIRST NIGHT: Roasted Chicken Dinner

Pretty simple, really. Read the directions on the bag, figured out what time to put it in so it would be ready when my husband came home. Opened it up, cleaned out the inside of that bag of grossness, slapped a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is a staple in our house, shoved some fresh parsley in the inside (cost me nothing as I grow it and freeze it for the colder months). Some cloves of garlic inside, then threw one in the pan, too. Cut up two carrots, since I’m the only one who eats them. Cut up one of the small onions. Threw it in the preheated oven and waited for the cute little button to pop.

We made boxed Mashed Potatoes that I got as a free sample, since I didn’t have potatoes on hand to do roast potatoes. I told you, I’m not a good cook. You live and  learn!

Cost less than $6.00 for this meal, it fed all four of us. NICE.

NEXT DAY LUNCH with Left Overs: Chicken Sandwich

I used a roll from our stash of 6, took the slice of chicken from the breast and then slapped some mayo on it. Cut up a carrot into little sticks. My lunch for the day. Cost me 25 cents for the roll. Chicken was left over, carrots were there and we always have Mayo in our house! Basically, I had a great lunch for a quarter.

SECOND NIGHT: Chicken Soup

I LOVE soup. Chicken Soup is one of my favorites. I keep it basic and bare bones, as I don’t like noodles, pasta or rice in my Chicken Soup. Straight chicken, veggies and broth!

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I hit the pantry for our Chicken Stock. It was on sale a few months ago, plus my husband had a coupon, so he stocked up for me. I have NO CLUE how much this cost us, my bad. I’m new at this, so I’ll do better next time. But I can tell you, it was pretty cheap with it being on sale and with a coupon. I believe it was about $.50 when all was said and done. We had a store coupon, plus a manufacturers coupon and at the time, Upromise had it on their eCoupons, too. So we had like a huge bonus with that.

I started by sauteing my onions, carrots (which I grate instead of chop with a cheese grater), celery and garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

  • One small onion that I just cut in half and then slice up (no chopping, I like long pieces of onion in there)
  • Carrots go in next. I use a lot of carrots, as that’s my favorite.
  • About 4 stalks of celery that I dice up
  • A couple of garlic cloves, minced of course
  • 8 oz. Swanson Chicken stock
  • 8 oz. of filtered water, followed by
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce (because I love it, plus it gives it an even deeper color)
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Dried Oregano (however much you like)
  • Shake from the Pepper
  • Shake from the Salt
  • Throw in all the chicken parts we never eat – wings, legs – and all the meat I removed from the bone the previous night after everyone was done eating.

Basically, these meal is however much the celery cost…..$1.99. I used all the leftover ingredients from my roaster chicken dinner. Put items into the pot that I had in the pantry in my stockpile. Then, toasted up a roll to add to my meal. The kids and I had a great meal, my husband isn’t soup eater, so he passed on this one. The rest I put in the freezer for lunches and dinners in the future! Save me time a couple of afternoons and weekends this coming month!

And this was my foray into the fabulous world of my kitchen and how you can turn ONE chicken into a variety of meals for about $11.50 with all the items my husband had to go get at the store, which included ORGANIC carrots. Amazing. And it really did NOT take a lot of my time away from the kids on any of the days I was in there, making meals.

Saved money, saved time and it was actually healthy! Stunningly, it came out of MY KITCHEN. It’s quite the “new year” over here.

Staci Gerardi

Staci loves to write, and loves to share her "take" on everything thrown her way. Movies, entertainment, food, fashion, shopping, money, travel and family. There's nothing off limits at NovemberSunflower.com, and Staci's always telling it like it is: good, bad, and all that lies in between!

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