Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thrifty Thursdays

Dorky name...sorry. I tried to come up with a better name...Money Mondays...Way Cheapo Wednesdays...Frugal Fridays...nothing really cool came to mind. So, anyway.

I'm really good at being cheap. At least, I used to be. I'm still pretty good, but I used to be a real "black belt tightwad" back in my "single parent putting herself through nursing school" days. Being cheap, very cheap, was a matter of survival. It's not quite so bad now, but with the rising cost of...well,'s getting pretty tight. I'm finding myself brushing off my frugality skills more and more lately. So, I thought I'd share. Feel free to add your own favorite ways to be cheap and link to your blog below! Just make them real tips....not like on talk shows when they give a "money makeover" with tips like "quit buying $5 lattes" and "switch from Clinique to Maybelline".

My tip for this week is the "rubber chicken". I first read about the rubber chicken on flylady's website in an article by Leanne Ely. Her cookbook, by the way, is one of my favorites, one of probably three that I actually use regularly, and it looks it. I need to replace my sad, tired, stained copy badly. Anyway, it's called a rubber chicken because you streeeetch a whole chicken into three meals. I'm using this idea to make a series of rubber chicken recipes. These recipes are becoming the backbone of our seasonal menus.

On Thursday (just because it's usually a slower, at-home kind of day), I make a whole chicken for dinner. Thursday night I pick the chicken clean and stash the leftovers in the freezer, and I make a stock. I refrigerate the stock overnight and make some kind of soup with homemade bread for dinner on Friday. Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday I use the leftover chicken to make another meal. I get 3 meals out of a $6 chicken. I plan to vary the way I cook the chicken with the seasons, using my oven in cooler weather and using my crock pot and grill in the summer.

Last week I made roasted sticky chicken, chicken and dumplings, and split pea soup. This week I'll make pan roasted chicken, broccoli/chicken/rice casserole, and chicken and rice chowder.
For my family, I pick the biggest frier I can find. This size chicken just fits us, a family with two adults, two eating kids, a 3yo that lives mostly on air, and a non-solids-eating baby. A smaller family might get by with a smaller bird. A larger family might want two birds. By the time Jack and Tess are eating decent amounts of food, we will probably be squeezing two birds into my turkey roaster.


The Fabulous Mrs. F said...

I've done similar things with chicken and roasts. Anything to stretch meat. I wish I could stretch milk further--we go through about 8 gallons a week and there's only four of us!

btw, I never got to comment, but I was so glad you posted about ADD. I used to work in the school system and adults sometimes wanted to label every kid who was a little active as ADHD, and others wouldn't admit it existed no matter how outside the norm a child's behavior was. Yours was such an informative and helpful article on the subject.

entropy said...

Good tips!