Do you know how to save money by buying a whole chicken? Is it cheaper than buying chicken pieces? Especially other cuts of meat, pork chops, and chuck steak? You can save a lot of money by buying a whole chicken. Not only is it cheaper per pound, but you could save on the neck, feet, and giblets, which are great for soups and other dishes. Here’s how to buy a whole chicken and what to do with all that extra meat.
I’m always looking for ways to save money. I usually buy whole chicken because it is cheaper, and I can make several meals from one chicken. Did you know that the price per pound of chicken is lower when you buy a whole chicken? Choosing a whole chicken can be intimidating, particularly if you have never carved one before.
It seems like a challenging task slicing open and cleaning up a whole chicken. But once you learn the simple steps to save money when buying a whole chicken, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this before.
Most of us buy chicken breasts or thighs and leave the rest for others to cook up. This is a waste of potential food because many chicken parts should be enjoyed. From scraps to gizzards and hearts, not to mention drumsticks, wings, and even feet – there is so much protein you can extract from an otherwise single-purpose animal.
A few important points to get out of the way first
We can all agree that the Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to reevaluate how we live and eat. The latter being the subject in question.
Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it takes a little knowledge and commitment. Here are a few steps to follow:
- It takes time to prepare your meals, and you probably don’t have much extra time on your hands. This means that you have to plan.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables daily (at least five servings).
- Eat lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, and lean red meat.
- Make sure you consume whole grains, like brown rice.
- Drink plenty of water daily (at least eight glasses daily).
Get the most bang for your buck when buying a whole chicken
Buying a whole chicken is the best way to save money while still getting the most bang for your buck.
Here’s how to do it:
- Buy a whole chicken instead of boneless, skinless breasts. Boneless, skinless breasts are more expensive per pound than other cuts because they’re so lean and have no bone or skin to add flavor and texture. That makes them great for salad recipes like salads, but if you’re roasting or braising meat, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a whole bird.
- Look for a sale on organic chickens, which tend to be cheaper than their non-organic counterparts. Organic chickens are raised without antibiotics or hormones (and without being fed GMOs), which makes them healthier for you and better for the environment! You can usually find organic chicken at your local farmers market, natural foods store, and larger grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even Costco and Bj’s.
- Buy directly from a local farmer so you can ask questions about how they raise their chickens and ensure they’re not being mistreated before they become dinner.
- Visit a “Live Poultry” place. You have seen them around but never stop to take a look. I will not lie to you and say this is the most pleasant place to visit. It is not! You have the option of placing a phone order – call and find out more. Wear a mask, it might help.
7 reasons why buying a whole chicken is worth it
There are so many reasons to buy a whole chicken: it’s cheaper, it’s tastier, and you can use the bones for stock. But if you’re new to buying whole chickens and unsure where to start, have no fear! We’ve got all the tips you need to ensure your purchase is as cost-effective as possible.
First things first: decide how many people you want to feed. That will determine how big of a bird you need to buy. Most whole chickens are sold by weight, but if you’re buying from a butcher or farmer’s market, they may be sold by the number of people served or other measurements that will help you estimate how much meat will be on your bird when it’s cooked. Or you may want to buy more than one bird which might be a better option depending on pricing.
Now that we’ve gotten those basics out of the way let’s talk about how to save money when buying whole chickens!
- Whole chickens are usually cheaper than buying chicken parts. We’ve established that. The best thing to do is to shop around. Before going shopping, go online, check out the circulars this way you will save on time and also gas.
- Buying a whole chicken means you can use all the pieces. You can divide the chicken into more than one meal and create different types of meals.
- Use up all the meat and skin for meals, then boil the bones and carcass to make stock and broth
- Stock can be used for soups, sauces, gravies and even cooking rice. Freeze any extra bone broth and save it for another time.
- Buy frozen instead of fresh if that’s your only option. While fresh birds are usually more flavorful, they’re often more expensive than frozen ones in many supermarkets.
- Make sure to ask the butcher to cut up the chicken for you. They’ll usually do it for free, but if they don’t offer, just politely insist. This way you can avoid having to do it yourself when you get home.
- Finally, when cutting up the chicken into smaller pieces, keep in mind that all parts will taste different depending on how long you cook them (i.e., white meat cooks faster than dark meat). So if you plan on using all parts of what you buy today for different dishes later in the week (like making sandwiches with dark meat or using wings as appetizers), make sure each part gets cooked properly before adding it to your meal plan!
Cutup chicken is an excellent option if you are worried about portion control.
The tools you need to slice and cut your whole chicken
Here are the tools you need to slice and cut your whole chicken:
- A sharp knife: You’ll want to invest in a good quality knife. If you don’t have one already, it’s worth spending money on a sharp blade that will last you many years.
- Cutting board: You’ll need to cut up your whole chicken, so make sure you have a cutting board on hand! It should be large enough for the job and easy to clean.
- A pair of kitchen shears can do quick work by cutting through bones and tough skin. It also makes it easier when you’re cleaning up afterward!
- A kitchen cleaver is a great tool for chopping up chicken parts because it’s made specifically for cutting through bones and sinewy muscles. It’s also good at smashing through cartilage, so if you want to make a stew or soup with bones or skin in them, this is the tool you’ll want to use!
Don’t forget to check out our recipes for more chicken recipe ideas.
Buying a whole chicken is one of the better ways to try new cuts you may have never even heard of while saving a ton. Whole chickens can be cooked in several preparations, from roasting to grilling to pan frying. Cooking a whole chicken versus several smaller pieces also helps you control how much meat you eat. Cooked chicken meat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days or frozen for up to three months. An added perk is that whole chickens are less expensive than individually wrapped, skinless chicken breasts.