Here's a sample chicken plan that used 64 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast and made 22 entrees plus 20 cups of cooked, diced chicken. All that for only $150.00.
Elegant Chicken in Marinade – 6 entrees (7 breasts each meal)
Parsley Parmesan Chicken – 6 entrees (7 breasts each meal)
Chicken Pot Pie – 6 pies (6-8 servings each)
Chicken Spaghetti – 4 entrees
Cooked, Diced Chicken – 20 C. to be used for chicken salad, burritos, quesadillas, chicken divan, tetrazzini, etc.
Save money by planning ahead and figuring out how much of your meat can be frozen and stored. If you’re going to cook the meat, you can start with frozen.
Time or money? Decide which one is most important to you. If it’s time then you need to purchase canned cream soups rather than making your own with flavored white sauce. Buy your pie crusts even though your grandma taught you how to make your own. Go to one store instead of driving around town for everyone’s best deals. If saving money is your primary goal, then choose your recipes based on what’s on sale. Shop the loss leaders. Make your own white sauce and pie crusts. You’ll save a lot of money but it may take you a little longer.
Choose fewer recipes and make more of each. It doesn’t take twice as long to make two of something. You won’t be rotating these four chicken or beef recipes every four days! You’ll fill in with other meals so don’t try doing 10 recipes and only making two of each. It will take a LONG time!
Look at your recipes ahead of time to decide on an order of assembly. For example, the Parsley Parmesan Chicken recipe requires that you marinade the breasts for 3-4 hours in italian dressing. Do that first – you’ll be glad!
Choose a mix of easy and time intensive recipes. Chicken breasts in marinade is a breeze. The pot pies take a lot longer but are so worth it! Quiche is easy, Chimichangas take awhile. Mix it up.
Bag your extra cooked, diced chicken and cooked ground beef in 2-3 cup portions. You don’t want to be using the ice pick to break off a section of beef for sloppy joes!
Spread newspapers over your work surface. It makes cleanup much easier!
Clean as you go. We messies love to get out new bowls and measuring cups and spoons all day rather than wash the dirty ones up. Cleaning as you go is a much better plan.
Don’t forget to label your entrees. It all looks the same once it’s frozen. (Commercial: I’m really liking these new freezer labels. You can use a regular pen on them. Never could find that permanent marker when I needed it.)
Share with someone. The greatest way to end a cooking day is to plan to give something away.