Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Frugality and Health

Two posts in as many days.  Think I am setting a record here!

I am the type of person who hates to waste anything.  My mom says I just can't let things die, and she is right.  But, you know the old saying "waste not, want not"?  I can't throw something away if I know I can utilize it in some way.  Plus, I want to be a good steward of the things God has given me.

Some people have asked me what type of things I do to save money, be frugal, and waste as little as possible.  There are so many, I can't ever think of them all, but today, I will share one thing I have done this week to be frugal.

On Sunday, when I purchased my groceries, I bought a whole, organic fryer chicken for $6.92.  It was a little higher than the chicken I normally by, because it was a hormone free organic chicken, but I am going for health here, so I thought it worth it.  When I got home, I immediately threw it into my biggest stew pot and boiled it until it was done.  I will leave out the story about how I forgot to take the bag of giblets out, because the chicken I usually buy doesn't come with giblets.  We won't talk about how Barb Wire Man laughed his butt off at me for cooking those giblets in the plastic bag the entire cooking time.  Anyhow....  Once the chicken was cooked completely, I chopped it up.  Barb Wire Man does not eat chicken, so a whole fryer goes a very long way.  I was able to get 6 meals out of this chicken for my kids:
1.) Plain chicken with veggies
2.) Mac and Cheese with chicken
3.) 4 bags of chopped chicken, which I froze, to use for chicken salad at later dates

Once the chicken was cool, and completely de-boned, I reserved the broth it cooked in, plus all the bones (which I broke up).  Yesterday I put it all into my big stew pan, along with a carrot, a chopped celery rib, half an onion, and a bay leaf.  I let it simmer for a good 12 hours to make chicken stock.  If you haven't had homemade chicken stock, you are missing out!  It tastes about a gazillion times better than what you can buy at the store.  Plus, I was able to keep salt and other things I don't want in there out!  Once it had simmered until I thought it was just right, I was able to can 8 jars of stock!  (Note:  You must have a pressure cooker in order to can chicken stock.  A boiling bath will not get the jars hot enough to make sure all bacteria is gone.)

So, to break it down, I got 6 meals and 8 jars of chicken stock for a whole 49 cents each!  You can't even buy one jar of pre-made chicken stock for 49 cents!  (Sorry about not having any pictures!  I didn't think to take any while I was actually making the stock!)

It certainly takes time, and energy to do that, however, in the end, it is worth it to me.  I'm saving on my grocery bill, but more importantly, I know exactly what my kids are eating.

I hope to write more posts on the little things I do that help save money, and help me feed my kids more nutritious meals.  In the meantime, what are some things you do to stay frugal?

Be blessed!

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