Tip: Buy a whole chicken and waste nothing, especially money

Nothing will stretch your money further! By buying a whole chicken you not only get more meat, you can also make your own home-made chicken stock – which trust me, It completely changes the way your food comes out. You simply have more control, and therefore can achieve the taste profile you are going for.

OK. So all of us foodies know how important the taste is and how making our own chicken stock is so much better. But let’s put that aside for a moment and look at some numbers. I mean numbers don’t lie, right?

So let’s do the math

I live in Chicago, in a neighborhood called Lincoln Park. It’s not the most expensive neighborhood in Chicago, but it’s not the cheapest either. Here are the cost of chicken in my local Trader Joe’s:

Prepackaged chicken breasts (3 per package) – $12
Prepackage chicken thighs (2 per package) – $10
One whole organic chicken – $20

Just at first glance you can tell the economics look a lot more sound going with the whole chicken. You could argue that the prepackaged chicken breasts come with 3 breasts and you only get 2 with the whole chicken. But with the whole chicken you also get the tenderloins, the drums, the wings and the caucus! It’s a no brainer really.

If you buy one package of each (chicken breast and thighs), you are already spending more or approximately the same than what the whole chicken costs, and you are walking out with less meat.

Now, of course when you buy the prepackaged meat you don’t do any work. There is definitely a cost saving there, as you don’t spend time breaking down your food or making your own stock. That’s rationale is valid and I agree with it. 

But if you enjoy making your own stock, if you enjoy cooking and plating, and if you appreciate saving a few bucks where possible, then why not start buying whole chickens?

Look at how much more meat you get:

  • 2 breasts
  • 2 tenderloins
  • 2 wings
  • 2 legs
    • 2 drums
    • 2 thighs
  • 1 caucus

PS: with one chicken I also made 9 cups of chicken stock!

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