Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Get Yer Cluck On!

It's chicken week here at the $50 Stockpile. I visited two stores today and walked away with 26 pounds of the stuff for under $17.00.

First stop, Pro's Ranch Market where I picked up chicken leg quarters in a 10-lb bag for 57c/lb. Pro's Ranch chicken is high quality, all-natural chicken with a very nice flavor. As soon as I returned from the store, I deboned the chicken pieces, herbed and marinated the meat to bake for dinner, then put the bones into the stock pot to simmer. There's enough chicken for three dinners for my family of four. Baking it all at once, I save time and energy for cooking later in the week. I'll serve the chicken again on Friday, then on Sunday. As for the stock, I have visions of chicken rice in my head. Maybe because my allergies are acting up and I'm feeling sneezy.

I know deboning sounds kind of scary, but it's not. It took me less than 10 minutes to debone the entire bag. It's a big savings over buying boneless chicken thighs, and I get the extra savings in the homemade chicken stock from the bones. I found this video on YouTube, which explains the process. I'm nowhere near as neat as this cook is with the work (the word 'carnage' comes to mind), and you don't have to be as neat, either. Nobody's watching. Go to town.

Also at Pro's Ranch, I picked up 6 rolls of paper towel (39c each), 5 pounds of bananas, a packet of whole wheat tortillas, 2 boxes of strawberries, 6 pounds of roma tomatoes, 6 pounds bartlett pears, 4 pounds nectarines and a pound of dried hibiscus (for iced aqua frescas), and 3 40-count bags of yellow corn tortillas for a total of $26.

Second stop was Food City, which was catacorner from the Pro's Ranch. There, I picked up 3 cantaloupe, 8 red bell peppers and the rest of the chicken. I picked up the advertised bone-in chicken breast for 97c/lb. I deboned the chicken breast, an easy task with the help of YouTube, and added the bones to my already happily simmering chicken stock. The limit was two packages of chicken breasts, so about $5 total. I also found frozen chicken thighs, nicely packaged in a bag so they could be used individually for 59c/lb. the bag I purchased was about 7 lbs. Not certain. The Food City chicken awaits it chance at culinary excellence in my freezer.

I spent $12 at Food City which brought my grand total for everything to $38.

This is a small produce haul for me. I still have the avocados from last week which are still ripening. Also, I have two boxes of Utah peaches I purchased in a group buy available for eating. I'm freezing most of them because it's still too hot for me to think about canning. The peaches are exquisitely sweet. My husband ate six yesterday, my kids are keeping pace with him. I get all my leafy greens from my garden and we have at least a dozen melons ripening. I took it easy on the bananas because my son didn't eat as many this last week, forcing me to freeze half of them in a banana, plum, kiwi, grape mush.

It may not sound appetizing, but believe me, it's sinfully delicious, and pretty to boot.

If the kids need more bananas, they're on sale 33c/lb at Food City all week. Also, Basha's will have eggs 88c/dozen Friday-Sunday this week, so I plan to pick up the limits on those. I don't pay a lot of attention to milk prices since we purchase raw, organic milk from a dairy in Gilbert, but many of the stores have milk for well under $2/gallon this week.

I told the kids to make themselves bean burritos for breakfast this week with the crema from last week and this week's tomatoes. They can make themselves peanut butter and jelly burritos for lunch. Entrees this week will be the aforementioned chicken, something with ground beef from the freezer, chicken stir-fry and an eggplant parmigiana courtesy of the frantically producing plants in the garden.

Not sure about desserts, but I've had requests for peach ice cream and carmelized bananas.

Which means my plan to force my family to eat cheap, whole unprocessed foods by only offering them cheap, whole, unprocessed foods to eat is working perfectly.

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