I often hear people say that organic/sustainable/AWA/ect food is to expensive to buy. While I agree that feeding the entire family t-bone steaks every night might get pricey, t-bone steaks are not the only meat out there. Cheaper cuts, smaller portion sizes and a commitment to eating meat not raised in CAFOs(confinement animal feeding operations) can be done on a budget.
Five Meals for Two People From One Chicken
First off if you are buying on a budget always buy whole poultry. When you buy cut up poultry you are paying more per pound, and you are losing the skin and fat which give poultry a flavor and keep the meat from drying out. If you are not familiar with cutting a chicken into pieces yourself, don’t despair! Your grandparents did it, and so can you! Butchering(slaughtering means kill, butchering means cutting up the meat) is easy and it doesn’t take great strength. You will need a sharp knife and a cutting board.
If you need some direction you can watch videos on Youtube. I liked the one below. You can also attend a slaughtering and butchering demo at our place, or arrange to come for just a butchering demo.
So lets assume you have cut your chicken into wings, thighs, legs, breasts and bones. Lets also assume you bought a chicken from my farm that costs $4 a lb and will be about $15 dollars. I am using the prices from Peapod an Online Grocery store for the other prices for the sake of my sanity.
Meal 1-Spicy Wings Rice and Veggies
Cut the wings into two pieces or leave whole. Cook in the oven at a low temp 250F or near about. When the wings are nearly done bast them with your favorite sauce, let brown for a few minutes and serve with rice and roasted veggies.
rice-$9 for a 5lb bag, so lets say this portion cost you $2, organic potatoes $5.99 for a 5 lb bag so lets say this portion cost you $2, spices to mix in with the veggies-price varies $1, sauce for the wings (prepared or bought) Sweet Baby Rays is $2.49 a bottle so lets say you make or prepare something similar and use about 50 cents of the bottle.
Total meal price w/out chicken- $5.50
Meal Two-Tacos with Thigh Meat
Reserve the drumsticks for later. Cut the meat into small pieces and saute in a pan. Serve with cheese, onions, salsa and hot sauce on a tortilla.
My favorite brand of tortillas, El Milago are 59 cents for 12, lets say two people eat three tacos each so that is 30 cents. Organic onions are $4.99 for 3 lbs but you are only going to use one so lets say $1, Organic Valley Raw Sharp Cheddar is $4.99 a package and lets say you use half so that is $2.50, Nature’s Promise Organic salsa is $2.99 a jar so lets say you use a third of the jar so that is $1, Sriracha hot sauce is $3.99 a bottle and unless you have a tongue of iron you will use very little, 50 cents.
Total for meal without chicken- $5.30
Meal Three-Roasted Drumsticks with Cornbread and Brussel Sprouts
Cook the drummies in the oven at 250F, glaze with homemade or store bough sauce and serve with cornbread and your choice of veggies.
Sauce-homemade or store bought $2, box of Box’s Red Mill All Natural Cornbread $3.49 the box says each container is 16 servings so lets say 50 cents, one pound of brussel sprouts $2.99.
Total for meal with out chicken – $5.50
Meal Four-Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Use one and a half of the breasts, cut the meat into small cubes and cook then toss with mayo, apples, walnuts and dried cranberries. Serve on bread or crackers.
Mayo is $3.99 a jar or you could make your own you won’t use a lot so lets say 50 cents, organic apples $5.99 for a three lb bag, use one and call is $1, bag of walnuts $4.99, use $1 worth, dried cranberries 10 oz bag $4.99 use $1.50 worth, Organic bread $4.99 for 20 slices so $1 for four slices.
Total for meal without chicken- $5.50
Meal Five-Chicken Soup
Take the bones from the body, and any extra skin or fat you have remaining and boil this down with any veggie scraps you have until you have a good stock. (Collect veggie tops, skins ect in a freezer bag until you have enough for a good stock.) Add vegetables and rice and the other half of the cooked chicken breast you saved.
Random veggies (onions, carrots, whatever you desire) $3, rice (which you already bought for meal 1) $2
Total price of meal without chicken $5
The total price of our five meals for two people using mostly organic ingredients $26.80 with the chicken they are $41.80. This gives us an average meal price of $8.36 and an average per person meal price of $4.18. I rounded up, rather than down. You could make this even cheaper by not using organic produce. This is BARELY more than getting a hamburger, fries, and a drink off the $1 menu at McDonalds and much more healthy for you, the environment and supports farmers who are raising animals ethically. Depending on the season and where you live it would be great to get your veggies and fruit at a farmers market.