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The Beginning of Fall/Winter Cooking is here

So with the start of the fall and winter seasons upon us here are few tips for everyone to save money on your budgets and get lots of flavor all at the same time.

First, look for sales on whole chickens and cheap meats. Why you might ask? Well, I’ll give you a few good reasons.

Wether or not you have a full dedicated deep freeze you can still do what I’m going to describe, you’ll just have to rotate things a little more often.

When whole chickens are on sale, you can do something really simple and get a lot of meals out of it. If you only have a few hours, take a defrosted whole chicken and put it in a pot with the inside portions of a head/stalk of celery. This is the part of celery that most people throw out but it contains SO much flavor you won’t believe it. So rough/large chop all that celery and then add in either onions or scallions/green table onions along with a heaping tablespoon of fresh/jarred fresh minced garlic a good handful of sea salt (if you use regular table salt you will have to adjust the amount down for the iodine or you will have a big problem) fresh ground pepper and if you have them carrots. Then add in some of your favorite herbs if you like. I like to use oregano and fennel lightly crushed with my mortar and pestle, you can also just grind these between your palms and still get the effect.

Allow the chicken to boil for about an hour or so until it falls apart when you try to remove it. Remove from heat and carefully put the chicken in a large bowl or container to cool for a while. Allow the liquid to cool as well until you can put it all into a large container or whatever you have and cover it and keep in the frig overnight to cool completely. Once the chicken cools, with your fingers de-bone it all and trash the skin, carcass, etc. then put the de-boned chicken into a freezer bag or regular bag (depending on when you plan to use it) and you have a whole chicken cooked fast kept moist and mostly shredded and ready for soups, stews, casseroles, enchiladas, etc. This cooked chicken is also great for chicken salad sandwiches and other favorites. Store in freezer tight container for up to 6 months if you protect it properly. If you don’t have anything but freezer bags then I do recommend wrapping them each in a layer of freezer paper to keep them protected and they will last you longer without freezer burn which will ruin the food.

You can do the same with cheap cuts of meat, just cut it down to size and season and brown with flour and extra virgin olive oil. Allow to cool and freeze or cook in a crock pot just until it comes off a fork easily but not falling apart (it will turn into mush if you’re not careful and you don’t want that) then freeze in bags wrapped in freezer paper for about 6 months worth of dinners.

When Thanksgiving comes around turkeys gone on sale cheap and so do hams. I just cooked our last ham that I bought last year on sale for $.97 cents a pound. It costs me $6 and we have had 4 full meals off of it and there is still enough left for another meal and I’m cooking a pot of pinto beans and putting some of the ham and the ham bone into it for more flavor so we’ll end up with 6 meals off 1 ham for a total of $1 per meal with a few items thrown in like cheap veggies and such. Our family of 4 eats well but we don’t pay a fortune to do it.

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September 8, 2010 - Posted by | Beginners Getting Started, Health and Wellness, How To Shop and Save Lots of Money

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