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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cheap Chicken Turning Tricks

I have not blogged in awhile and last night while I was cooking dinner I wondered why.  Maybe it is because I didn't carry my project into winter.  I have not been to a farmer's market in some time.  I never canned or froze the food I had set out to in the beginning of all this.  Do I feel like a failure?  Not really.  It was a big project, especially for someone who lacks a green thumb like I do.  I learned some valuable lessons in food along the way, opened up my eyes to consumer waste, and met some great people along the way.  I hope to continue and develop my journey more this coming spring and summer.

But here we are in February, where the cold winter days and grayness that surrounds tends to take their toll.  We have had a mild winter for the Midwest and evenings that are usually filled with comfort foods like chili, casseroles, and soups haven’t made it to the plate that often.

I can’t blame the dusty Crockpot this winter completely on the mild weather days.  In part it has been to an uneasy stomach through the first 5 months of a pregnancy.  I would be much better off if I was feeling this lousy when there are fresh fruit and vegetables available down at the market because that is what I seem to do best with.
With the planning and prepping for a baby comes a close look at your budget.  The farmer’s market is a great place to get reasonably priced goodies, but the grocery store this time of year it becomes costly.

In my desire to cut costs I have been hitting up stores like Save-A-Lot and Aldi’s.  I am not knocking either of them.  They have some great items at lower costs then my main grocery store, Hy-Vee.  Like, for example, bananas.  I found them at Hy-Vee for 49 cents a bunch.  They aren’t organic, but either are the ones at Hy-Vee. 

What made me decide to blog last night was my second attempt to buy and cook chicken. I have been buying pretty exclusively organic chicken for the past year.  I wait for there to be a sale on Bare Naked or Smart Chicken and buy it up.  I looked at the prices at Save-A-Lot and didn’t resist the temptation to buy 3lbs of chicken for $4.89.  I could barely look at the extra large plumped up breasts, swimming in chicken fluid, when I took it out of the package and threw it in the pan.  I imagined the 40 pound chicken going to slaughter (because to get breasts this size it would almost have to be).  It took forever for it to cook, but I was able to get two meals, feeding three adults out of the package.  The taste…? It just wasn’t there.

So here I am with my dilemma.  I know that the chicken isn’t going to kill me, the extra sodium I could do without but American’s buy it day in and day out.  Am I compromising a value to save a few bucks?