How to Save Money on Chicken

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Meat can be such an expensive part of your grocery budget, here are some of my best tips on how to save money on chicken!

Meat can be such an expensive part of your grocery budget, here are some of my best tips on how to save money on chicken!

How to Save Money on Chicken

Chicken or any kind of meat just keeps going up in price and it’s becoming harder and harder to fit it into a frugal grocery budget. With current meat shortages, not only is it more expensive, but it’s hard to find as well.

I know that right now, it’s might be hard to stick to a normal grocery budget, but hopefully, today’s article will help you a little bit.

So many filling recipes call for chicken and since chicken is cheaper than beef (most of the time), it’s easy to see why we’d choose this meat as the main star of our supper. Plus it’s easy to cook and tastes good in so many different ways!

Just like anything, there are some tried and true ways that you can save money on chicken. While it’s not as cheap as rice and beans, there are still plenty of ways to save money on this tasty meat.

Buy the Dark Meat Cuts

While white meat cuts like chicken breast are usually used in recipes you find online, dark meats can be much less expensive and tastier since they tend to retain more moisture during cooking. Look for drumsticks and thighs to get the most money for your dollar. Our family actually prefers the thigh meat over all other cuts of chicken so this tip works out well for us!

Drumsticks can be made in a variety of ways such as in this Crockpot BBQ Drumsticks recipe and we love to use chicken thighs in our stir-fries made with my Homemade Soy Sauce.

If you shop around or wait for a sale, you should be able to find both cuts of chicken under $2 per pound.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken and What To Do With It

Buy Whole Chickens

I’ve already shared with you that I love buying Whole Chickens and how they save us so much money!

Look to purchase whole chickens from alternative sources. Instead of the grocery, I like to get ours from some local Hutterite Colonies who raise and butcher the birds themselves. They always have nice big birds with plenty of meat on them.

Whole chickens can be the cheapest “cut” of meat (usually under $1 per pound) and with them, you get all the cuts of meat to make many meals. Of course, you can also use the carcass to stretch this bird even further which jumps me into my next way to save money on chicken…

Look For Alternative Ways to Buy Chicken

As I mentioned above, we like to get whole chickens from our local Hutterite Colony instead of from the grocery store. If you aren’t able to find a good deal on chicken at the grocery store, check around to any local farmers that might raise chickens. You might just find the best bargain on any cut of chicken by buying them this way.

–Here are some tips on Buying Meat in Bulk.

There are also alternative methods of buying chicken now by ordering online from companies such as Perdue. This might be a good place to check prices if you are unable to find any good deals at the local grocery stores. Also, if you are able to buy it in bulk you might want to consider Canning Chicken.


Raise Your Own, Butcher Your Own

While this is the hardest way to save on chicken than any of the other ideas on this list, for many of you, this might be quite feasible and it might be the cheapest way to get chicken meat so I needed to include it.

Raising chickens for meat isn’t always that fun, they grow quickly and aren’t the cutest birds and then you have to butcher them, which is a messy affair. But if done right, it can be one of the best ways to save on chicken, especially if you are particular about what kind of feed goes into your chicken.

Our favorite chicken breed to raise for meat is Red Rangers which we get from Hoover’s Hatchery.

–Here are some of my favorite Chicken Breeds.

chicken discounts

Watch for Discounts on Sell-By Dates

This has been a pretty easy way for us to stock up on meats that we might not otherwise be able to afford. I don’t go to the grocery store often, but when I do, I go early in the morning and I always look for marked down meats. I’ve been able to get some incredible deals on chicken at the local grocery stores and at Target by doing this. When I find a deal, I stock up as much as I can on the cuts we use the most. I’ve even tried some cuts that I’ve never bought before (like thinly sliced chicken breast) because they were too cheap to pass up. (P.S. Before I get any hate mail…the picture taken above was from many months ago…before the virus was happening and meat was not hard to find. The employee practically loaded into my cart for me because they were so happy to clean it out!)

These discount meats usually have a sell-by date of the day that you purchase them but that’s no big deal. Just repackage them into a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer until you are ready to use them or have a Large Batch Cooking Day and cook them up to have them prepared for your favorite meals.

Make Bone Broth

Throughout history, people have been making bone broth as a frugal staple. It’s definitely a staple in our home! It’s very easy to make homemade bone broth and you are essentially using the part of the bird that you might normally throw away so it’s pretty much free food.

We use bone broth in soups, as a base for sauces such as my Poor Man’s Garlic Sauce, and sometimes just drink it straight when we aren’t feeling our best.

Chicken, or any type of meat, can be expensive when purchased without using any of the tactics listed above, but there is always a deal to be hard when we dig a little deeper.

If you want to save as much money as you can on your grocery budget but still need to have chicken in your meal plans, I hope you will be able to use these tips to save even more when you go shopping again.

Need some recipe ideas to use with your chicken? Here are 18 Chicken Dinner Ideas!

What are your favorite ways to save money on chicken?

Merissa Bio

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  1. Such wonderful ideas especially during these challenging times. Also buying a rotisserie chicken can be a great deal. Have for dinner with side. Left overs can be for sandwiches, tacos, even chicken pot pie. Then you can make a soup or broth with carcass. Love your warm, positive posts.

    1. Great tip, thanks for sharing! I actually had a rotisserie chicken for free in my Safeway app this week…even better deal! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

    2. We are so lucky to have a mexican market just down the street. They have great sale prices on chicken once a month. So we buy in bulk. Last boneless chicken breast sale was 1.19 per pound.

  2. These recipes sound delicious and I plan on trying them but when I clicked on “printer friendly” it was 8 sheets of paper. I don’t consider that printer friendly. How about leaving out the pictures in the future for the printer friendly copies. Thanks.

    1. When you click Print Friendly you just need to click on anything you don’t want to print (like pictures) and it will remove them to make the printable version shorter.

  3. Thank you for the tips. I am fortunate to live near a discount grocery store in South Georgia. I find chicken prices very reasonable. A bag of leg quarters on sale for 39 cents a pound, chicken breast between a dollar to a dollar seventy nine a pound. I stock up during those sales. I never that about checking with Perdue, they have processing plants local to where I live.

  4. I almost always purchase discounted “sell by” chicken when it’s available, which is pretty frequently at the store I go to. I just put it in the freezer as soon as I get it home if I don’t plan to cook it that day. I’ve never had a bad experience with it yet.

  5. Example, chicken thighs $1.49 lb, chicken legs $1.19lb. Chicken leg quarters .49lb. I buy the chicken leg quarters dividing at joint. Saving $$. My family is picky, they will eat thighs or legs but not quarters! LOL

  6. One store you left out are any of the international grocery stores where chicken can be 88¢ a lb. Discount food stores is another great one for price