A Frugal Tip: Chicken Stock

Dilemma: I love food. I love cooking. I hate the grocery store. I hate loading the groceries into my car, back out of my car and to the kitchen, and finally putting them away. BUT the thing I hate most about the grocery store is PAYING for the groceries!! You see how this is a tricky situation? I’m not self-sufficient; therefore the grocery store (and shelling out the money for groceries) is a necessity.

As a result of this dilemma, I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ways to save at the store. I can’t extreme coupon. While I respect those gals’ ability to walk away with 7 truckloads of ‘stuff’ and money back from the store, I cannot spend the time required to plan that trip, nor do I want my basement to look as though we are preparing for a nuclear holocaust.

One simple trick I’ve found, and thought I’d pass along to you involves the art of freezing. Freezing requires very little effort and there are so many things that fair well through the process.

Several times each year, particularly around holidays, – Easter is right around the corner, FYI – grocery stores have wonderful sales on stock (chicken, beef, veggie, etc.) During these sales, I like to really stock up (no pun intended) and I prefer to buy the boxes of stock rather than the smaller cans – also a savings in the cost department.

Another option is to make your own stock! I had planned to do that with the chicken from yesterday’s post, but forgot until I had thrown the carcass away and I wasn’t about to go dumpster diving – so that ship has sailed and I’ll have to remember the next time I make a whole chicken and share the recipe with you.
All that said, it isn’t often that I need more than a cup or two for a recipe which leaves a lot of extra (whether bought in a larger quantity at the store or homemade) that will last only a short while in the fridge.

In walks my frugal suggestion: Instead of allowing the remainder to go to waste, if you don’t see an immediate use for your leftover…freeze it!
I like to go one step further and freeze mine in ice cube trays because it allows me to thaw only what I need the next time around:

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In my particular situation, with my particular ice cube trays, 14 cubes equals about 1 cup of stock. I mark my freezer safe baggies with this info for a quick reminder and when the time comes I am prepared with exactly the amount I need and the rest stays safely frozen!

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Do you have any creative, frugal tips? Please do share in the comments section below. We are all looking to save a buck and sometimes the simplest of things aren’t obvious to us without the help of others!

-H

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