I know this is not my typical Money Monday post, but I thought it was worth sharing as it can be both a money and a time saver.
Our local grocery offers hot, rotisserie-cooked chickens for $4.99. Occasionally, I will find a cold rotisserie-cooked chicken marked down to $3.99. On sale, at $0.79/lb, an uncooked whole chicken (5 lbs) costs me about $3.95. When it is not on sale, it costs even more. Last week, I decided to buy both a hot chicken and a raw chicken. The hot chicken was carved up for dinner that night, plus I had enough chicken left over for my husband to bring lunch the next day and for a casserole the next night. I also made broth by boiling the bones with some chopped onions, celery, and carrots. It made about 8 cups of broth which I will use as a soup base or in recipes as necessary. I got about the same amount of chicken and broth from my raw chicken. The difference is I had to prepare and cook the raw chicken, taking up my time and using more ingredients and energy. Typically, I avoid prepared foods at the store due to the fact that they tend to cost much more than just preparing the recipe from scratch. I have decided I will no longer immediately write them off though. When I can buy a rotisserie-cooked chicken for about the same price, or even a dollar more, than a raw one, it is worth that $1 for the time I will save. On those days when I have very little time to prepare dinner (and I failed to have anything prepared ahead of time), it is nice to know that there is an affordable alternative to restaurant dining.