How to turn one $5 whole chicken into at least 6 meals

So you know those tiny little whole roasting chickens at your supermarket? Those chickens are a frugal gal’s best friend. They go on sale for $.77 a lb every couple of weeks and a good sized one ends up being around $5-$6(stock up at around $.77 a lb!). So why is that chicken a good deal when I can get a pound of ground beef that is only $2.94?
That pound of ground beef might feed your family for one night…but I’m going to tell you how that little chicken can feed your family for at least SIX meals.

You do need a few other ingredients, but luckily they are things most of us have on hand already


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3 carrots (rough chopped)
  • 4 stalks celery (rough chopped)
  • Salt&Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place chicken in a roasting pan either on a rack or just ball up some aluminum foil and set it up on top of the balls. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.When the chicken is done, let it cool.
  4. Pull off the skin and discard. You can pull off the breasts and dice them and shred the rest, or just shred it all. I like to portion it out into bags in 1 cup portions and freeze.
  5. Now fill a big stock pot with 6-8 cups of water. Put the chicken, celery, onion and carrots in the water. Season the water with salt and pepper (chicken broth is generally pretty salty, you’ll know after it is cooked if it is to your liking). Bring it up to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer. Let simmer for 2-3 hours on the stove until the bones are totally falling apart.
  6. Drain the broth and portion it off in one cup portions into bags or plastic containers, and freeze. If you like, you can also separate out the veggies and serve them for dinner. They will be super tender and flavorful, but you probably want to eat them right away because they won’t taste as good reheated.

Use the chicken for pizzas, tacos, in casseroles or on salads. The broth can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken broth.

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

4 thoughts on “How to turn one $5 whole chicken into at least 6 meals”

  1. I recently committed to a more frugal lifestyle for my family, starting with major cuts to our astronomical grocery bills. I just came across your blog and love this frugal meal idea for ‘stretching’ a chicken! Thanks!

  2. Hi,
    Love your blog! We raise chickens and I like to stretch a chicken into many meals. Here is how I do it. We are feeding just two people and a toddler.

    partially thaw the chicken, cut off each breast and the two drumsticks with thighs attached. Each chicken breast is a meal, and the drumsticks together make a meal. We’re already at three meals!

    Depending on how good you are at cutting off the breasts, you can cut off more little chunks…there is a stir fry!

    Then I boil the chicken in water with onion, bay leaves, garlic, pepper and a bit of salt for a couple hours. Take out the chicken, pick off the meat, and that is soup for a few lunches, with the addition of things like carrots, celery, beans, any leftover veggies you have! I also add in either potatoes, rice, noodles or barley. All you can get so cheap!

    Many many meals to be had from one roasting chicken!

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