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Budget chicken dinners

Life Is Good With These Budget Chicken Dinner Recipes!

We should really be more like chickens, at least make some of their sounds.  Did you know there are over 24 different sounds that a chicken makes?  The Flip Flop Ranch describes all of them but there are some that are heard more often – at least from what I notice living next door to a brood of them.  The more common sounds are the soft irregular chirp when all is physically well, the gentle warbling sound when “life is good”, the hard to miss panic peep when in danger and the obnoxious cackle when the hen proudly tells the world she has laid an egg.  The website describes other sounds but it’s the gentle warbling sound, the “life is good” sound, that I know you will feel when you make my budget chicken dinner recipes from my last post.  You will warble when you realize how delicious these meals are and how healthy, easy and cheap they are to make.

1.  Expand The Cooking Window 

Using a crock-pot to prepare parts of meals while you are at work or being productive outside the kitchen is what cooking with an easy stride is all about.  The last three meals in the previous post call for cooking the 12 chicken breasts in the crock-pot.  Not only does this free up your time to do other things, but it also makes a really moist chicken.  You could even make your chicken stock from the roasting chicken in the crock-pot overnight.  Can you imagine waking up with that soothing aroma?  If that doesn’t make you chirp, then you better go back to bed.

2.  Make The Soft Warbling Sound Rather Than the Panic Peep

Clustering your recipes so that you can make double and even triple amounts of different components for multiple recipes will help you to avoid the panic peep.  No one likes the panic peep.  It not only makes you anxious and cranky but it makes the rest of your brood very uneasy.  You can also freeze the extra grain, chicken and even beans as another time-saving tip to keep you making soft warbling sounds.

The Real Cost Of The Budget Chicken Dinners

Here’s my shopping list for the following meals that feed a family of four for at least five days:

  1. Roasted Lime Chicken With Barley and Roasted Vegetables
  2. Sublime Chicken Barley Soup
  3. Barbecue Chicken With Orange Zest Cole Slaw
  4. Chicken Burrito Wrap
  5. Tikki Masala

Shopping List with prices:

  • 1 large capon – $14.13 for a 7#
  • 12 boneless chicken breasts – these were on sale, buy 4 breasts (1.6# each) and get one free – 8.73 for 2 packages, but you will need 3 so buy 4 and you will have leftovers!  Total – $17.46
  • 30 oz bag of barley – $2.99
  • 2 heads of cauliflower – $2.98
  • 4 heads of broccoli – $2.48
  • 1 head of green cabbage $2.40
  • 1 bag of carrots – $.99
  • 1 bag of onions – $2.85
  • 1 avocado – $1.50
  • 1 lime – $.33
  • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach- $1.50
  • 1 bag frozen fiesta veggie mix – $1.50
  • 1 apple – $.65
  • BBQ sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s was $1.88
  • 1 can frozen orange concentrate – 12 oz can – freeze the extra for the future – $1.99
  • 1 bottle of vinegar $1.69 (you should have some from the pork/bean week)
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes – $1.00 – use half for each recipe
  • 1 14 oz can of black beans – $1.50
  • 4 large whole grain wraps – Lavash whole wheat was $2.28 for 4 wraps
  • 1 loaf whole grain bread (to have with soup) – $2.98
  • 1 jar salsa – $2.99, but you should have some left from the pork/beans week of recipe week
  • 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt – 4.99 for the 4 cup container or use leftover from the pork/bean recipe week
  • 1 small bottle of olive oil – $4.99, but you would have plenty leftover from the pork/bean week
  • Tumeric – $3.69
  • Garam Masala spice – $6.99.  This is a blend of 7 warm spices, you can also make your own with this recipe

Total:  $83.35

These five meals for a family of four amount to $4.16 per person.  That is including the extra chicken purchased on sale as well as the yogurt, salsa, olive oil and vinegar you would have leftover for the pork/beans meal plan.  Subtract these last four ingredients and that would reduce the total by $14.66 for a grand total of $68.72.  That’s $3.43 for each delicious, healthy meal that will keep you full, avoid the hungry causing insulin spike, nourish your body and give you energy.  You’re not going to get that kind of payback at any restaurant or take-out.  Furthermore, meal preparation is a stress-reducing experience; it allows all your senses to engage while your thoughts focus on the tasks in the present.  Cooking is a wonderful way to get your mind off work and worries.

Budget Chicken Dinner Recipes That Will Make You Warble!

Who says that eating healthy is expensive and takes a lot of time?  Initially it may take some planning but using these steps will teach you the process and tips to save time.  It will get you thinking outside the box, keep you from feeling “cooped up” and penned down to the same old, boring meals or heart-clogging fast food choices.  Now that is really something to warble about!  Life is good.