Frugal Friday #2

What do you do to save money on meals? To make the most out of our grocery budget, I sometimes plan two meals out of one ingredient. For example, sometimes I do chicken cacciatore on the crockpot for dinner and the following evening I simply cook out the sauce to reduce it and warm up the chicken and add a little taco seasoning to make flavorful fajitas. Well, today I want to show you two of these meals out of one of our family’s favorites, chicken. I went to the store and bought a whole skinless chicken (less than $6). I planned to do chicken noodle soup and homemade bread for one night and chicken tacos for the next night. Since I already had onions for the soup, I knew I could also use some sauteed onions for the tacos.
Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 whole skinless chicken
  • 3 quarts of water
  • 3 carrots, plus more for stock
  • 3 sticks of celery, plus more for stock
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic, whole
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 bullion cubes
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • pasta of your choice
  • fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

First, put water on pot. Add 2 sticks of celery in chunks, garlic cloves (whole),  2 peeled carrots (whole) and one peeled onion in half. You do not need to cut them in smaller pieces, you will be throwing this after the stock is done, it is only for flavor. Add italian seasoning to your taste, I added about a teaspoon, then salt and pepper. I then added the whole chicken and the cubes. I let the chicken cook for about 35 to 40 minutes on medium heat.Another flavorful tip is to use the rind of a block of parmesan cheese to flavor the stock.

After the stock is done remove the veggies and the chicken. Let the chicken cool before you shred it. You can also cube it but we like big chunks of chicken in our soup.

 When the chicken has cooled enough you can shred it. Then cut the veggies. We like onion, potatoes, carrots and celery. Warm up the broth again and cook the veggies. Then add the noodles. My kids chose spaghetti noodles that day but we usually use egg noodles, and they like LOTS of noodles on their soup. Finally add the chicken and warm up (remember to save some chicken for the following day!). Serve with some artisan bread.

Dinner #2: Chicken Tacos and Salad
  • Chicken
  • tortillas
  • avocado
  • onion
  • taco seasoning
  • cup of salsa
  • shredded cheese
  • tomato
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
You probably have all of these ingredients in your pantry, so it this is a meal easy to plan!
Warm up shredded chicken with a cup of salsa and some taco seasoning. In another pan, saute an onion. Warm up the tortillas and assemble taco, pretty much self explanatory. We like to make guacamole using lemon juice, salt and pepper. My husband also adds sour cream but I am not a fan of it. Our tacos had chicken, tomato, cheese, sauteed onion, cilantro (from our garden) and guacamole. Add a salad and you have a meal (Saving tip: do not buy bagged salad, we usually buy Romaine lettuce and it lasts us for a couple of meals and even lunches, and we add leftover carrots. If you do not have enough leftover chicken, you can add refried beans or canned beans)
What do you do to save money on meals? Do you have any tips you would like to share?

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