Monday, September 21, 2009

I have A LOT of chicken in my freezer!

Right now Publix has boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.99 a pound. You can't beat that, people - not even with a stick! Any time chicken breast is on sale, we stock up in our house. And I mean STOCK UP. For the longest time I didn't take advantage of this kind of deal, though, because chicken usually comes three to a pack and we are a two-person household...what to do with that third piece? I know, why was I so stressed about that? But seriously, small details like that can completely overwhelm me.

So, one day my mom and I were somehow on the topic of chicken breast on sale and I told her my dilemma and, like any good mom, she immediately had a tried-and-true solution:

  1. Buy chicken.
  2. When you get chicken home, break it down into two-piece packs, wrapping first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil.
  3. Date and label the contents on the outside of the foil.
  4. Place in freezer.
  5. Take out, thaw and enjoy for dinner.

Seriously, this changed my life. So now I am undaunted with purchasing large amounts of chicken breast. I kind of make it a game - I bought every pack of chicken available that was under $3.50. I left Publix with NINE packs of chicken - that's 27 individual chicken breasts or 13 meals. (I usually buy an even number so then I end up with an even number of packages, but there weren't any left under $3.50 and I wasn't really keeping count.) Plus, I looked down at my receipt and saw that I had saved nearly $40 (CUARENTA DOLLARES) on this trip. It warmed my heart.

Now, if I am the only one home to unload and then unpack the groceries, I usually give myself a one-day grace period to package up all my chicken, but I wouldn't recommend going more than a day. I go ahead tear off all my squares of foil and label them with the contents, quantity and date. Then I start opening up my packages of chicken, ripping off a square of plastic wrap and use tongs to transfer the chicken to its new home. It's a great little system I get into - sometimes I feel like I work at Moe's and am wrapping up burritos.

When I am all done, I transfer them into the freezer and smile at the little packages that mean dinner for what seems like the next 100 years - or until the next time Publix slashes prices on chicken breast!

{Note: You don't need a lot of foil or plastic wrap for this project. My squares are maybe 10"x10", and that's being generous. Plus, you can always find foil (Walgreens sometimes has two for $1) and plastic wrap on sale. Start to finish, I probably worked for about 15 minutes and then had the kitchen cleaned up in under a minute.}

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