We’re still on a really tight budget here. There’s just so much to recover from after my husband was out of work for so long. I don’t exactly trust to the stability of his new job either, as it’s in the travel industry. Not exactly prime for this kind of economy.

One thing I do right now is to buy whole chicken, rather than just boneless or bone-in parts. The initial cooking can take a bit of extra effort, but the savings makes it well worthwhile. Sale prices on the whole chickens are less than sale prices on the various parts.

Thank goodness whole doesn’t include head or feet, though! Not quite ready to deal with that much.

One chicken means several meals. The first one is your basic roasted chicken. My favorite is a slow roasted variety that takes about 5 hours in the oven. Not something to do on a really hot day, even though the temperature is low. The chicken is rubbed all over with seasonings, stuffed with garlic and/or onions, and cooked at 250 degrees F. Comes out very tender.

The leftovers are currently sufficient for dinner a second night, although I don’t expect that trend to last much longer, as the kids are getting bigger. But they can also be used for lunches. Leftover chicken goes great in salads, for example.

Next comes the homemade chicken soup. I don’t necessarily make this right away; the leftovers go just fine in the freezer so I can save them for when the weather is right for chicken soup.

These meals come out to be very inexpensive. They also taste really great. The amount of chicken soup I make in each batch lasts for several meals, and my daughter has often enjoyed it in a Thermos at school. Sometimes I even freeze excess.