A few weeks ago another mom and I were talking about the chickens that we raise for meat, and she was surprised that we “only” use about 50 a year. With a family of 8 she thought we would need more than that, as according to her guess, we would eat two at a meal if I make roast chicken. I almost never make roast chicken, so I wasn’t sure if she was right or not, and decided to see.
For supper the next night I roasted two approximately 5 pound chickens, and we also had baked potatoes and corn. Each child got a serving of each, and they were required to eat the vegetables before they could have seconds on the chicken. Only one had seconds. When we were all done eating there was still most of the breast meat left, as we all like dark meat.
The next day I cut up the breast meat, mixed it with a bunch of chard from the freezer, plus some peppers, onion, and cream cheese. I made pita bread, and we had pita sandwiches for supper. There was enough for everyone, and for a few servings for lunch the next day.
After I took the breast off the chickens, I still had the necks, ribs, and backs, so I put them in a big kettle, with some salt, pepper, and parsley, and covered it all with water. I simmered it until the next day, then used the bits of meat and the broth to make chicken corn noodle soup. The bones were crumbly after all that cooking, so they went to the dogs.
Those two chickens fed three full meals, plus some left overs, to 8 people, and gave a snack for the dogs! Now, my children are all age 12 and under, so I’m sure as they grow two chickens will not provide quite so many meals.
Many people wonder how those of us with large families can make ends meet, and assume that either we are rich, are on food stamps, or live on oatmeal. I hope this little story helps to explain how we can afford to feed a large family, and encourage you to cook good, inexpensive meals too!
What are some ways that you stretch your grocery dollar?
How do you respond to questions of “How do you do it?” when discussing the cost of living and a large family?