How to Stretch One Chicken for Five Days

I’m a Mom and in no way a culinary master. I work on a budget and limited time. The recipes that follow are not perfect from my dream Mom nutrition goals but my family EATS them and that is my goal. Healthy perfect food doesn’t help my family if they refuse to touch it. So here is my middle ground that I am comfortable residing! Any recipe can of course be replaced and are rotated out as we see fit. 

One of the best ways to save money on your grocery bill is to cut back on meat. The best way I have found to do this is to use meat as a flavoring to meals not consume large portions. Here is how we typically stretch out a chicken. 

Day 1

I almost always cook my chickens in the slow cooker. The bird turns out very savory and fall apart tender. We ate breast meat with a side of brocolli and apple sauce this day. And the leftovers head to the fridge!

Day 2

This day I had a lot of chicken left in the fridge so I picked the remaining white meat mostly, to make chicken enchiladas. 

This is a super easy recipe that my husband loves. 

It is frugal as well as there are very few ingredients. I only ended up using the large can. 

We ate it with leftover brocolli. I also made a large serving of corn. 

Day 3

I picked the bird clean this day. The bones went into the slow cooker to make bone broth for tomorrow. And the meat was divided into 2 bowls. One for today and one for tomorrow. 

I covered the bones with water added some bay leaves and peppercorns and let them cook on low for 24 hours for the base of  tomorrow’s soup. 

Dinner for this day will be spaghetti. I add a lot of veggies to store bought sauce for my spaghetti. I love this sauce it has only a few ingredients that I can actually pronounce and tastes great. I will use what ever I have in the fridge vegetable wise. I have had good success with spinach, celery, garlic and tomatoes especially. Today I added carrots which will turn the sauce orange and chunky so if you like watery sauce omit them or choose different veggies. I just use whatever I have on hand. 

I start by simmering the veggies in whatever chosen fat to soften. 

After a bit I add the sauce and let the veggies fully cook. 

I’ll then use my immersion blender and pull a fast one on my spaghetti loving babies. Insert mom points. 

Day 4

Our bone broth has been cooking over night and was ready at dinner time. 

I removed the bones and drained the liquid into another container through a mesh sieve. I love bone broth and it’s rich color. After it rested a bit I leveled off some of the top fat. 


Onto the soup. 

After all the veggies sweated in some fat I added our broth brought to a boil and then added the noodles. I let the noddles cook and added two handfuls of shreddded chicken. That looked like plenty to me so I put the rest of the chicken in the fridge for tomorrow. 

It was delicious and quick and the kids ATE it. *cheers*

Day 5

I stretched out our remaining meat this week with an old school trick I learned years ago. Add beans. I made chicken tacos which my husband adores. Once a month usually I’ll make a big pot of beans and section them off for the freezer. I then add them to various recipes or make homemade refried beans. Make sure to reserve some bean juice in each portion boiling it down is what really adds the flavor!

Warm chicken and add chosen seasons. 

Once mixed add beans with juice. 

Cook down and serve hot with tortillas or shells and lots of fresh toppings and/or sides. 

So there you have it how I save big bucks by stretching our dollars! Happy leftovering. 


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