Planning ahead

So I was talking to my oldest daughter about this blog. She says, “Oh yeah, what’s that called again….Cheap Basketball?” .. to which I say, “Um no, it’s Thefrugaldribble”. She says,”Mom…why? I just can’t remember that name, can you change it to something else. ” As I roll my eyes and remind myself how thankful I am for my tubal ligation, I say, “Nope”…..Moving on..

Remember that post I had about bone-in chicken leg quarters? I thought it would be fitting to share what my family does when we get a deal on a larger quantity of chicken without bones.

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I love to prepare meals with chicken thighs. I frequently multi-task while a meal is cooking. This causes me to over cook meat sometimes🙄. Chicken thighs do not dry out if I cook them a little too long, like boneless, skinless breasts or tenders do. I also like to prepare boneless, skinless thighs because they cook much quicker than bone-in chicken. Although, chicken with bones have a big place in my frugal meal plans. *See my earlier post if you get a chance*

Looking at raw chicken is kinda gross, so I apologize for that in advance😬.

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I purchased these two larger packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. For my family of four, we will usually eat one piece of chicken per person. Generally, I add a lot of veggies and rice, quinoa, or some other side dishes. This is how we try to eat less meat in my home. Trust me, no one in my house is ever hungry🙂. I prefer to break these larger packages down into meal-sized packs of chicken. This way,  on busy evenings, I can just grab a pack from my freezer that is proportioned perfectly for us.  There is nothing wrong with making a little extra for leftovers the next day. I do that too, sometimes, and they are yum☺️. Sometimes, it works out that we can eat leftovers for lunch the next day this way.

Frugal Droplet- I try to package meats that are going into the freezer, pretty flat. They are easier to work with when thawing, and will take less time. I frequently put meat from the freezer straight into the oven without thawing, so this helps them to sit flat in the pan. To remove,  I run the package under water for a few seconds and it will loosen the cling wrap with minimal fuss.

Frugal fail🙄-I try to use less disposable products when I can. I have not found a good solution that prevents waste while repackaging meat, that works well for me. I usually package my meat in cling wrap as pictured, using as little as possible to get the job done. Then when I get them all wrapped, I stack all the packages in double plastic grocery bags, label them, and tie them shut with the handles of the bag. The double grocery bags keep me from having to wrap the meat in several layers of cling wrap. I have never had freezer burn from this method.

I may look into a good quality butcher paper after I run out of this large roll of cling wrap. I don’t have enough containers for the amount of food I store in the freezer. I tried a paper method once before and ended up with freezer burn. So disappointing to get a great deal on meat then have it ruined by freezer burn😟.

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Frugal Droplet- It’s a good idea to go back to the freezer, a few hours later, and re-stack your meat after it is somewhat frozen. How it’s placed in the freezer, is the shape it will stay. This could potentially be a large chicken thigh brick if not careful🙂. I hope I’m not the only one that has had to pry my food apart🙄.

I timed how long it takes me to break down this chicken into servings.  It was less than 10minutes. For me, that is worth my time for easy, quick weeknight meals.

Here is the breakdown. These repackaged packs of chicken are around $1.05 per meal for my family of four. I was able to get six packages. That’s pretty darn good, I think!

If you have an idea that works for you, I would love to hear it. Also, if you have a better alternative than cling wrap, anything plastic, something that doesn’t require lots of extra storage, or even a good paper…please take a second to tell me about it. I can’t wait to hear from you!  Thanks in advance☺️.

***Oh, and even though I am thankful for my tubal ligation. I love my kids even when they are mean as junk yard dogs😃.

5 thoughts on “Planning ahead

  1. I don’t know if you buy boxed dry cereal or not, but those inside bags are what I use to packagee things for the freezer. The bag inside a box of crackers is a smaller version of that. They seem to do well protecting food from freezer burn. I rinse the bags out, let them dry, and store them in the drawer with my kitchen towels. I’m big on recycling, and this way I at least get one more use out of those bags. Sometimes you just need to use plastic wrap though, and I think compared to all the plastic that goes into the landfill, plastic wrap is pretty minimal.
    I had to chuckle at your kid comment. I think we all feel that way at times. 🙂

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    1. So glad to hear from you, Mary. I struggled with posting this because I despise that I can’t get by without cling wrap. I felt it’s important to be real, so I did it anyway. I do use my cereal bags for other things, but never thought to try them with meat. I frequently take sandwiches to work in a cracker bag that I rinse out each night. I’m gonna try to save a stash of them and try this. Yes, kids are sweet and sour all at once. Thanks again for checking in!

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  2. Firstly – chicken thigh fillets are fantastic. I also struggle with cooking the breast meat right. Plus I just thing the thighs are way tastier.
    Bee-wrap is an alternative to cling wrap. I haven’t gotten around to trying it – probably because its kinda expensive.
    However… at some point would love to make my own. Basically its material covered in beeswax so you can wrap stuff – but re use. People I know who use it love it.
    Oh you are soooo not alone with the meat and freezer thing!! After learning the hard way (hammer and chisel hard way) we now line each layer of meat with newspaper as well as going in the second day to re position the meat too!

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    1. I have heard about the bees wrap. I wonder if it sticks to itself enough to keep the air out? I’m going to order a small box soon and give it a go. As for the breast meat, I just try to do to many things and then the next thing I know…DRY. Newspaper is a good idea, especially since it’s easy to forget to go back and reposition.I’m guessing the cereal bags are similar to the bee wax paper since it also has a sort of waxy feel.

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