Finances for holidays – Saving Pennies or Dollars on Whole Chickens
One of my favorite posts on The Simple Dollar is ‘Saving Pennies or Dollars‘. He uses this series to look at the savings from deciding to purchase in bulk, or in the less expensive way.
The most recent post was about Whole Chickens. The question is, is it better to buy it and prep it yourself, saving a couple dollars, or to just buy one ready to eat from Sam’s Club.
I went to my local Sam’s Club to find prices on roasted chickens. I found whole chickens for sale for $0.89 per pound and pre-roasted chickens for $1.29 per pound. Assuming I buy a four pound bird, I’m saving about $1.60 buying a raw chicken.
$1.60 doesn’t sound like a ton of savings, but he has an interesting point to make.
So, what about the prep time? I can take a chicken out of the package, insert a can into the cavity, and have the chicken in the oven in about five minutes, according to my own estimate. It would then take roughly an hour for the chicken to roast, which is passive time. I’d then have to stick the tray upon which the chicken baked into the dishwasher, but that time is negligible.
So, he’s saying that you’re basically paying $1.60 for prep time – approximately 5 minutes. Sounds like a reasonable price to me.
There’s also the health factor. When you prepare food yourself, you have much more control over the ingredients in it. Food sold in stores has a lot of questionable things done to it, from food coloring to imitate freshness to all sorts of artificial things to enhance flavor through chemistry. If I have a choice, I’ll pass on this.
Ahhh. Here we reach the tipping point of the argument. If you have time to prepare, and wait for the chicken to cook, it seems that the health factors push the argument over the edge.
I think that we all have time to chuck some ingredients into a slow cooker the night before if we don’t have time – and if we do have time, it’s cheaper, and seemingly healthier to make a whole chicken ourselves.
I just need to check out this ‘tin can’ chicken recipe.