Friday, June 19, 2009

Pinching Poultry Pennies

Do you wonder which cut of meat is the best buy? Frozen boneless skinless breasts are peerless for convenience sake, which makes them worth while to buy on occasion. But if you are looking for taste, economy, and nutrition, you will want to buy other cuts of chicken too!

According to my old yard sale Betty Crocker cook book (1980), this is the proportion of meat per pound compared to purchasing a whole bird:
wings - 19% less
drumsticks - 3% more
drumstick-thigh - 6% more
thighs - 10 % more
breasts with ribs - 32% more
breasts without ribs - 36% more

So, now you want to know - "What is a good price for each cut of meat?" Around here, I can get boneless skinless chicken breasts for about $2/lb. when they go on sale and a whole chicken is about $1/lb. Which is the better deal?

I hate seeing all the wasted bone and skin when I buy meat. I had convinced myself that $2/lb for chicken breasts was actually a better deal. Is it? I used $2 for breasts without ribs as my base price, a common sale figure in my area.

To get the same amount of meat from each cut using the proportions in the chart above, these are the approximate prices I came up with:

whole bird - $1.28
wings - $0.90
drumsticks - $ 1.34
drumstick-thigh - $1.40
thighs - $1.48
breasts with ribs - $1.93
breasts without ribs - $2

That means if you can find these cuts for less than this price, you are getting a better deal than $2 for boneless breasts. I can often find these cuts of meat for much less than my proportion price. Especially in the mark-down section.

Now are you wondering how to cook that cheap poultry? Here's one great idea.

1 comment:

Ruthie said...

Leg Quarters are 99cents/pound Saturday and Sunday at Randalls. Yay!