Cut up your own chicken and turkey and you’ll often find that you’ll be paying just for the breast portions, while all the other parts are had (for free) for the equivalent price of the “boneless-skinless-breast” version at the supermarket or butcher shop. Even if you don’t particularly care for the rest of the chicken, since they are yours at little extra cost, it pays to use them to make a flavorful broth that will be the starter of the gravy to serve alongside the chicken breast dish you’ve planned.
Slice chicken or turkey cutlets from the breast portion, use them for breading or stuffing and keep the rest for soups or chicken salad or to stuff ravioli, pierogi or empanada. Use the sausage stuffing attachment of your meat grinder to make chicken or turkey sausages, or season it well with herbs and spices and make meatballs or patties.
Pork, beef and veal may be combined when making meatballs, meatloaf and meat fillings. If you are running short on meat for the number of people you are feeding, the budget may sometimes be stretched (depending upon the dish you’re making) by adding eggs, bread crumbs, crushed cracker crumbs, oatmeal (whole or ground in a processor), grated cheese, cooked rice, herbs, spinach, chopped onions, mushrooms, or peppers, or even TVP (texturized vegetable protein – a soy extender and meat substitute). I routinely buy a whole pork loin for $16 and cut my own perfect portion chops 28 to 30 from one loin. The rest of the trimmings end up as stir fry and nothing is wasted. Grinding your own beef will save about a dollar a pound. Fresh ground turkey and chicken for a healthy on the cheap spin.