Eat meat? Why rotisserie chickens are your best grocery friend (for now) as inflation rages

Also, this is what you can do to make the most of these grocery gems as meat prices surge


HOUSTON – If you eat meat, there’s some good news: Many grocery store rotisserie chickens aren’t going up in price (for now).

While even rotisserie chickens could be out of reach for some folks who recently told us about the challenges they’re facing as inflation changes their lives in the Houston area, others can still afford them. In stores like Costco, H-E-B and even Whole Foods, rotisserie chickens remain less than $10 and famously, at $4.99, at some lower-priced chains.

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It’s a strategy that grocers are using to bring people into the stores to acquire other, perhaps higher priced items, as they pass other products in their stores’ aisles. Read the full, fascinating explanation here from NPR.

Here’s our advice to hack that strategy, get the deal and make the most of your chicken:

  • Get that chicken. Plan to pick the biggest one you can find because they’re all likely priced the same flat price.
  • Pick up your other absolute essentials. It’s a good idea to put them on a list -- AND STICK TO IT.
  • GET OUT OF THE STORE. Avoid overbuying by keeping your eyes on the cash registers and thinking of that low, low total waiting on you at the counter.

When you get that chicken home, make the most of it. Here’s how:

1. Get all the white and dark meat off the chicken.

You can shred up the meat or cut it apart in pieces. If you shred up the meat, it’ll likely last longer. You can refrigerate or freeze the meat in glass or plastic containers for use in multiple dishes that week or over up to a few months.

2. Plan your meals

Determine how much meat you’ll need for each meal. Depending on the size of the chicken and the number of people you’re trying to feed, you may get more or less than three meals. Here are a few ideas that you could make from a rotisserie chicken: Chicken soup, chicken quesadillas and chicken salad. Look for opportunities with relatively inexpensive vegetables like carrots, lettuces, onions, potatoes and celery to make the portions stretch across multiple meals.

3. Boil the carcass

When you boil the chicken carcass after removing most of the meat, you can make really useful chicken stock. Here’s a tutorial we’ve found very educational from someone who knows about pinching pennies. Among other things, she recommends freezing it for use in multiple meals and for use during illness to drink.

Let’s work together to share the best of the best tips, tricks and ideas to help cut costs. Share what you know works in the comments.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.