A Week in the Life: 40 pounds of chicken and bacon grease

by Melody on February 7, 2014

Welcome to a Week in the Life of an occasional spend-all-the-money-in-the-world impulse shopper who sometimes uses a coupon but tries mightily to save money where she can.  Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

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Zaycon Foods chicken!

Have you jumped on the Zaycon train yet?  Every few months, they come rolling through town in their giant trucks loaded with meat of some form.  Bacon, sausage, chicken, ground beef.  All sold in bulk at very decent prices.  You pre-order when the sales go live, pick a drop-off location and time and swing through on your way home from work or picking up the kids from school.

Crazy easy, convenient and well-priced.  The only thing that takes a little time is processing the chicken after you pick it up.  40 pounds of chicken divided into four bags may look like a lot, but it goes pretty quickly.  After I lay out all my supplies, the whole process tends to take me about 30-45 minutes.

Generally, I throw as many of the breasts as will fit into my crock pot with some seasoning or homemade BBQ sauce while I’m prepping the rest.  This gives us shredded chicken for salads, to top sweet potatoes or noodles or just for a snack.  The rest of the chicken, I trim the fat, divide the breasts and then throw 2-3 breasts each into a gallon Ziploc bag.  Then freeze.  And done.

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And sometimes I bake a few breasts with oregano, cumin, paprika, chili powder and salt and pepper.  Amazing taco chicken for a delicious salad with avocado, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

I know several people who go into their Zaycon delivery day armed with a well thought out plan, recipes to make 27 freezer meals and 120 pounds of chicken.  Flying by the seat of my pants is more my style and most days I can barely remember my name, so this is as good as it gets for me.

Check out my Recipes for Zaycon chicken Pinterest board for more recipe ideas.  If you want to be notified of future Zaycon events in your area, sign up for a free account and you will get periodic emails when ordering goes live.

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So.  My Grandpa used to save all his bacon grease in the fridge and I would tell my friends about it for shock value because it was SO STRANGE.  Save grease?  That’s why we have giant jugs of canola oil, people!  Then we stopped using hydrogenated oils.  While we love high quality heat-tolerant oils like coconut and macadamia nut oil, they can be spendy.  All of a sudden I found myself pouring bacon grease into mason jars.  Life is a full circle.

We keep it in the fridge and use it to cook eggs, toss veggies in it for roasting, grease pans and tins for savory muffins and more.  I don’t know how frugal it is to eat 129 pounds of bacon per week, but we sure use every scrap and every drop of grease that comes out of it.

Are you a Zaycon customer?  Are you a toss in a bag-type girl like me or do you have a plan?

Do  you save your bacon grease?  What do you use it for in the kitchen?

I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda February 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Definite Zaycon customer! I love having meat in the freezer and not having to worry about finding a sale for the next 6 months or so. We do something similar when we get our chicken, but I throw it in a roasting pan in the oven. It takes about half the time and if you use a roasting bag clean up is easy. I like to shred the chicken and then freeze it by the cup. Works great for quick meals!
I also splurged on Zaycon’s bacon last time it came to town and love it, it’s so thick! I was worried we wouldn’t use it up, but then we have started making frozen breakfast bowls for my grandparents (bacon and eggs). It’s great that the bacon comes pre-sealed in 3 lb packages. I like that we don’t have process it when we buy it, but had trouble at first with the large packages (who needs 3 lbs. for one meal?!) I’ve learned just to use whatever I need for a meal and then chop and cook the rest to freeze for meals later on. It works great if you want to make clam chowder or a quiche you can just throw it in frozen.
Don’t really save my bacon grease…well I do if I’m making breakfast. It’s great to cook eggs in!

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Julie February 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Yup – a Zaycon customer for sure. We just bag up the chicken for future use or pressure can it so it’s more shelf stable. For the bacon, we separated it into 1 lb (roughly) sections.
I didn’t grow up saving bacon grease but my husband did — so needless to say, I’m now used to having coffee cups filled with grease sitting in my fridge. Seems commonplace now.

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Clarissa February 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I’m usually a fly by the seat of my pants person, butt with theree small kids, I’ve had to come up with something to make life easier! I got a cookbook called “don’t panic, dinners in the freezer”. Each day, I make a different meal from the book (x2 or 3). We eat it for dinner, and freeze the rest for later. I end up with 25+ meals in my freezer at the end of the week. It’s a great system! Hope the idea helps somebody else!

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