Cut Your Grocery Bill: Canned Chicken

Let’s face it. The cost of feeding a family is climbing more and more each time we go to the store. These rising costs force shoppers on limited incomes to look for ways to cut their grocery bill. Budgeting for groceries is important but with volatile prices, being prepared to make changes in how you cook is essential to being able to cut your grocery bill.

One way I have been able to cut my family’s grocery bill is by substituting less expensive items for meals we previously ate. Substituting Canned Chicken for fresh can help cut down the cost of the grocery bill. Canned Chicken can be bought when on sale, stocked in the pantry and used in weeks when you have less funds for shopping.The cost of many recipes which call for cooked cubed chicken can be reduced by substituting canned chicken. Canned chicken is found on the grocery aisles in the same area as tuna, spam, and salmon. Canned chicken is made by companies like Tyson, Hormel and Swanson but is also sold under store name brands line Great Value at Wal-Mart. The large can usually runs around $2.00 but can often be bought on sale for $1.50. Canned chicken is versatile and easy to store. The following five recipes are ones I have used to help cut my grocery bill.

Recipe 1 – Chicken Quesadillas

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup- Store Brand works fine and is usually less expensive
1 tsp. chili powder or taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 large can canned chicken (usually somewhere around 10 oz) drained
8 flour tortillas (8-inch)

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Preheat oven to 425°F.
Mix soup, chili powder, cheese and chicken.
Spread about 1/4 cup soup mixture on half of each tortilla to within 1/2″ of edge. Moisten edge with water. Fold over and seal. Place on 2 baking sheets.
Bake 10 min. or until hot. Makes 8 quesadillas.

Recipe 2- Chicken Primavera

2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 3/4 cups Chicken Broth (you can mix this from the packets)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder OR 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag frozen veggies ( I use a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix)
1 large can Canned Chicken drained
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (watch for the B1G1 Free sales!)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stir the cornstarch and 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Heat the remaining broth, garlic powder, and frozen veggies in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir the cornstarch mixture in the saucepan. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the chicken and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.. Toss the chicken mixture with the spaghetti and cheese.

This is a recipe that you could use mushrooms, or fresh tomatoes, or zucchini, or whatever you have on hand. You can use green peppers, onions, fresh broccoli, etc. The key to reducing costs further in addition to using the canned chicken is to make your recipe fit what you have on hand.
If you don’t have corn starch, thicken with flour. If you don’t have Parmesan, toss a little mozzarella on the top. If you don’t have cheese at all you might add another seasoning or add more garlic for added flavor.

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Recipe 3 – Chicken and Dumplings

1 or 2 cans of Canned Chicken
2 cans Cream of chicken soup
canned peas (drained)
2 cups water

Bring water to boil, add in canned chicken (no need to drain). Add in cream of chicken soup and drained peas. Heat to a boil. Mix dumplings according to bisquick recipe and drop onto the boiling broth. Cook until dumplings are done.

Recipe 4 – Cheesy Chicken Cups

1 can biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 large can canned chicken, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 t. black pepper

Place each biscuit into a muffin pan. Press the biscuits in the cups and up the sides forming a bowl to hold the filling. In a bowl, combine chicken, soup, cheese, and pepper. Mix well. Spoon evenly into cups. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes

Recipe 5- Tired of Tuna Salad

One can of chicken
boiled egg, chopped
green onions, finely chopped
salt, pepper, relish to taste

One large can of canned chicken (Drained) can be substituted in your tuna salad recipe to make a sandwich filling or a wrap or pita filling. Finely chop the canned chicken and mix with other ingredients. Chill until ready to serve. With the chicken salad consider add in items like olives, or grapes. Consider substituting horseradish or ranch dressing for some of the mayo.

Watch for those canned chicken sales, and grab a few to help cut the cost of your evening meals. Just the single ingredient substitution can reduce your expenditures.