Friday, January 29, 2010

Money-saving Tip #1: Chicken Fajitas

You know those pre-seasoned chicken breasts or thighs for fajitas that you can buy at the store? Convenient, right? Just open the pouch, throw 'em on the grill or in a pan, and you can have fajitas in about 20 minutes. I love these things--that is, until I broke down the price of them. OUCH! So, I figured out a much cheaper, and healthier, alternative.

Next time your grocery store runs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (whichever you prefer) on sale, buy a few packages. The grab a box of quart-sized zipper bags and K.C. Masterpiece's Mesquite marinade in a bottle. When you get home, portion out the chicken into bags, pour 2 Tbsp or up to 1/4 cup of marinade in each bag (just enough to coat the chicken), shake to distribute, and pop into the freezer. Next time you want to make fajitas, just move a bag over from freezer to fridge the night before, and your chicken will be thawed and marinated when it is dinner time the next day.

The pre-seasoned meat in a bag that I buy runs between $7 and $9 at my grocery store for a 2 pound bag. I can buy boneless, skinless thighs for $1.59 a pound, a sometimes as cheap as $1 per pound. Chicken breasts are frequently $1.99 per pound. So, at the highest cost, it is $3.98 for 2 pounds of chicken breast. The bottle of marinade, which will make 6 to 8 bags of meat, is about $3 a bottle, or 50 cents per bag. Add in the cost of the zipper bag, at between 8 and 12 cents per bag (depending on the brand), and you have a max cost of $4.60 per 2-pound bag of seasoned chicken breasts. Buy family or bulk packs of meat when they are on sale, and you can save even more.

Nutritionally, the KC Masterpiece marinades have 100mg less sodium per serving and less preservatives than most of the meat pouches I've compared it to. Since you can customize how much chicken you'll need for your family, there is no waste. And personally, I prefer the KC Masterpiece flavor over every other brand of pre-seasoned meat I've tried.

Prefer beef fajitas? Use the KC Masterpiece Chipotle and Lime flavor marinade and some skirt or flank steak instead--it works just as well!

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