Is it possible to eat well on less than $200 / month?

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VictoriaF
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Post by VictoriaF »

epilnk wrote:
DiscoBunny1979 wrote:I've asked myself the very same question this past week. But what it comes down to is my health is more important than worrying about saving a buck or two by switching from chicken breats to thighs.
This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
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dm200
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Post by dm200 »

If you eliminate some (or all) of these, you save a lot of money without sacrificing health/nutrition

Soda and similar bottled/canned drinks
Expensive cuts of meat
Expensive fish/seafood
elgaeb051
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Post by elgaeb051 »

Regarding "best diet" ...

Sorry, one of the things I was trying to get at was that "meat" isn't necessary and if it helps some to eliminate meat to lower food costs - it not only can be done, but it can be done nutritiously and can satisfy the palate. Mind if you go without meat for an extended time, one does need B12. And It IS easy not to eat nutritiously on any diet (vegetarian or standard American) . . . learning more about nutrition is definitely helpful!

Love the thread (many great tips). Basically, I do eat for approximately $200/month per person. I spend $7.15 per person per day ... now that includes all items I buy at the grocery store (laundry detergent, etc.) .... so that breaks down to $2.50 per person per meal, less if I were to include snacks. This totals to $422 but minus non food items etc. I'm under $400. Pretty much I buy whole foods, vegetables and fruit.

I agree with Balance and DiscoBunny1979 in that health IS important - so is food quality, satiety and nutrition count!

A pretty decent all round book on nutrition is: Dr. Ornish's, The Spectrum
http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Scientif ... 0345496302

- E
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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process »

VictoriaF wrote:
epilnk wrote:
DiscoBunny1979 wrote:I've asked myself the very same question this past week. But what it comes down to is my health is more important than worrying about saving a buck or two by switching from chicken breats to thighs.
This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
I think there is more sat fat and cholesterol in the thigh vs. breast, but the difference is minor compared to, say, chicken vs. beef.

the breast vs. thigh debate has consumed me my whole life. I grew up ashamed that I preferred the obviously more delicious thighs over the dry breasts, but the breast is obviously more bourgeois. I don't care anymore; I'm out of the closet and I don't care what society thinks. the thigh is objectively superior. you can't do a good teriyaki, tandoori, anything with that breast. life is too short to go around as a poseur pretending you prefer breast over thigh. I won't do it.
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Post by Latecomer »

I have been eating organically since 1970. Every year, we plant a large garden. We also have a small orchard with apple, peach, plum, pear, and olive trees. In the summer, it is time for "canning parties;" our grown children participate also.

50 quarts of tomatoes lasted 2 years.
60 pints of blackberries (we picked ourselves) last 2 years
Freeze the plethora of green peppers
20 quarts of peaches don't last as long because of their delicious factor
20 quarts of pears, plums, etc.
Olives take more time and effort, but are extremely good later in the depths of winter
We buy eggs from our neighbors
Purchasing a large slab of grass-finished beef is cheaper and better for us too.

I stay away from processed foods, because I suspect the levels of pesticides, Genetically manufactured produce, and overall care taken in those factories.


Growing your own is fun, healthful, and gives us a sense of confidence in where our food is coming from. The crockpot gets lots of use!

If I did not have a garden, etc. I would still purchase bulk organic dried goods and vegetables from our local co-op. :D
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Post by Jay »

Beef prices seem to be steadily going up (at least in my area). Pork used to cost more, but is not a much better deal.
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VictoriaF
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Post by VictoriaF »

Opponent Process wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
epilnk wrote: This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
I think there is more sat fat and cholesterol in the thigh vs. breast, but the difference is minor compared to, say, chicken vs. beef.

the breast vs. thigh debate has consumed me my whole life. I grew up ashamed that I preferred the obviously more delicious thighs over the dry breasts, but the breast is obviously more bourgeois. I don't care anymore; I'm out of the closet and I don't care what society thinks. the thigh is objectively superior. you can't do a good teriyaki, tandoori, anything with that breast. life is too short to go around as a poseur pretending you prefer breast over thigh. I won't do it.
I did not know that breasts vs. thighs was a well-known debate. At some point I bought into what epilnk calls "a marketing ploy" and started buying only breasts. I don't have a problem with the taste of the breasts, but if there is, in fact, little nutritional difference and much price difference, I might start buying thighs. But first I want to understand the trade-offs.

Victoria
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jeffyscott
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Post by jeffyscott »

I'd like to address the pervasive myth here that eating meat makes for a high food budget. Lean beef contains something like 200 calories in a 3.5 oz serving. If you got all your calories from beef you would need to eat about 2 pounds per day. I can buy lean beef and lean ground beef for $3-4 pound, sometimes less.

Based on this I could eat exclusively beef and spend about $200 per month ($180-240).

Lean pork is cheaper than beef (maybe $2-3 per pound) and has about the same calories. So I could eat nothing but pork for $120-180 per month.

Boneless/skinless chicken breasts, we usually pay about $2 per pound, calories are about 120 in 4 oz, so would need to eat about 3.3 pounds per day and cost would be about $200 per month.

Vegetables are expensive, try getting all your calories from lettuce, green beans, and/or broccoli. I come up with $600-700 per month for that.

What is cheap are things like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. A month's calories from those foods would cost about $20-50.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

phitchow wrote:$200/month is $6.67/day, which is plenty of food.

$1.50/lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen)
$0.99/lb chicken legs (with skin and bones)
$1.42/lb tuna (5-oz cans)
$1/dz eggs
$1.33/lb peanut butter
$0.57/lb uncooked pinto beans
$2.81/lb protein powder
$0.49/lb bananas
$0.99/lb apples
$0.99/lb tomato
$0.90/lb mixed frozen vegetables
$1.63/lb mixed frozen fruit
$0.79/lb pasta
$0.35/lb uncooked rice
$0.75/lb uncooked oatmeal
$0.39/bottle 32-oz gatorade
There are two problems wrong with this poll - the first being food is more expensive in metropolitan areas than say being located next to a farming community. The second being the number of people in the household - some are commenting about bills being managable for families of 4 or households with two or three, what if you have a household of 5 or six, what then? Why not make a poll of food per person just to make it an even playing field?

Those prices quoted above are somewhat doable only if purchased on sale, some like the fruit even on sale don't even come close to prices in my neighborhood. $0.39 a bottle of 32oz gatorade, where? Does Pepsico know about those prices? :wink:
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dm200
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Post by dm200 »

Opponent Process wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
epilnk wrote:
DiscoBunny1979 wrote:I've asked myself the very same question this past week. But what it comes down to is my health is more important than worrying about saving a buck or two by switching from chicken breats to thighs.
This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
I think there is more sat fat and cholesterol in the thigh vs. breast, but the difference is minor compared to, say, chicken vs. beef.

the breast vs. thigh debate has consumed me my whole life. I grew up ashamed that I preferred the obviously more delicious thighs over the dry breasts, but the breast is obviously more bourgeois. I don't care anymore; I'm out of the closet and I don't care what society thinks. the thigh is objectively superior. you can't do a good teriyaki, tandoori, anything with that breast. life is too short to go around as a poseur pretending you prefer breast over thigh. I won't do it.
Americans' strong preference for white/breast chicken meat irritates the heck out of me. Dark chicken meat, to me, is so much more enjoyable to eat. Even more infuriating to me is that often, even other countries' cuisine is altered to include white/breast meat of chicken. White meat in Thai soup and white meat only in Indian Chicken Tika, Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikimasala!!
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Post by VictoriaF »

dm200 wrote:Americans' strong preference for white/breast chicken meat irritates the heck out of me. Dark chicken meat, to me, is so much more enjoyable to eat. Even more infuriating to me is that often, even other countries' cuisine is altered to include white/breast meat of chicken. White meat in Thai soup and white meat only in Indian Chicken Tika, Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikimasala!!
This breast vs. thigh discussion is really fascinating. If a couple more people step in on the side of the thigh, I may actually give up the breast.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Post by MoneyOCD »

I love people being obsessed with white chicken meat :lol:
Why? white and dark meat are coming together in each chicken, if white meat get sold easely , dark meat is very often on great sales.

Did you ever try to make a chicken broth from white meat? no good at all. Chicken and rice? no good either. :twisted:
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Post by Shawn »

I believe the food stamp budget for someone with no financial resources is a little under $200/month. So apparently the USDA believes it is both doable and healthy.

I normally spend about $150/month on food. However, in 2009, I wanted to see if I could spend less than $1000 on food for an entire year. This was done mostly out of curiosity. I ended the year at $883.35, or about $74/month ($2.42/day). Except for a few freebies, I bought everything I ate and drank (tap water not included in budget). It wasn't especially fun, but it wasn't that difficult either. I continued to run and bicycle during the year. Also, I had a "mini-physical" in September of 2009 (blood test, etc). Everything was fine.

I believe it depends more on where and how you buy your food, rather than what you buy (within reason, of course). In 2009, for example, I bought almost all my food at the Grocery Outlet (a discount grocery in the west), Wal-Mart (a regular Wal-Mart with only a few aisles of food), and a local fruit and vegetable stand. For fruits and vegetables, I'd only get what was in season. Believe it or not, I got pineapples for $0.99 in November/December. During a 2 week period in October, I was able to get "very ripe" but perfectly good cantaloupe for $0.25 each.

People are right in that it's not cost effective to skimp on your health. However, it is possible to eat a reasonably healthy diet and also have low food bills.
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Post by interplanetjanet »

VictoriaF wrote:I did not know that breasts vs. thighs was a well-known debate. At some point I bought into what epilnk calls "a marketing ploy" and started buying only breasts. I don't have a problem with the taste of the breasts, but if there is, in fact, little nutritional difference and much price difference, I might start buying thighs. But first I want to understand the trade-offs.
Chicken thighs are very marginally higher in calories and fat than breasts, though the difference is almost certainly lost in the noise when they are cooked with anything else. Legs and wings tend to be a bit fattier than the thighs. Dark meat is darker because of myoglobin in the meat - this is a protein found in increased concentrations where the muscles in the area have been regularly used. Dark meat is significantly higher in iron, zinc and B vitamins.

Backing up a bit, I find the best bargains in poultry are buying whole birds. Considering only the weight present of breast/thigh/wing/leg meat it seems like a wash, but a chicken carcass and innards can be good for at least one good meal all by itself - homemade chicken stock requires a minimum of effort and pays off handsomely. If you want a real treat, shop around ethnic markets and find a stewing hen - these are a little more expensive (I pay $1.59/lb) but contain an amazing amount of flavor and produce broth that's second only to duck or goose. These are basically 1-2 year old laying hens that have become less productive (happens to all of us, I suppose). Stewing the whole bird for a few hours makes a wonderful stock for a soup dinner, and the meat still has so much flavor left it's perfect minced into a pot pie the next night. When you get this much mileage out of both the meat and carcass, the higher cost seems worth it.

One thing that's interesting is that for most of the last 30 years, the USA has been a net exporter of chicken dark meat - it is at a premium in most of the rest of the world. I wouldn't worry about health issues.

-Janet [then again, I'm fond of doing chicken wings in the deep fryer]
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Post by ihelosec »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
phitchow wrote:$200/month is $6.67/day, which is plenty of food.

$1.50/lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen)
$0.99/lb chicken legs (with skin and bones)
$1.42/lb tuna (5-oz cans)
$1/dz eggs
$1.33/lb peanut butter
$0.57/lb uncooked pinto beans
$2.81/lb protein powder
$0.49/lb bananas
$0.99/lb apples
$0.99/lb tomato
$0.90/lb mixed frozen vegetables
$1.63/lb mixed frozen fruit
$0.79/lb pasta
$0.35/lb uncooked rice
$0.75/lb uncooked oatmeal
$0.39/bottle 32-oz gatorade
There are two problems wrong with this poll - the first being food is more expensive in metropolitan areas than say being located next to a farming community. The second being the number of people in the household - some are commenting about bills being managable for families of 4 or households with two or three, what if you have a household of 5 or six, what then? Why not make a poll of food per person just to make it an even playing field?

Those prices quoted above are somewhat doable only if purchased on sale, some like the fruit even on sale don't even come close to prices in my neighborhood. $0.39 a bottle of 32oz gatorade, where? Does Pepsico know about those prices? :wink:
Around here, apples and bananas are even cheaper at Aldi's. However, the quality of the bananas is sometimes questionable, and three pounds of apples is too much for me.

Kroger, Ralphs, and maybe others currently have a mega 10 event. Buy ten participating items, including Gatorade, and get $3 off instantly. A $3 coupon off your next grocery order will also print at the register. See here or check the online ad for your local store. This Gatorade sale came just in time as I am running out of $0.39 Powerade.

Not all metropolitan areas are expensive. These prices are from one of the 15 largest cities in the USA. About half of the prices are sales, and the other half are from a retail warehouse club.
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Post by interplanetjanet »

phitchow wrote:Around here, apples and bananas are even cheaper at Aldi's. However, the quality of the bananas is sometimes questionable, and three pounds of apples is too much for me.
One thing that helps a lot with bananas is to buy them unripened. Normally they're put into a room and gassed with ethylene in order to promote ripening, this turns them bright yellow and makes the peels very soft. If you can find ungassed bananas (you'll know when you do, they're dark Army-green with tough rinds) not only are they usually a bit cheaper, but after ripening on the counter for about two weeks they end up sweet but firm, with no mushy spots, and an unbelievably creamy texture. The peels will still be greenish and a little more difficult to open, but they are *much* less prone to bruising.

I actively seek out green bananas now. :)

-Janet
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

VictoriaF wrote:
Opponent Process wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
epilnk wrote: This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
I think there is more sat fat and cholesterol in the thigh vs. breast, but the difference is minor compared to, say, chicken vs. beef.

the breast vs. thigh debate has consumed me my whole life. I grew up ashamed that I preferred the obviously more delicious thighs over the dry breasts, but the breast is obviously more bourgeois. I don't care anymore; I'm out of the closet and I don't care what society thinks. the thigh is objectively superior. you can't do a good teriyaki, tandoori, anything with that breast. life is too short to go around as a poseur pretending you prefer breast over thigh. I won't do it.
I did not know that breasts vs. thighs was a well-known debate. At some point I bought into what epilnk calls "a marketing ploy" and started buying only breasts. I don't have a problem with the taste of the breasts, but if there is, in fact, little nutritional difference and much price difference, I might start buying thighs. But first I want to understand the trade-offs.

Victoria

If you don't mind ripping skin and some fat off the thighs, then buy the thighs - the cost differential is substantial, more than 50% cheaper than breasts.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

VictoriaF wrote:
dm200 wrote:Americans' strong preference for white/breast chicken meat irritates the heck out of me. Dark chicken meat, to me, is so much more enjoyable to eat. Even more infuriating to me is that often, even other countries' cuisine is altered to include white/breast meat of chicken. White meat in Thai soup and white meat only in Indian Chicken Tika, Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikimasala!!
This breast vs. thigh discussion is really fascinating. If a couple more people step in on the side of the thigh, I may actually give up the breast.

Victoria
Luke, come over to the dark side, together we will be invincible! :lol:

Go dark and save over 50% - now what could be more Boglehead than that? Truthfully, they taste great sans skin and fat dusted in flavored breadcrumbs and a pan coated with a little bit of oil in the oven.
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Post by gt4715b »

I am very interested in lowering my food bill. I'm planning on recording how much I spend this month (March). My problem has always been my laziness when it comes to preparing my own food.

As for breast vs. thighs, from the USDA Database: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

For a 5 oz. serving (raw,no skin),
Breast:
Calories: 162
Fat: 3.67g
Protein: 30.09g

Thigh:
Calories: 169
Fat: 5.54g
Protein: 27.85g

The 50% increase in fat may seem like a lot, but when we compare to even 90% lean ground beef,
90% Ground beef
Calories: 249
Fat: 14.18g
Protein: 14.18g

It seems like the chicken industry has done a very successful marketing job on us. I wouldn't make the choice of breast vs. thigh based on the belief that breasts are more healthy.
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Post by Dingle »

Of course you can eat on $200 per month. You could probably eat on $100 per month but the question is Why would you want to?
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Post by The Wizard »

Dingle wrote:Of course you can eat on $200 per month. You could probably eat on $100 per month but the question is Why would you want to?
I basically agree with this.
Save $$ a bit by comparison shopping and buying on sales. Focus more on quality healthy foods without excessive corn syrup and fat.
Grocery-store food is a relative bargain in the US...
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Post by stoptothink »

My wife and I combined spend approximately $200/month on food. I'm a strength coach and sports nutritionist currently working on my PhD in Obesity Studies, so nutrition is a huge part of my life. I don't eat any processed food, while my wife needs a bowl of ice cream and chips and salsa every weekend(which she gets mostly at her parents' thankfully). Eating "clean" unprocessed food can be extremely affordable. Having lived in a few different areas of the country, here in Houston food costs are definitely cheaper than some other areas.

-At a local independent grocer, b/s chicken breasts or thighs are on sale at about $1.29/bs almost monthly and I'll buy 20-30lbs. a pop. Pork tenderoloin also can occasionally be found for <1.50/lb. We put 5lbs. in the crockpot on Sunday and that is our primary protein source for the entire week.
-Being both a full-time PhD student and working full-time, rarely do I eat a complete meal until I get home at night. My daily meals usually consist of 4 things which I keep in my backpack(which I carry everywhere) at all times: a bag of whey protein isolate that I mix with flax seed meal(I buy in bulk at a HUGE discount), hardboiled eggs(eat the yolk, it's the most densely nutritious part of the egg), and raw nuts(mainly almonds, walnuts, peanuts - which we buy on sale and put in the freezer)
-My wife gets out of school early and goes to the Chinese market every Friday. Produce there is, believe it or not, at least 50% cheaper than at the local big-name grocers. Various greens, carrots, broccoli, some times tofu, and seasonal fruits
-We eat a ton of legumes(garbanzo beans, lentils, split peas, various beans). Legumes are the most underrated source of nutrition; densely nutritious and extremely cheap. All varieties are <$1/lb. dry.
-Our primary source of complex carbohydrate is brown rice and occasionally some quinoa when it goes on sale

I, unlike most humans, can eat the same thing every single day and not get bored(although our produce is different every week depending on what is available at the Chinese market). But, it absolutely is possible. I am amazed at how much people spend on food, I have two different sets of in-laws who spend $1500+/month on food for 2(a lot of eating out). Make your own meals, eat nutritiously dense food, and it is cheap.
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Post by jeffyscott »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote: If you don't mind ripping skin and some fat off the thighs, then buy the thighs - the cost differential is substantial, more than 50% cheaper than breasts.
With bone and skin included, I don't typically see much of a price difference. Usual sale price of split chicken breast (the whole thing with skin and bones) or legs/thighs is about the same...most often about $1 per pound, occasionally less.

We buy legs/thighs for grilling. In the winter we do not grill and the boneless skinless breasts are just more convenient for many dishes. Boneless, skinless thighs are rarely seen and once when I bought them, they had lied and they were actually only skinless, still had bones.
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
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dm200
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Post by dm200 »

I grew up on a farm where we raided chickens. During most of my youth, the chicken we ate was eating a whole chicken we killed and "processed" ourselves. You got the part of the chicken that was on the platter when it was passed to you.
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Post by Fallible »

interplanetjanet wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I did not know that breasts vs. thighs was a well-known debate. At some point I bought into what epilnk calls "a marketing ploy" and started buying only breasts. I don't have a problem with the taste of the breasts, but if there is, in fact, little nutritional difference and much price difference, I might start buying thighs. But first I want to understand the trade-offs.
Chicken thighs are very marginally higher in calories and fat than breasts, though the difference is almost certainly lost in the noise when they are cooked with anything else. Legs and wings tend to be a bit fattier than the thighs. Dark meat is darker because of myoglobin in the meat - this is a protein found in increased concentrations where the muscles in the area have been regularly used. Dark meat is significantly higher in iron, zinc and B vitamins.

Backing up a bit, I find the best bargains in poultry are buying whole birds. Considering only the weight present of breast/thigh/wing/leg meat it seems like a wash, but a chicken carcass and innards can be good for at least one good meal all by itself - homemade chicken stock requires a minimum of effort and pays off handsomely. If you want a real treat, shop around ethnic markets and find a stewing hen - these are a little more expensive (I pay $1.59/lb) but contain an amazing amount of flavor and produce broth that's second only to duck or goose. These are basically 1-2 year old laying hens that have become less productive (happens to all of us, I suppose). Stewing the whole bird for a few hours makes a wonderful stock for a soup dinner, and the meat still has so much flavor left it's perfect minced into a pot pie the next night. When you get this much mileage out of both the meat and carcass, the higher cost seems worth it.

One thing that's interesting is that for most of the last 30 years, the USA has been a net exporter of chicken dark meat - it is at a premium in most of the rest of the world. I wouldn't worry about health issues.

-Janet [then again, I'm fond of doing chicken wings in the deep fryer]
Another big reason to go with fresh whole birds is elimination of salt. So many people, especially elderly, I know have been buying whole roasted chicken from the supermarket simply because it's cooked and ready to go for any occasion. I don't know the EXACT salt content in this chicken, but have read that it is extremely high (in fact, the meat is soaked in salt before cooking). That alone is health reason enough to spend the extra time preparing and roasting a whole chicken.

And thank you for your excellent and detailed comments, especially the good tip about stewing hens.
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Post by Fallible »

dm200 wrote:I grew up on a farm where we raided chickens. During most of my youth, the chicken we ate was eating a whole chicken we killed and "processed" ourselves. You got the part of the chicken that was on the platter when it was passed to you.
Your mention of raising your own chickens reminded me of when our family had a large food garden. Potatoes were dug up and corn, carrots and other vegetables picked and prepared for that day's meals. I don't think you can truly know what fresh food tastes like until you grow your own.
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interplanetjanet
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Post by interplanetjanet »

stoptothink wrote:-My wife gets out of school early and goes to the Chinese market every Friday. Produce there is, believe it or not, at least 50% cheaper than at the local big-name grocers.
I love ethnic markets - especially Chinese and Vietnamese. A couple other bargains I look for there include:

Fish! Dozens and dozens of kinds at rock bottom prices. I find whole pomfret and catfish to be good deals, and sculpin, grouper and flounder to be a treat when I feel like splurging a little (or Dungeness crab when it hits $2.49/lb). Dealing with whole fish is worth it and gives you much more flavor than a fillet, plus you can throw the skeletons in the freezer for soup later.

Odd but very flavorful cuts of meat. The store by me has duck wings, feet and gizzards for an average of $1.19/lb, and they make unbelievable stock. Chicken wings are cheaper there too. Pigs feet are a pittance and nothing can match what they do for a stew in mouth feel.

My children are what I'd call "vigorous omnivores", and that's a trait I'd recommend cultivating. I had to tell my daughter that for her tenth birthday, while she might think that duck gizzard confit (frugal! seriously!) was the perfect choice, her friends might not appreciate it nearly as much. We had it the next weekend instead. :)

-Janet [they still won't go for durian, though]
arthurb999
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Post by arthurb999 »

I woudln't. Spend the money on food now or the doctor/hospital later... I choose now.
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interplanetjanet
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Post by interplanetjanet »

Fallible wrote:Another big reason to go with fresh whole birds is elimination of salt. So many people, especially elderly, I know have been buying whole roasted chicken from the supermarket simply because it's cooked and ready to go for any occasion. I don't know the EXACT salt content in this chicken, but have read that it is extremely high (in fact, the meat is soaked in salt before cooking). That alone is health reason enough to spend the extra time preparing and roasting a whole chicken.
I'm not sure what the salt content in these is either. I do sometimes do a salt brine of poultry before cooking it, and it doesn't end up tasting "salty" - but I think the brine has different effects. I'm lucky in that nobody in my household has salt issues, though we do have to work around allergies to rice (one of the top allergies in Japan), eggs, and digestive sensitivities to milk and whole wheat.
And thank you for your excellent and detailed comments, especially the good tip about stewing hens.
You're welcome! Last month I chanced upon a stewing *duck* at my favorite market (Shun Fat Market in south Sacramento) that I'm itching to try something with, I'm hoping for a lot of flavor.

One warning about stewing hens, they can be very tough unless they are cooked for a long time, and even then they have a tendancy to be rubbery. This is why I like to go the pot pie route, it solves all the problems. They do taste profoundly "chicken-y". Cutting them up to fit in the pot is an experience, too, if you're used to fryer chickens - I had to use my cleaver and a lot of strength.

-Janet
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dm200
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Post by dm200 »

One warning about stewing hens, they can be very tough unless they are cooked for a long time, and even then they have a tendancy to be rubbery. This is why I like to go the pot pie route, it solves all the problems. They do taste profoundly "chicken-y". Cutting them up to fit in the pot is an experience, too, if you're used to fryer chickens - I had to use my cleaver and a lot of strength.
Hence the expression, "She's a tough old bird"
Gabriella
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Post by Gabriella »

Opponent Process wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
epilnk wrote:
DiscoBunny1979 wrote:I've asked myself the very same question this past week. But what it comes down to is my health is more important than worrying about saving a buck or two by switching from chicken breats to thighs.
This is a common misperception. The difference in fat content between breasts and thighs is actually quite small - not enough to factor into your choice of cut. The "health benefit" of white meat is a marketing ploy encouraged by the growers so that they could differentiate breasts as a "premium product" and command a premium price.
Apart from the fat content, are there nutritional differences between chicken breasts and chicken thighs? What causes their different taste?

Victoria
I think there is more sat fat and cholesterol in the thigh vs. breast, but the difference is minor compared to, say, chicken vs. beef.

the breast vs. thigh debate has consumed me my whole life. I grew up ashamed that I preferred the obviously more delicious thighs over the dry breasts, but the breast is obviously more bourgeois. I don't care anymore; I'm out of the closet and I don't care what society thinks. the thigh is objectively superior. you can't do a good teriyaki, tandoori, anything with that breast. life is too short to go around as a poseur pretending you prefer breast over thigh. I won't do it.
Or coq au vin! I have a nice coq au vin recipe that calls for whole chicken legs - delicious.

Gabriella
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