My son loves Applegate® hot dogs.
I tell him he can't live on them.
He tells me otherwise.
I won't lie, I love Applegate, too. Their deli meats and hot dogs are so convenient. Applegate is a company with standards and guarantees their products to be free of added nitrates and nitrites, fillers, antibiotics, and hormones. That gives me some peace of mind.
However, that peace of mind comes at a cost. For natural and organic products like Applegate, you fork over a pretty penny.
With school in full swing I'm back to packing lunches and this year have been paying attention to how much each lunch is costing. Not surprising, the bulk of the cost is in the meat. Organic turkey deli meat is costing me over $1 a slice!
While cruising Whole Foods the other day, I decided to pass by the deli meats and head for the rotisserie chickens. I picked up a gluten-free, organic bird for a whopping 13 bucks because ... I wanted to try something.
Here is what I did with it when I got home ...
The chicken was an average 4-pounder and yielded roughly 3 cups of meat (about 17 ounces). After shredding the meat I packaged it into 9 2-ounce servings, tossed them into a container, and froze them (I also froze the carcass for broth making when the weather cools down).
Voila! Pre-packaged 2-ounce servings of protein!
My son loves the chicken as is, but if I feel like changing it up a bit I will include a side of barbecue or gluten-free teriyaki dipping sauce with it.
Anyhow, for what it's worth I thought I would share my little cost comparison with you. I will continue to buy Applegate—the price of their hot dogs (even the organic ones) will be hard to beat—but I really like the idea of buying a whole rotisserie chicken, shredding it, and packaging the meat into 8-10 unprocessed lunch servings.
If you have money-saving school lunch tips, what are they? I am all ears!