Getting the Best Deal on Poultry

by Ivory Soap

I found myself staring at leg quarters and whole chickens and split breasts and whole turkeys today.  All on sale.  No idea what was a good buy.  How much meat is on a split breast versus a leg quarter?  How does a whole bird compare to boneless/skinless breasts?  It’s a mystery.

After a great deal of googling, I found this lovely site that calculates it for you.  One problem.  I don’t take my computer to the store.  You?

I computed everything a bunch of times and cranked out something portable.  You will need a calculator.  But this list should give you the tools to compare apples to apples on poultry.

Just highlight the list, print it, and take your teeny-tiny one dollar calculator to the store.

1.5 servings per pound
Chicken / Wings

2 servings per pound
Chicken / Drumsticks
Chicken / Leg quarter

2.5 servings per pound
Chicken / Breast, bone in
Chicken / Thigh
Chicken / Whole chicken
Turkey / Drumsticks

3 servings per pound
Turkey / Breast, bone in
Turkey / Thighs
Turkey / Whole turkey

4 servings per pound
Chicken / Breast, boneless
Turkey / Breast, boneless
Turkey / Ground turkey

5 servings per pound
Turkey / Roasted turkey
Turkey / Turkey ham

EXAMPLE:  At my grocery today…

  • boneless breasts are 1.67/lb (~.42/serving)
  • whole “natural” chickens are .79/lb (~.31/serving)
  • fresh whole turkey is 1.29/lb (~.43/serving)
  • frozen whole turkey is .69/lb (~.23/serving)
  • leg quarters are .80/lb (~.40/serving)

Frozen turkey or whole chickens are the best deal!


P.S.  I’ll do beef tomorrow or something.  I IS SO BERRY TIRED.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

aurelia December 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

You are just the bee’s knees for putting this together!

I have a set grocery list that I’ve made using Pocketmod’s pdf to pocketmod creator. Looks like I’m going to need to revise it with this info!

bridget December 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm

A question. When buying chicken, do you just buy any old brand? I am trying to be more mindful of my meat purchases (free range chicken, etc) but have a hard time reconciling it with the frugal side of me. It makes me very tired also. What is a girl to do.

Ivory Soap December 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm

bridget, yes, I do. I wish everything was organic. I love organics. But, not enough to drive half an hour to the next town to the special store and pay three times as much.

We eat a lot less meat than the average family. So I take comfort in the greatly reduced number of bad-life-having factory chickens and the reduced emissions from not driving my car across the county for one bag of chicken.

Erin from long island December 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

thanks for sharing this! I am often torn between the lower-per-pound price of meat with skin and bones and the “I am paying for bones, how ridiculous.”

Does that make sense? I make stock with the bones, but I still worry I am not saving as much as I think I am when I buy my usual leg quarters with bone and skin

Handful December 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I have always wondered the same thing. Math is definately not my forte so I try to take my Main Man the the store with me to do the math if possible. But this helps with the bone in/bone out issue.

A quick true story: I was shopping at a discount store a bit ago. This store had bought out another store and everything was 90% off! I was so excited – what a bargin! Now, I can do 10% off, so all I had to do was multiply that by 9 and and then subtract that from the original amount! (OK, anyone who can do math is now free to laugh, all others can continue with my story…)

Anyway, Main Man called from work to see what was up. I excitedly was telling him how much everything was. He told me that it was 10%. I said no, it is 90% off. And as I struggled to calculate how much the $45 item was at 90% off, he said, “Baby, it’s 10%.” Still didn’t click in my little blonde brain! It was weeks later that I finally understood what he was talking about!

The other day I came home from the store and proudly announced, “Baby, I DID MATH!” He asked me how I did it.

I answered, “With my phone!” I was quite pleased with myself!

Handful December 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm

PS: Love the old-fashioned pictures on this post and the home-schooling!

CarrieK December 24, 2009 at 10:57 am

Please, please consider how the bird was raised before you buy it. Yes, properly raised birds cost more, but they are worth it. Consider this: you get what you pay for and you can pay now or pay later (with poor health) I could write about the deplorable conditions factory birds are raised in, the disgusting diet they feed them, I could write about the chemicals and pharmaceuticals involved in raising factory birds, I could write about the long term contamination of the water supply and the ground….but I think all of you need to do the research yourselves. We have been conditioned to believe we deserve and need cheap food. Cheap food equals poor health. Go read anything by Michael Pollan. Go google Polyface Farm. There are people out there properly raising meat the way God meant…and they are not going broke buying it or eating it. When more people demand healthier meat, when there becomes a market for healthier meat, the big agribusinesses will start to listen. End of lecture 🙂

L December 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

This is great, I always wonder the same thing. Thanks

mom-and-rn October 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Another blurb on eating organic chicken. I find that when I buy cheap chicken it is full of fat so really I think I am paying less and getting less edible meat. They are fat because they sit in a cage and do not move plus they give them hormones to make them grow faster. We all know that hormones are stored in fat. I am finding in WA state that a lot of the organic foods are only pennies more. I try to make up for the organic meat cost by serving smaller portions of the meat and larger portions of vegies, fruit and ha ha of course dessert! I don’t care how frugle you are you have to have after dinner dessert!

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