$20/ an hour in the kitchen…

Economic gravity got you down? Of course it does. But there’s a way to save a bundle, eat healthy meals and help stave off the economic blues: Get cooking.

After tending one of my regular Sunday morning chores, cooking, I did a little math. And concluded that, in effect, I made $20 an hour for my two hours of cooking. Two hours is on the high end end of my Sunday culinary endeavors, but this morning it included making chicken broth as well as chicken soup, so my kitchen time was doubled. But here’s how it breaks down, and compares with store-bought. (Figure eating out into the comparison would be off the charts.) Even better, at least in my world, it’s all preservative and additive free.

1 whole chicken, on sale for 69 cents per pound, $3.80

6 Carrots, (three for broth, three for soup), about 40 cents

6  Celery stalks (three for broth, three for soup), about 40 cents

6 Red potatoes, about 50 cents

Garden vegetables, blanched and frozen, free

1 cup of milk, 40 cents

Total cost: $5.50


The broth yielded 12 cups (froze half in freezer bags)

Half of the chicken was used to make a chicken soup, the remainder was packaged into two freezer bags and frozen for later use. (The chicken liver and skin became pug chow.)

A pot of chicken soup yields about eight to 10 servings.

To buy this in the grocery store would break out as follows:

12 cups broth @ $1.20 per can: $14.4

10 servings of chicken soup @ $2 per serving: $20

Two packages of cooked, chopped and deboned chicken, which will be used for dishes at a later date: $10

Total to buy packaged goods: $44.40

Total of ingredients: $5.50

The difference, or how much I made by working in the kitchen: $39.

Forget home ec as something from yesteryear. It’s a must for these economic times.





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