This year is all about saving money every day while trying to increase your income potential. If you did one thing each day that could save as little as $5 over the course of a year, you could have an extra $1800 in your pocket at the end of the year. Not all of these tips may apply to you, so to keep it fair, not all of them will apply to me.

My dad was a breast man. Don’t look at me that way! I’m talking about chicken! (You should be ashamed for thinking anything else.) Since my Dad preferred white meat, and the rest of us didn’t care, breasts it was. Looking back, I don’t think I ever established a preference of my own. I loved drumsticks, but that’s because I viewed them as “my size.”

I’ve spent the last (almost) five years of married life cooking the meals I know, with boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Cryovac’d Foster Farms chicken from Costco at $2.99/lb. is a real bargain. I was watching an episode of the Bank of Mom and Dad on Hulu, and the debt debilitated couple was learning how to cook for themselves so they wouldn’t eat out so much. I wish I could have a four star chef teach me how to cook, but I guess since my credit card debt is just barely into five digits I didn’t screw up badly enough. What caught my attention was that every meal used chicken thighs. A little note even popped up on the screen informing me that boneless, skinless, chicken thighs are an inexpensive alternative to boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.

I turned to my husband and said, “Did you see that? Did you even know about that?”
He responded, “I’ve always liked dark meat anyway.” Insert “D’oh!” with Homer-size head smack.

I honestly didn’t know they mass-produced boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. Costco even carries the individually cryovac’d Foster Farms B,S, chicken thighs for $2.69 a pound. Saving at least 30 cents a pound on chicken adds up fast. According to PBS Frontline’s “Modern Meat” the average American ate nearly 50 pounds of chicken in 2000, and the number was still climbing. Even with that figure, 30 cents a pound will save a household of two $30 each year. That’s not anything to cluck about. (Sorry, at least one bad chicken pun was called for.)

It is easiest to subsititute when you’re using a heavier sauce or in soups and stews. Then even white meat enthusiasts can’t usually tell the difference.

365 Days of Saving Money: $1545 Annually (Running Total)