Have you ever tried cooking a whole chicken? It is so much less expensive than purchasing boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (like I used to do). We don't mind eating dark meat in casseroles. I've also read that dark meat is especially healthy for toddlers because it is higher in fat and cholesterol. Babies need those "evil" things to help their brains develop.
I purchased a whole antibiotic-free, hormone-free chicken from a local farm. (More on the importance of antibiotic/hormone-free foods in another post.) It cost approximately $1.80/pound.
I cooked it in the crock pot for about 5 hours (cooking on low). I took it out after checking the temperature for "doneness", cooled it, pulled off the skin and meat and chopped it up. Then I put it back in the crock pot and boiled down the carcass for about 4 hours (cooking on high). I strained out the bones and other waste. Then I refrigerated the remaining broth to cause the fat to congeal at the top so I could skim it off.
I'm left with antibiotic/hormone-free broth! I am going to freeze it for future use in soup.
Here is a great photographic blog. I forgot to take my own pictures.
I can't even really say how much money I saved by doing this.