I used to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts. Oh the money I could've saved! In the last few years, I've gotten into preparing my own cuts of chicken -- all it took was a big sharp knife.
Actually, it took a little imperative. When we decided to only buy happy chickens that hadn't done drugs, I thought I'd better find a way to get our money's worth.
Nowadays it's just part of the routine -- once every couple of months I go buy a couple chickens to make up some stock and to put wings, thighs, and breasts into our freezer. On average, we enjoy about 9 meals out of those 2 chickens (not counting leftovers): 4 quarts of stock (one quart has all the chicken off the soup bones), 4 thighs, 4 drumsticks, 2 whole breasts, and 2 breasts cut into pieces and bagged separately.
I have to laugh at myself (and my, ahem, competitive nature.) When I read a teaser for an economizing article in Gourmet, 'learn how to stretch 2 chickens to 16 servings,' I scoffed. "Whatever, I can get at least 18!" Whoever said life isn't a game to win?!
I am reminded of my grandma being proud of using every bit of butter from the wrapper. The important thing was that it was more butter than her neighbor got, who just threw out the wrapper without even scraping it with a spatula (if you can even imagine!)
Thriftiness is fun for me because it requires a bit of competition. Getting the deal. Making things stretch further than last time. I'm just glad I don't have to compete against my grandma.