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A friend on RichmondMommies recently asked where to find cheap chicken so she could prepare it in advance and put it on her salads for lunch at work.

She’s a smart cookie! Buying salads every day, while healthy and good for your hips, can become expensive especially if they are from a charge-by-the-weight-salad-bar. Substantial food items such as chicken add to the weight and drive the price up.

If you want to take your own salad, here’s an easy way to add some chicken to the mix.

After purchasing your chicken, go ahead and cut it into thin slices — the size you’d like to have on your salad. Season groups of the cut chicken as you’d like; a batch of Italian, a batch of Mexican spices, a batch of curry, etc. Cook each group either by baking in the oven or stovetop in a skillet. Once the chicken has cooled, put a single serving size in one of those handy, dandy Ziplock “snack bags”. The snack bags are smaller than the regular sandwich size baggie and it’s perfect for individual serving sizes. Write on the bags with a Sharpie so you know which seasoning you have in the bag, then toss them all in the freezer.

On your way out the door in the morning, grab a baggie of chicken from the freezer and stick it in your lunch bag with the rest of your salad fixings. By the time lunch rolls around, the chicken should be thawed, but still chilled, and ready to be added to your salad.

Save some money, trim your hips and thighs, and have a yummy salad with exactly the flavors you want!