Chicken: Cook it in advance
Often, 10-pound bags of legs and thighs are very economical―yes, those big, drippy plastic bags. They’re not so pleasant to handle, but at 70 cents per pound, you can quickly learn to get over any squeamishness. Some of the chicken I cook, then shred or chop and freeze it. I also freeze some pieces whole for a single meal. For my family that would be about a dozen pieces, but your family may need only six thighs or drumsticks to make a single meal.