Tobins' Tastes: Saving Money On Meat With Zaycon Bulk Chicken: Our Experience

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Saving Money On Meat With Zaycon Bulk Chicken: Our Experience

Right now through November Zaycon has Chicken Sale Events across the country. Check out their website to find out if there is one near you!

If you follow my weekly shopping/couponing posts, you may find yourself wondering why you don't see us purchasing meat very often. For one thing, we mostly only eat poultry (in fact I don't eat red meat at all). But for the most part, I was stocking up on chicken breasts and whole chickens and turkeys when they were on sale and storing it in our deep freezer. Check out my latest installment of the Stalk My Stockpile series on the contents of my deep freezer HERE.

A few months ago I wrote a post on our decision to try out Zaycon Foods bulk delivery service to order forty pounds of fresh chicken at $1.79 a pound. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts in South Florida usually retail for around $3.99 a pound. Publix puts it on sale for $2.99 a pound about once a month and only a few times a year do they have a sale for $1.99 a pound. I know that many discount stores and Sam's do regularly price their chicken breasts at $1.99 a pound but we personally find that the quality of the chicken isn't quite what we prefer.

So we decided to try Zaycon to get a better price and a better quality all at the same time. Even though I had heard nothing but great things about them, I as still a little hesitant to place an order. I scoured the internet for other peoples' Zaycon experiences and while I found some good reviews I still had a lot of questions.

For one thing, what does a forty pound box of raw chicken even look like? What if it wasn't the quality we were use to? What if we hated it? How much work would we actually have to do to get the chicken into portions that worked for us? Would we regret it?

Here is the short version: It looks exactly as gross as you would expect it to. It was the best quality chicken we have ever bought. We love it. It took about an hour and a half. No regrets, ordering again next time.

Didn't get all of that? Keep reading for the specifics.

The whole process was much simpler than I originally expected. In February, when Zaycon announced a boneless, skinless, chicken breast sale in South Florida I placed our order right away. I had tried to order chicken once before but the event sold out before I could place our order. This time I got right on it. I paid in full for the order online and the total came to $71.60. While that is more than we spend on groceries in a week, I justified the expense knowing how much we would save in the long run. I saved our excess grocery cash from a few weeks to pay for the order out of normal cash grocery budget.

This is a 9x13 pan for scale

I received a confirmation email and a few reminders in the month and a half between placing my order and my pick up date. On the delivery day, we drove to the local pick up site at our assigned time and there we found a large refrigerated truck and two very nice Zaycon workers. We gave them our name, opened our truck and they laid down a piece of plastic sheeting to protect the car, gave us our chicken and that was it. The whole thing took less than five minutes.

Once we got home, we opened our box to find four large plastic bags each filled with 10 pounds of fresh, never frozen chicken breasts. These were the largest whole chicken breasts I have ever seen. They are directly from the processing facility so the two breasts were still connected by fat so we had to do a little work to get them looking more like what you would find in the grocery store.

It took us about an hour and a half to cut the breasts apart, trim the little bit of excess fat they had on them and then FoodSaver them into portions and cuts that we use on a regular basis. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the whole process was and all in all they had very little fat on them that needed to be trimmed. We froze the individual portions and now have a freezer full of chicken that is prepped and cut to our preferences.

It has been so nice not to have to worry about budgeting for meat each week and it has been so easy to just take out and defrost what we need each week as we plan our meals.  All in all, I found the chicken we got from Zaycon to not only be cheaper but much higher quality than what we typically buy in our grocery store. It  tastes amazingly fresh even out of the freezer and I don't think that we will buy chicken any other way in the future.

Zaycon doesn't currently have any fresh chicken sales going on right now but they do currently have events going on for hickory smoked bacon, Polish kielbasa sausage, bacon wrapped pork filets, Gold Medal beef franks, and pork loin meaty back ribs. Visit their website for more details.

Have you ordered from Zaycon before? What was your experience? 
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